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Groundhog Day 2011: It’s an early spring!



The world's most famous groundhog predicted an early spring today! Punxsutawney Phil emerged just after dawn on Groundhog Day to make his 125th annual weather forecast. Groundhog Day is an annual holiday that has been celebrated in the United States and Canada since the 18th century. According to folklore, if the groundhog sees its shadow on Groundhog Day, it will scurry back inside its burrow and winter will continue for at least six more weeks. If the groundhog does not see his shadow, the next six weeks will be milder and spring will arrive soon. Here's a fun circle-time activity for teaching children about Groundhog Day from Everything for Winter: A Complete Activity Book for Teachers of Young Children.

Words to Use

  • groundhog
  • hole
  • ground
  • cloudy
  • sunny

Materials

none

What to Do

1.  Choose one child to be the groundhog.

2.  She rolls herself into a ball and pretends to be inside a hole in the ground.

3.  Recite this poem by Jackie Silberg with the children.

Groundhog, groundhog, come on out and play.

It's a beautiful, beautiful February day.

The sun is shining and the ski is blue.

Won't you come on out? We want to play with you.

4. The groundhog slowly comes out of the hole and looks around.

5. She sees her shadow and says, "Oh dear, there will be six more weeks of winter."

6. Then the gorundhog goes back insider her hole.

7. Recite this poem by Jackie Silberg with the children.

Groundhog, groundhog, come on out and play.

It's a gloomy, gloomy February day.

The air feels chilly and the sky is gray.

Won't you come on out? We want to play today.

8. This time the groundhog comes out and says, "Okay, let's play. I don't see my shadow."



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