by Megan Bittner
Groundhog Day is celebrated each February 2 throughout the United States and Canada, and makes a fun homeschool unit study for folk legend weather prediction. Here are great activities, crafts, and resources to use in teaching Groundhog Day and exploring other weather-prediction folklore.
If you want to see Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction for yourself–but a road trip to Pennsylvania doesn’t fit into your schedule!–view the live stream here. The stream will begin at about 6 a.m. on February 2.
This free printable Groundhog Day shadow matching game includes instructions for a variety of ways to play and adapt the game for different age levels.
Groundhog Day is an excellent time to experiment and learn about shadows. These shadow play ideas from the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club are great for individual students or groups.
Some other Groundhog Day activities from the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club include having students research interesting groundhog characteristics, draw diagrams of the “perfect” groundhog home, and more.
These groundhog cookies will add a sweet treat to your Groundhog Day celebration, and the baking of them can double as a home economics lesson.
This cute groundhog paper craft from DLTK’s Growing Together frames a groundhog day project such as a poem, story, research report, or graphing project.
These pop-up groundhog puppets from Enchanted Learning are simple to create and make an excellent prop for a shadow play lesson.
These adorable groundhog masks from I Heart Crafty Things are an easy project for younger kids, especially ones who like to play dress-up!
This story of the origins of Groundhog Day is easy for students to read and includes some follow-up review questions.
These Groundhog Day-themed math and logic story problems will add some festive flair to an everyday lesson.
These preschool printables from Totschooling include matching, graphing, and pencil control activities, along with letter identification coloring sheets.
This Groundhog Day graphing project from KidZone includes activities for students in grades one through three.
This video from SciShow Kids includes fun facts about groundhogs.
Groundhog Weather School: Fun Facts About Weather and Groundhogs by Joan Holub presents groundhog facts in an entertaining fictional story about groundhogs learning to predict the weather.
Grumpy Groundhog by Maureen Wright is a cute story for little ones about a groundhog that just isn’t ready to leave his burrow.
Groundhog Day! by Gail Gibbons features beautiful illustrations, as well as information about Groundhog Day, its origins, and the animal at the center of this delightful annual event.
Groundhogs aren’t the only animals or nature indications that are said to predict the weather. Explore the truth behind these common weather predictions and sayings.
This article from We Have Kids explores some ways in which popular folk legends may be used to predict the weather.
This blog post from Momtastic presents a variety of ways to use observations of trends and behaviors in nature to predict the coming weather.
Here are some surprisingly accurate ways to predict weather using the observation of nature.:
Pine cones can predict rain – experiment with this simple pine cone weather station.
“Red sky at night, sailor’s delight” – explore the science behind this age-old saying. It may be more accurate than you think!
Crickets can tell you the temperature – try this cool trick this summer; it’s great for math practice too.
You can tell how far away a storm is by calculating the time between lightning and thunder – LiveScience explains how this calculation works.
Persimmon seeds predict the winter weather – this article from The Washington Post walks you through this experiment.
Looking for more weird weather predictors? Check out these books for more information on weather lore:
A January Fog Will Freeze A Hog, and Other Weather Folklore by Hubert Davis
The Little Book of Weather Lore by Valerie Porter
The Essential Book of Weather Lore by Leslie Alan Horvitz