I think Groundhog Day is one of the least appreciated holidays, unless you live in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania or happen to be in kindergarten. That’s right! Kindergarteners love to celebrate this furry little creature, affectionately known as the groundhog (also marmot, woodchuck and whistle-pig). Who knew the groundhog had so many different names? So, let’s all celebrate this holiday with some great Groundhog Day activities for kindergarten!
Build Background Knowledge
A great way to build enthusiasm and excitement, along with background knowledge, is to read some wonderful books and watch a few fun videos about groundhogs and Groundhog Day. I always read one book and discuss it before the big day. Then I sprinkle the books and a video or two throughout Groundhog Day.
Books to Read:
Here are some of our favorite books. To find more groundhog book recommendations read Fantastic February Read Alouds.
The Night Before Groundhog Day by Natasha Wing: Another fun book in Natasha Wing’s best-selling series. The children are getting ready for Groundhog Day in school. They make masks and pop-up groundhogs. They even vote on whether the groundhog will see its shadow. Then on February 2nd they get up really early and join in the towns’ Groundhog Day festivities.
Groundhog Day by Gail Gibbons: If you are looking for a book to teach your kids all about Groundhog Day, this is the book for you. Along with colorful illustrations, this book is full of facts about how and where Groundhog Day is celebrated, the history of Groundhog Day, and the furry animal also known as a woodchuck.
Groundhog’s Day Off by Robb Pearlman: In this adorable book, Groundhog is feeling unappreciated. He is always asked the same question… Is spring just around the corner or will there be 6 more weeks of winter? Nothing about himself or his life. So, Groundhog decides to take a vacation, leaving everyone in a frenzy trying to fill his place. Spoiler alert, the Townspeople realize how special Groundhog is, and he returns just in time to predict the weather.
Videos to Watch:
Here are some fun and informative videos perfect for kindergarten.
Fun Facts About Groundhogs! | Groundhog Day | SciShow Kids (3:44)
In this short video Jessi and Squeaks share all kinds of great groundhog information. If you want to know where groundhogs live, what they eat, and how they make it through the winter, watch this video.
Groundhogs for Kids | Groundhog Day | Wild Animals (6:09)
This video from Socratica Kids gives us lots of info on groundhogs and Groundhog Day. And some tongue twister practice. Remember a groundhog is also a woodchuck. So, how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
This video from Homeschool Pop has lots of adorable groundhogs in it. It also gives us a brief history of Groundhog Day.
Make a Prediction and Graph It
It’s fun to predict the weather, even if you’re not a groundhog or a meteorologist. Before Groundhog Day, have your students predict whether or not the groundhog will see its shadow. Remind them that scientists make predictions based on what they know and what they think will happen. And it’s okay to be wrong. Make a class graph to record their predictions. Graphs are fun and a great opportunity for your kids to count, compare, and analyze data.
Check for Shadows on Groundhog Day
On Groundhog Day, have the class check to see if it is sunny, not only where you are, but also in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. It’s fun to watch the famous Punxsutawney Phil make his prediction. For Phil’s prediction visit groundhog.org. They usually have a video you can watch as they wake up Phil and ask for his prediction. Closer to home, I have a great groundhog puppet I take outside with my kids. I also have them make their own groundhog paper bag puppets, so they can also look for shadows. If it is a sunny day, take the groundhogs out several times during the day and see how their shadows change.
Document the Event by Writing and Drawing
Students can draw a picture illustrating what happened when the groundhog went outside. Add a sentence or two and they have a record of the event. They can also write a fictional story about the groundhog or a nonfiction piece filled with fun facts they have learned throughout the day about the groundhog.
One of my favorite Groundhog Day writing activities is having my students write a poem about the groundhog. We start by generating lots of adjectives that describe the little woodchuck. We also come up with some fun verbs. I use this word list and model how to write a poem. Next, I erase my poem and together we write a class poem. I leave this up. Finally, I encourage my students to write their own groundhog poem, using our word list. If they are unable to write their own poem, they can copy the class poem. (These poems do not rhyme.)
Make Groundhogs a Part of Every Subject
Add a splatter of fun groundhog math worksheets, along with a cute little easy reader for your kids to enjoy and you have yourself a day worthy of the great prognosticator himself. 4 Kinder Teachers has an adorable Groundhog Day product full of everything printable you could need. You will find it at our TPT store. Happy Groundhog Day!
More Helpful Articles from 4 Kinder Teachers
We hope you found Great Groundhog Activities for Kindergarten helpful! If you are looking for some great activities to do with your kindergartners in the winter, read our blog, Winter Activities for Kids. And don’t miss our Mardi Gras for Kids blog.
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