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# Great Groundhog Day Activities

By Brian Smith on January 19, 2015

Do your Groundhog Day’s lesson plans seem a mere shadow of something spectacular? I predict this year’s plans will be clear and effective if you use these activities and books on February 2!

## Math

Make a copy of this Hundred Board for each student and then have them follow the coloring directions. The result is a hundred board groundhog. (Common Core standards K.CC.1.A, K.CC.B.4.A, K.CC.B.4.C)

## Science

Use your students' shadows to talk about how the earth revolves around the sun. I pair my students up, and then take them outside to a paved surface as soon as I can in the morning. One student stands still while her partner traces her feet and shadow with a stick of chalk. When the tracing is complete, the student writes her name in her shadow. The partners switch places so that when they are finished both students have had their feet and shadows traced.

We then go back out and repeat this process at the end of the day. Each student stands in the same spot (this is why we traced our feet), and the partners trace each other's shadows. The students are amazed at how their shadows are in a different position and are a different size. This begins a great conversation that really allows the students to see how the earth revolves around the sun.

I love using the short two-person play Groundhog Day. Dividing the students up and having them practice and brainstorm different movements that their characters would make turns into a reading activity that the kids love. (Common Core standard RL.K.5)

You have several options. Groundhog Day has its fair share of picture books out there, but the problem I have with a lot of them is that they are SO long. My kindergarteners struggle to stay focused on books that have a lot of words on every page. Unfortunately, many of my Groundhog Day books fall smack-dab into that category. These titles however have proven themselves to be good reads through the years. (Common Core standard RL.K.9)

• Who Will See Their Shadows This Year? by Jerry Pallotta and illustrated by David Biedrzycki is the best of the bunch. I love how it allows the students to predict what kind of weather each animals shadow would bring.

• Double Trouble Groundhog Day by Bethany Roberts and illustrated by Lorinda Bryan Cauley has adorable groundhog twins Greta and Gregory.

• Wake Up, Groundhog! by Susanna Leonard Hill and illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler has a great story about girl empowerment that the kids really enjoy.

Happy Groundhog Day! Just for the record, winter is my favorite season so I’m always hoping for six more weeks of winter.