Groundhog Day Curriculum
February 2nd is Groundhog Day. The old groundhog comes out to play If he sees no shadow in his way. Then Spring will soon be on its way. (I do this in a darkened room and make a groundhog mask for a child to wear. They take turns and crawl through a tunnel and I have a flashlight so when they come out of the play tunnel they see their shadow.
Trace a ground hog shape out of brown construction paper and have children glue it to a large sheet of blue construction paper. Children can then draw with markers and crayons adding a sun in the sky and drawing a shadow behind the groundhog. Previous to doing this craft, we usually go outside to see our own shadows (If sunny).
I have used this activity with kindergarten children for several years and they love it!
If the sun is shining on Groundhog Day (and there is no snow on the ground) take the children outdoors to a large paved area (we use the end of our parking lot where there is no traffic during the day). Children work with partners. One child “poses” while the partner traces his shadow on the pavement with a piece of sidewalk chalk; then they reverse roles. Some children have trouble with the concept that the line they are following is the edge of the shadow, but once you point this out to them, they do well. Some children also have trouble standing still long enough but they usually will when they see that they will not have a picture if they keep moving. It helps to allow them to experiment with what their shadow can do before you do the drawing activity.
If time and interest allow, the children like to color in the outline of their shadow, draw facial features, clothes, etc. Be sure to have each child write his name by his picture. Remember to have someone trace your shadow too!
Materials need: For Each child — a front side and back side picture of a ground hog; a brown crayon; a popsicle stick; a foam cup; brown paint mixed with a few drops of dish soap so it will stick to foam cup; paint brushes, and glue
Directions: step 1: turn cup upside down; cut out top; paint with brown paint/soap mixture; let dry. step 2: have students cut out ground hog (or teacher cut out); have students color front and back of groundhog; glue ground hog to stick; let dry.