Groundhog Day is celebrated each February 2 throughout the United States and Canada, and is a fun example of a folk legend weather prediction. Check out this Homeschool Living for activities, crafts, and resources to use in teaching Groundhog Day and exploring other weather-prediction folklore in your homeschool.
Groundhog Day Resources & Lessons
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.
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. You can also find activities and lesson ideas for a variety of ages, including having students research interesting groundhog characteristics, draw diagrams of the “perfect” groundhog home, and more. Add some festive flair to everyday subjects with Groundhog Day-themed math and logic story problems, poems and songs, and even a fun recipe for groundhog cookies.
Weather Prediction Folklore
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.
Explore these ten ways animals are supposedly able to predict the weather at How Stuff Works.
Here are some other 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.