Happy Groundhog Day!

Groundhog Day has been celebrated in the United States since the 1800s, when Pennsylvanians modified the centuries-old German tradition of observing the hedgehog's post-hibernation behavior in order to predict upcoming weather.

Punxsutawney Phil does not have an excellent record of accuracy after hundreds of years of predicting late-winter weather, but the tradition lives on, even in an era of modern meteorology, because we'll take any sign that warm weather is on its way.
Groundhog Day 2013 - CNN
This anachronistic holiday provides a perfect opportunity to discuss weather and folklore and to compare the way the tradition has been carried out in various cultures.  And of course, it's a great chance for a story time.

Visit the website for The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club in order to discover details about the history of the American tradition. 

Students can learn about other weather traditions by visiting Weather WizKids to find bunches of traditional weather folklore sayings.  Kids will also have fun with SciJinks' interactive weather folklore feature, which displays worldwide weather folklore.
Also check out the Weather Folklore and Weather Poems puzzles that are available to print and solve at The Science Spot Weather Lessons page.

Next, share some fun and interesting Groundhog Day stories. 
 I like to begin with Michelle Aki Becker's short, non-fiction book, Groundhog Day, which succinctly defines the details of the day.
After this factual story, share a few fun fiction stories like Punxsutawney Phyllis by Susanna Leonard Hill.
In this book, Phyllis the groundhog hopes to inherit the role of Punxsutawney Phil from her uncle and become the first girl groundhog to fill the position.  Get even more Groundhog Day story time and craft ideas from last year.

After the read-aloud let students play this Groundhog Day matching game from Speech Room News in order to help them memorize the details of the tradition.

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