Groundhog Day Activities

Groundhog Day Activities

Check out these five Groundhog Day activities. Students will enjoy learning why we celebrate this holiday. The cookie recipe is not only delicious but cute. Be sure to download the free printables as well.

5 Groundhog Day Activities

Get the handout with all activities including the link to the Google Slides by clicking on the button.


Activity #1 – The History of Groundhog Day

Tradition says that if a groundhog comes out of its hole on February 2 and sees its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather. If there is no shadow, early spring is predicted.

While the first Groundhog Day was celebrated in 1887 at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, its roots go back much farther. In Europe, one ancient Christian holiday was Candlemas Day. On this day, a clergyman would bless and distribute candles needed for winter. The candles were symbolic of how long and cold the winter would be.

The History of Groundhog Day

This English song explains the rules of Candlemas:

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come, winter, have another flight.
If Candlemas brings cold and rain,
Go, winter, and come not again.

Germans used a similar song:

If Candlemas brings wind and snow,
Then spring will very soon show.
But if it’s clear and bright,
Then spring won’t come so right.

Germans expanded on this tradition by selecting a hedgehog as a means of predicting the weather. The hedgehog was awakened from hibernation on February 2 to see if it would see its shadow.

In the early 1840s, many German immigrants moved to Pennsylvania. They wanted to keep to their traditions, but hedgehogs were not native to the area. Instead, they chose a groundhog for the honor. The groundhog was dubbed with the name “Punxsutawney Phil.”

Punxsutawney Phil has been predicting the weather for 120 years. Because nine years records were not kept, he has predicted 99 forecasts of more winter and 15 for an early spring. His predictions have a 39% accuracy rate. According to detailed records kept by the National Climatic Data Center, Punxsutawney Phil has correctly predicted the weather only five times out of the twenty-six years analyzed.

Activity #2 – Compare and Contrast the Article to the Book

Compare and Contrast Two Texts about Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day! by Gail Gibbons was enough similarities and differences from the article for a good compare and contrast activity. Guiding questions on the handout will help students discover these. If you don’t have access to the book, several YouTube versions of the story are available.


Activity #3 – Historical Data from the NOAA Website

Groundhog Day Statistics

Check out 26 years of analyzed data from the National Centers for Environmental Information to see just how accurate Punxsutawney Phil really is.

Activity #4 – Groundhog Cookies

Groundhog Day Cookies

Make these groundhog cookies with tootsie rolls. This website has an easy-to-follow tutorial explaining how to assemble these adorable cookies.

Activity #5 – The Lifecycle of the Groundhog

Student learn about poetry using the lyrics to Suzy Snowflake

After students have read the book Groundhog Day! by Gail Gibbons, they will be ready to complete this activity. Students write details on the printable version or move text boxes on the digital version to explain the life cycle of a groundhog.


This is a video your students are sure to love. It contains a lot of good information about groundhogs as well as facts about Groundhog Day.

Groundhog Day Activities

If you missed the link above, here it is again.


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1 comment

    • All Clean on May 20, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    I like this web blog so much, saved to bookmarks.

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