Groundhog Day – Classroom Learning made fun!

Groundhog Day

Every February 2, thousands gather at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to await the spring forecast from a special groundhog. Known as Punxsutawney Phil, this groundhog will emerge from his simulated tree trunk home and look for his shadow, which will help him make his much-anticipated forecast. According to legend, if Phil sees his shadow the United States is in store for six more weeks of winter weather. But, if Phil doesn’t see his shadow, the country should expect warmer temperatures and the arrival of an early spring.

History of Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day originates from an ancient celebration of the midway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox—the day right in the middle of astronomical winter. According to superstition, sunny skies that day signify a stormy and cold second half of winter while cloudy skies indicate the arrival of warm weather.

The trail of Phil’s history leads back to Clymer H. Freas, city editor of the Punxsutawney Spirit newspaper. Inspired by a group of local groundhog hunters—whom he would dub the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club—Freas declared Phil as America’s official forecasting groundhog in 1887. As he continued to embellish the groundhog’s story year after year, other newspapers picked it up, and soon everyone looked to Punxsutawney Phil for the prediction of when spring would return to the country.

Other Groundhogs Around the United States

While Punxsutawney Phil claims to be the nation’s official forecasting groundhog, he’s not the only furry forecaster in the United States. Some other notable contenders include General Beauregard Lee of Atlanta, GeorgiaSir Walter Wally of Raleigh, North Carolina; and Jimmy of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.

There are even more groundhog forecasters in the running such as Octorara Orphie of Quarryville, Pennsylvania—competition right next door to Phil—Staten Island Chuck from the Staten Island Zoo, Unadilla who hails from Nebraska, Buckeye Chuck from Ohio, French Creek from West Virginia, and the Cajun Groundhog from Louisiana. Ridge Lea Larry is a “stuffed groundhog” from Western New York, and the Tennessee Groundhog of Silver Point, Tennessee, is actually someone dressed up like a groundhog on a motorcycle.

While Groundhog Day is a way to have a little fun at mid-winter, climate records and statistics tell us that winter probably isn’t over. Climatologically speaking, the three coldest months of the year are December, January, and February, so winter typically still has a bit to go when the groundhog comes out in search of his shadow on February 2.

Fun Units for Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day Unit for 1st-2nd grades (Download Club Subscribers)

This unit contains 21 student worksheets for students. Skills and activities include: Handwriting (Tracing and Copy work) both manuscript and cursive. Vocabulary, Syllable work, Reading comprehension, Critical thinking, Writing starters and themed writing pages, Predictions and Graphing, Parts of a groundhog poster, Word Search, Puppet template

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Groundhog Day Reader (Download Club Subscribers)

Students will love creating their own reader about Groundhog Day! Includes vocabulary in the reader and 3 worksheets that go along with the reader.

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Groundhog Shape Book (Download Club Subscribers)

Includes 3 possible cover pages and writing pages for 3 levels.

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About CHSH & Creations by L Ackert

Creations by LAckert / The Christian Home School Hub was founded by Lynda Ackert, a veteran public school teacher and a homeschooling mom. Finding quality teaching materials can be expensive and that’s why Lynda started the Hub’s DOWNLOAD CLUB. The Download Club offers over 50,000 downloadable pages of educational material and subscribing members have access all downloads. Annual & Lifetime subscriptions are available. To visit the Hub, go to http://www.christianhomeschoolhub.com/. To learn more about the Hub’s Download Club (or) to sign up, go to: http://christianhomeschoolhub.spruz.com/?page=base&cmd=signup. Want to purchase individual units created by Hub founder Lynda Ackert (Creations by LAckert)? You can go to her store on TeachersPayTeachers @ www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Creations-By-Lackert.
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