What Happened to Groundhog Day Activities for Kids?

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I remember Groundhog Day activities when I was a student were much more pronounced than they are today.  It would be an entire day of facts about groundhogs, groundhog reading activities, and games that were groundhog-approved.

Today, it seems as though the groundhog day children’s activities are either mentioned in a sentence, if at all.  With all the curriculum requirements, it is easy to see how this minor event can be skipped over entirely in elementary school lesson plans.

Groundhog Day activities when I was a student would be an entire day of groundhogs, groundhog reading activities, and games that were groundhog-approved.

If you are looking to sprinkle in a few mentions on February 2nd this year, keep reading as I even have a free printable Groundhog Day Activities Mat below!

Groundhog Day activities when I was a student would be an entire day of groundhogs, groundhog reading activities, and games that were groundhog-approved.

What is the history of Groundhog Day?

Groundhog Day actually began centuries ago in Germany where they believed that a badger could give clues as to whether or not the winter would endure, or whether spring was soon ahead.  This information was important to them so they could decide the best time to plant their crops.

Here in the United States, notably in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the German immigrants kept the tradition.  Since there are no nearby badgers in PA, they had to settle for similar animal and the groundhog was soon the mascot for Groundhog Day.  Canada also celebrates Groundhog Day, as well as other places throughout the world.

How does groundhog day work?

Tradition claims that on February 2nd the groundhog will poke its head out of its burrow.  If it is frightened by its shadow, the groundhog will return to the burrow for 6 more weeks of winter.  If he does not see his shadow, it is said to mean spring is just around the corner.

You might want to check out:

Seasonal School Celebrations eBook Cover

Need some new ideas for hosting successful classroom celebrations?  This 387 page digital book has you covered!Includes 61 ad-free articles from Organized Classroom, including holidays such as:

  • Groundhog Day
  • Winter
  • Black History
  • Valentines Day
  • St. Patricks Day
  • Earth Day
  • Spring
  • Mothers Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Summer
  • Independence Day
  • Fall
  • Halloween
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas

…and even more, such as a section for student birthday suggestions and indoor recess ideas for when the season turns cold!

Includes 48 additional freebie files!  No need to enter in an email address for each one separately – just click and go!

See it HERE.

Is Groundhog Day online?

You will be able to see tons of media coverage, including a live webcast of Punxsutawney Phil HERE.  {Until the broadcast is live, they have a recorded version of last year’s event, which is great for students to watch if you aren’t able to stream the live event in your classroom.}

What is groundhog day for kids?

While the history of Groundhog Day is interesting, opening the discussion with kids about groundhog facts in general is also super fun and curriculum related!  Some fun facts about groundhogs:

  • How many babies do groundhogs have?

They usually have 2-6 babies in a litter.  Baby groundhogs are called pups, kits, or cubs.

  • Do groundhogs have tails?

Sure do!  They have a small bushy tail.  A beaver, which can sometimes be confused with a groundhog, has a flat, wide tail.

  • Can groundhogs swim?

Yes!

  • Do groundhogs eat in the winter?

Nope.  They are hibernating and are surviving off the fat cells in their body they built up all summer. {Why can’t we do that?  lol!}

  • How are groundhogs and woodchucks alike?

They are the same animal, just called different names in different parts of the world.  They can also be known as whistle-pigs or land-beavers.

  • How much wood would a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

About 700 lbs., according to Cornell University.

Groundhog Day activities when I was a student would be an entire day of groundhogs, groundhog reading activities, and games that were groundhog-approved.

How do you draw a groundhog?

Groundhogs are not hard to draw at all!  Check out this super fun video to learn how to draw your own cute groundhog and teach your own students too!

Need some other great Groundhog Day crafts for a fun winter activity day in your class?  Check out some of these fun teaching resources:

  • Groundhog Number Cards:  Use them for your February calendar or in a working with numbers station.
  • Groundhog Day song:  Seems more appropriate for smaller kids, but I have to be honest that I found it quite catchy myself.
  • Groundhog Day craft:  I like this craft because it is a great way for students to explain what happens when the groundhog pops up and whether he chooses t stay out or hide again.
  • Groundhog Day poem:  Poems galore!

How about some free groundhog day activity mats?  While you can print them out on standard-sizes letter paper, they were created for legal (8.5×14 inch) paper instead.  There are 2 pages in both full-color and a black and white version as well.  The answer key is included too!

Groundhog Day activities when I was a student would be an entire day of groundhogs, groundhog reading activities, and games that were groundhog-approved.

You can choose to print them separately or back to back.  Perfect for a morning work or early finishers task. It includes a Venn diagram, word scramble, number sentence creation, prediction writing, tally chart activity, spot the differences, Mad Libs style reading, and True/False facts. A little reading, a little math, a lot of fun!

One last tip:  If you want to be able to reuse them from year to year:  print double-sided on legal sized cardstock and laminate.  Student can then use with dry erase markers, erase, and use again the following year!   #worksmarternotharder

Groundhog Day activities when I was a student would be an entire day of groundhogs, groundhog reading activities, and games that were groundhog-approved.

I would love to know how you plan to bring up Groundhog Day in your classroom.  Leave us a comment below to share.  Happy digging in!

~Charity

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