#CelebratewithDE Groundhog Day

Just like the movie of the same name, Groundhog Day comes around every February 2nd. This year, encourage your students to think about perspective by considering the experience of the groundhog. (You probably don’t want to focus on the science, since doesn’t seem to be a factor in the shadow prediction. Although, you could have some lively research and discussion to see if any students could come up with evidence to the contrary!) And good luck to you, whether you would love six more weeks of winter or are hoping spring will come early! Happy Groundhog Day.


Learn

Give your students some background knowledge about the Groundhog Day tradition with these short video resources.

Five Things to Know about Punxsutawney Phil
Discovery Education Streaming
Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Full Video [01:09]

Each February, we anxiously wait to see if the most famous weather-forecasting groundhog will catch a glimpse of his shadow. But how much do you know about Punxsutawney Phil? Check out these five fun facts.

 

Reuters News: 2018-02-02: Six More Weeks of Winter, the Groundhog Day Forecast (Canadian Version)
Discovery Education Streaming, Math Techbook, Science Techbook, Social Studies Techbook
Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Full Video [00:57]

Punxsutawney Phil, the American groundhog famous for his weather predictions, emerged from his burrow on Friday and saw his shadow…


Imagine

Provide several angles from which to study the famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, with the intention of taking his perspective of the whole affair. Adapt the instructional strategy Visual Walkabout (Canadian Version) to encourage your students to take a gallery walk and look closely at the images, discuss them, and start to imagine Phil’s experience. Consider printing out and posting the descriptions of the images, too.

 
Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania
Discovery Education Streaming
Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, Image

Groundhog handler John Griffiths holds Punxsutawney Phil after he saw his shadow predicting 6 more weeks of winter in 2012.

 

Punxsutawney Phil Makes His Annual Appearance
Discovery Education Streaming
Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, Image

Punxsutawney Phil, the weather forecasting groundhog is presented to the crowd during the annual Groundhog Day event at Gobbler’s Knob in 2004.

 

Punxsutawney Phil Makes Annual Forecast on Groundhog Day
Discovery Education Streaming
Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, Image

Punxsutawney Phil relaxes in his cage after he saw his shadow predicting six more weeks of winter during the 128th annual Groundhog Day festivities.

 

Annual Winter Tradition of Groundhog Day Celebrated in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
Discovery Education Streaming
Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, Image

Groundhog handler John Griffiths holds Punxsutawney Phil after he saw his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter in 2017.

 

Annual Winter Tradition of Groundhog Day Celebrated in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
Discovery Education Streaming, Math Techbook, Science Techbook, Social Studies Techbook
Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Image

Groundhog co-handler Ron Ploucha holds up groundhog Punxsutawney Phil on the 130th Groundhog Day in 2016.


Apply

Once your students have completed their Visual Walkabout (Canadian Version), have them select one image to work with to imagine the holiday from the groundhog’s perspective. They should consider whether the groundhog feels like a rock star, doesn’t understand all the fuss, was just trying to run and errand and got caught up in a strange human celebration, etc. Let students come up with their own possibilities or provide some prompts to help them get started. Use the strategy Step Inside (Canadian Version) from the Spotlight on Strategies series to have students take Phil’s perspective about the holiday. Share some of your best “Phil-isms” on social media using #CelebrateWithDE.


Interested in joining classrooms around the world to Celebrate holidays year round? Check out our Timely Content Page for our Virtual Viewing Parties and more Instructional Strategies.

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