Groundhog Day is about as quirky as a celebration can get. It’s not quite a holiday, and it’s definitely not science. But it sure is a great opportunity to learn and have some fun! I’d like to share some ideas for integrating Groundhog Day activities into your own curriculum to save you time and maximize your students’ learning!
Unscientific as the legends about the day are, Groundhog Day has at least two points that might connect to your science curriculum.
- Weather: If you’re studying or have already studied weather in science, Groundhog Day is a good time to review vocabulary about weather and seasons, like temperature, thermometer, forecast, predict, and meteorologist. Weave these words into your day. Ask questions like, “What do you think a meteorologist might say about the groundhog’s prediction?” When you’re reading a book about Groundhog Day to your class, have students point out the weather-related words. Then use shared writing to record them on a chart. Just look at all those standards you just hit!
- Shadows: Talk about what shadows are and how they change in length over the course of the day. A word of advice: you might not want to do what I did one year long ago. I worked with my first graders to create charts to observe and record how the length of a shadow changes over the course of several hours. We went outside four times during the day (crazy!!) They each worked with a partner to draw the length of their shadows on the sidewalk, using a different color chalk each time. It was a very engaging way to work on measurement and recording data. Even though my class was very small that year, I really didn’t think through how long the coats on / coats off routine was going to take each time, or how very excited this activity was going to get them. I really think that they did learn a lot. They definitely got up and moving, and they got some extra fresh air. But, needless to say, I was exhausted at the end of that day!
So, what about literacy? Well, of course, you’ll be sharing some great read-alouds for Groundhog Day. Here are a few more ideas.
- How about a little discussion about real vs. fantasy? Try this one minute informational video from The Science Museum of Virginia to enrich your discussion.
- Here’s a free phonics activity to add to your literacy centers for Groundhog Day. Click here to see Grouchy Groundhog, a fun and free game to practice words that start with dr-, gr-, and tr- blends.
And then there’s math. Here are eight free math elimination riddle cards, a great way to develop your students’ higher order thinking skills. Use them for a special math lesson on Groundhog Day (great for spiral review!), or print them for a math center activity to use all week!
Have a fun day learning on February 2nd!
Linda at Primary Inspiration Blog