Today is the traditional Groundhog Day that arrives every year on February 2nd. It began as a European tradition that was brought to the United States in the 1880’s. It has been celebrated every year since then! How is the weather in your area today? It is sunny or cloudy? Will spring come early or late? Now, let’s do some math magic with a calendar. Whether we have six more weeks of winter or six more weeks until spring, what month of the year and what day of the week is spring predicted to arrive?
Oak Meadow’s second grade science coursework (with the focus on animal characteristics) suggests making a card game to teach children about familiar animals. On one side of the card, the student writes a question about a particular animal’s character qualities. The name of the animal is written and illustrated on the other side of the card. Since the groundhog is not included in the science lesson’s list of animals, a new card could be added for the groundhog with questions such as: What animal is also known as the land-beaver, marmot, whistle-pig or woodchuck? – or – What mammal hibernates in the winter and is famously known as the prognosticator or weather forecaster?
To learn more about the history of this furry rodent, Canada.com offers a wealth of information in their article and video on “Roots of Groundhog Day Cast a Shadow Back to Medieval Europe“. Puxatawny Phil in Pennsylvania is the main weather forecaster in the United States. Canadians celebrate Groundhog Day with their special furry friend named Wiarton Willie, who is featured in a delightful National Geographic Kids production video on “Kids Love Groundhog Day“. For all you book lovers, “Family Education” suggests a selection of “8 Groundhog Day Books Kids Will Adore“.
Happy Groundhog Day!