Groggy Groundhog Predictions

Do you celebrate Groundhog Day with your class? 

Although I feel these little furry friends have no official weather predicting skills I do enjoy joining in the fun and teaching about this holiday.  Many teachers use this holiday as a springboard into teaching about shadows and others spend the week talking all about groundhogs.  Either way I like to spend the actual holiday talking about Groundhog Day itself.  Here's a look at some of the things I'd have planned for a day of Groundhog fun!  

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This story by Gail Gibbons is my go to book for Groundhog Day.  It is filled with great information about the holiday, the history, tradition, and even some facts about groundhogs.  I really like to start the day with this book and create a facts chart about the holiday.  

After this students would get my Groundhog Day emergent reader to color and read on their own.  We'd add this to their reading baskets for the week.

For math and writing I'd plan to ask the question "Will the groundhog see his shadow?" and then have students graph and write about their own prediction. 

 To jazz up their writing we'd complete and add this little groundhog craft to create a writing display.

And to add in science we'd talk a bit about shadows!  We'd start by reading this book by Clyde Robert Bulla.

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Then we'd start exploring.  I created a little printable explore and fill book for students to record their observations.  In this printable book we'd start by defining "what is a shadow?"  

Then from there we'd continue our learning by answering the following questions in the book:
How is a shadow made?
How do we make our shadows bigger?
How do we make our shadows smaller?
What has a shadow?
To answer these questions I'd tape up a large piece of white butcher paper to the wall.  Then I'd turn out the lights and we'd use a flashlight as the light source.  Some students would become the "objects" and others would manipulate the flashlight to answer the questions.  At the end I'd send students off in groups with flashlights to see what else has a shadow.  

What do you think of these activities?  Do you do similar Groundhog Day activities in your class?

If you like anything you see above be sure to check out my Groundhog Day Mini Unit:

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