Groundhog Day Ideas



Groundhog Day is one of those holidays that totally sneaks up on you. By the time you turn the calendar to February...BAM...it's already here. Over the next two days, I'll be blogging about books and ideas to help you plan ahead to celebrate the little guy (and more importantly, the start of spring). Today's post features some fiction books that I enjoy reading to my students and my own kids at home. Tomorrow I'll share the informational texts that I use.


Go To Sleep, Groundhog! by Judy Cox features a furry little fellow who has a hard time falling asleep. Despite hitting the sack on Columbus Day as usual, he tosses and turns. Ultimately he creeps out of his burrow and comes to realize he's been missing lots of holidays by sleeping. He meets characters such as a Halloween Witch, a Thanksgiving Turkey and Santa. This is a fun book for reinforcing calendar concepts with little learners.


Mr. Groundhog Wants the Day Off is about a groundhog who needs a break. He's tired of being blamed for 6 more weeks of winter and tries to get others to do his job. This book is a great springboard for a writing project about a job/responsibility that your students would like to give away. Since the characters in the story point out the reasons why the groundhog is good at his job, it also lends itself to writing about a chore they are good at.

Along those same lines, Substitute Groundhog tells the tale of a groundhog who is feeling under the weather and interviews other animals to fill in for him. This book pairs nicely with having the students write about an animal they think would make a good substitute for the groundhog.




Ten Grouchy Groundhogs is a cute story about grouchy, grubby, gobbling, gabby, giggly, groovy, graceful, glitzy, gleeful, groggy groundhogs getting ready for their great big day. This book easily lends itself to math extensions for young students, but I think it's a fun one to reinforce adjectives. Challenge your students to think of even more adjectives that start with the letter G or have them each pick a different animal and brainstorm adjectives that begin with that letter as well. While this book was written for younger learners, it's a fun one to read to intermediate students as well. You can do the same activity, but with a lesson on alliteration and dictionary skills by having them use a dictionary to find even more adjectives that start with that letter. 

AND MY PERSONAL FAVORITE...Groundhog Weather School by Joan Holus. While most groundhog books are geared towards the little folks, this one is a great read for my third graders. It's funny and engaging and chock full of facts. The style of the writing and pictures really appeals to them and they gather details to use in their groundhog animal research writing as well. If you aren't familiar with this book I highly suggest you snag a copy to share with your students.


Animal Research: Templates to Guide Student Writing When Researching Any Animal is a 55 page packet that includes everything you need to have your students write an animal research report. It includes pages for brainstorming animals to research, task cards, graphic organizers, primary and intermediate-ruled draft pages and pages for publishing the final product. This is such a motivating assignment for students. I complete one with my class and then it quickly becomes a favorite choice activity for independent work.

Groundhog Day: A Writing Resource Differentiated for K-5 includes 15 printable pages of thematic materials to use in your K-5 classrooms. The packet is open-ended so that you can use it with any of the writing ideas that I listed above or your own ideas as well. There are 4 full-color printables to be used as class book covers or as titles on your bulletin boards when displaying the student writing. I carefully design each of my writing kits to include differentiated versions of my webs, draft paper and final copy pages to make it easy for you to modify within your current class and to be timeless enough to use if you change grade levels.

The Groundhog Day packet is also included in my money-saving February and March 6 Packet Writing Bundle along with writing packets for: President's Day, Teeth, Dr. Seuss, St. Patrick's Day and  Valentine's Day.



For additional Groundhog Day ideas and resources to use in your classroom, please check out my...

Groundhog Day Pinterest Board which features crafts, cooking and more 

Blog Posts about Shadows 

and my Groundhog Day Non-Fiction Book Blog Post {tomorrow}


Yesterday I shared some writing ideas and a few of my favorite fiction books about Groundhog Day. Today I'm continuing with my "Get Ready for Groundhog Day series" by showcasing some great non-fiction reads that you may want to share with your class.


 Groundhog Day (Rookie Read-About Holidays) is a simple book, but has some decent pictures and facts. It's best suited for grades 1-2, but my 3rd graders were able to pull some facts from it for their research writing.


The Groundhog Day Book of Facts and Fun contains a lot of great information and is presented in a way that is easy for the kids to understand and holds their interest. It not only 
discusses Groundhog Day, but also explains the seasons and why they change.


Groundhog at Evergreen Road - a Smithsonian's Backyard Book is an informational text that is part of the Smithsonian Backyard Series. This book is especially good if you are researching groundhogs because it focuses on their predators.


Animal Research: Templates to Guide Student Writing When Researching Any Animal is a 55 page packet that includes everything you need to have your students write an animal research report. It includes pages for brainstorming animals to research, task cards, graphic organizers, primary and intermediate-ruled draft pages and pages for publishing the final product. This is such a motivating assignment for students. I complete one with my class and then it quickly becomes a favorite choice activity for independent work.

Groundhog Day: A Writing Resource Differentiated for K-5 includes 15 printable pages of thematic materials to use in your K-5 classrooms. The packet is open-ended so that you can use it with any of the writing ideas that I listed above or your own ideas as well. There are 4 full-color printables to be used as class book covers or as titles on your bulletin boards when displaying the student writing. I carefully design each of my writing kits to include differentiated versions of my webs, draft paper and final copy pages to make it easy for you to modify within your current class and to be timeless enough to use if you change grade levels.

The Groundhog Day packet is also included in my money-saving February and March 6 Packet Writing Bundle along with writing packets for: President's Day, Teeth, Dr. Seuss, St. Patrick's Day and  Valentine's Day.








I had a chance to use my Groundhog Day Writing Packet both at home and at school recently.

Last week I had my students write a persuasive paragraph on why spring was better than winter (or winter was better than spring).

We began by reading about the history of Groundhog Day and discussed what it meant if he saw his shadow.
As a class we created a Venn Diagram comparing winter and spring and then they created their own version using the brainstorm page.


Next, I modeled a top-down web using my reasons for preferring spring.

They completed their webs and then composed a draft. The publish pieces came out insanely cute. I didn't get a chance to snap a picture of them before I left. I had originally planned a different craft, but inspiration struck as I stumbled upon a stack of headshots I had taken of my friends.
This product is available a la carte or as part of my February / March Writing Packet Bundle

I held each head/shoulder up to black construction paper and cut out the shape of just their head and shoulders so that I had their photo and a black piece of paper that was the same size and shape. They drew a "hole" on their papers, glued their picture down, placed the black shape in front like a shadow and illustrated a background to represent their season. When all was said and done it looked like they were popping out of a little hole and seeing their shadow. Cute!

My first grade son announced he wanted to learn how to tell time on an analog clock last night. For the record, he didn't actually use the word analog. Go figure.

Inspired by his enthusiasm and the groundhog I integrated some science, math and literacy at home. We spent the day measuring his shadow and recording the time and length. It was such fun to see how it changed shape, size and direction. We made predictions as the day went on. He's so much fun to teach.

I printed off a copy of the page with the primary-ruled paper and he used it to reflect on our experiment in writing.

In my Groundhog Day Writing Packet I list a few ideas for writing prompts / topics. You could use the pages from mu packet to write...
  • a nonfiction piece about groundhogs
  • explain the history of Groundhog Day
  • write a descriptive paragraph about a groundhog
  • write about a place that the student and their shadow have been
  • If I lived underground...
  • and so much more


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