February 2 is Groundhog Day! One of these days I want to go to Gobbler’s Knob in Punxatawney to hear the grand seer of seers make his prediction. But until then I will have to make do with our own celebrations in the classroom!
Why do we celebrate Groundhog Day?
Long ago, early Europeans believed that hedgehogs could foretell weather in the middle of winter. Later Christians chose February 2 as ‘Candlemas Day’ to bless all the candles in church in the darkness of winter. But when the first settlers came to America, there were no hedgehogs. The groundhog, already respected as a wise and sensible animal by Native Americans, was used instead! Today, people still watch to see if the groundhog can see his shadow or not, and tell if winter will continue.
If Candlemas Day be fair and bright,
Winter will take another flight
(If the groundhog sees his shadow on a sunny day, winter will return for six more weeks)
If Candlemas Day be clouds and rain,
Winter will not return again
(If the groundhog cannot see his shadow on a cloudy day, spring will come early)
Every year I had students make their own groundhogs with their predictions. Then we would display these cute crafts with a graph of whether we thought spring would come early.
This easy reader gives just the right amount of background information for your emergent readers, and allows them to make their own predictions, as well as record the groundhog’s findings.
To be honest, the groundhog has had a pretty poor track record of predicting the coming of spring, but it’s still a great opportunity for our students to do some reading, writing and predicting of their own! Here’s a link to the the groundhog resources in my TpT store.
Happy Groundhog day!