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One of my favorite ways to celebrate holidays in the classroom is reading picture books. And thankfully there are picture books for literally every holiday! Groundhog Day included. I know what you’re thinking, Groundhog Day isn’t really a holiday. But it is! And this can be a great holiday to talk about!
First, let me tell you what I spent about 30 minutes Googling. Is it Groundhog’s Day or Groundhog Day? The consensus- Groundhog Day. I’ve been saying it wrong this whole time…
On to the picture books! I found some amazing ones! I hope you’ll find a way to incorporate them into your lessons.
Phil got a little annoyed with his shadow always being around him. Shadow liked doing things Phil didn’t enjoy. Finally, Phil had enough and told Shadow he wished he’d go away. So that’s what Shadow did. This book could spark some great conversation! Your students could write a short paragraph about having a shadow buddy. Definitely check it out!
Groundhog was sick and Groundhog Day was only one day away! He needed to find a substitute to take his place. So Groundhog started interviewing different animals, but none of them seemed to be the right fit. After many tries, Groundhog finds the perfect substitute. Your class will have fun guessing who the next animal to be interviewed will be. A quick writing activity after could be, “Who would take my place for a day if I were sick?” This is a great read aloud!
Groundhogs like to hibernate in the winter, so when Groundhog Day came, the grumpy groundhog did not want to come out. The whole town was waiting to see if he’d see his shadow or not, but grumpy groundhog wasn’t coming out. This picture book is a great read aloud and my favorite part, it rhymes! The book reads almost like a little song. Your students will love to see what eventually lures the groundhog out of his bed.
Groundhog had a big dilemma. Some of his friends loved having a longer winter and some of his friends didn’t. So when he sees his shadow on February 2, some of his friends cheer and the others groan. Groundhog wants to make them all happy, but he has a hard time telling his friends that he just predicts the weather, he doesn’t control it. This is a great book to talk about friendships and honesty. Read it to see how Groundhog fixes his dilemma.
Groundhog was feeling a bit used. The only thing anyone ever asked him was if he saw his shadow or not. He wanted people to notice him for more than just that. So he went away. The townspeople hurried to find a replacement. Elephant was too big, monkey was too silly, you get the point. No one could replace Groundhog. As Groundhog learned about this, he realized the people thought of him as more than just a weather vane. This is a cute read aloud with larger than life pictures. A great conversation question after reading could be, “What do you wish people noticed more about you?”
Oftentimes, I like to spend a whole week learning about a new holiday. Hopefully this list gives you a good idea of how you can teach about Groundhog Day in your class.
For older students, you could have your class do a comparison of several books. Or assign them to research about Groundhogs for a science activity. I love this WebQuest for upper elementary students.
Check out these books now or save them for later! I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.