February 2nd is Groundhog Day, a holiday originated in the late 18th century from the custom of early German-speaking Pennsylvanian immigrants.
According to the legend, if Groundhog emerges from his burrow on February 2nd and sees his shadow because it is sunny☀️️ and fearfully retreats back into his burrow to keep hibernating, then Winter🌨 will last six more weeks. If, on the other hand, the weather is cloudy 🌥️ and Groundhog is not scared away by his shadow, but rather remains outside, then Spring 🌸 will come early that year. We read this Groundhog Day book to learn more about the holiday.
To discuss the holiday, I made a pdf describing the legend as well as some fun facts about groundhogs.
FUN FACTS for KIDS:
- Groundhogs are rodents and are the largest animal in the squirrel 🐿️ family.
- Groundhogs live in the Eastern part of 🇺🇸North America.
- They are omnivores ~ meaning they eat both: meet and plants. Their favorite food is, however, plants like grass, berries, and vegetables. But they will also eat grasshoppers, insects, and snails. Groundhogs can swim and are excellent tree climbers, which they climb to get fruit.
- Groundhogs hibernate 💤 from October to late March, meaning they spend their winters sleeping.
- Groundhogs have a littler of 4-9 babies, called a kit or cub, who are born hairless, helpless and blind.
- Groundhogs can live up to 6 years old, escaping predators like foxes, raccoons, coyotes and farm dogs.
I then offered Adrian to compose the word "groundhog" using Montessori Small Wooden Movable Alphabet (buy here). Movable Alphabet is used for "writing" or composing words, as well as for familiarizing with the letters and their sound after learning the letter sounds with the Sandpaper Letters (lower case buy here). Below, Adrian is composing the word "groundhog" from preselected letters.
You may download the pdf I made for your personal use here.
The largest Groundhog Day Celebration is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. To learn the geographic location of Pennsylvania, Adrian is using a wooden USA Map Sound Puzzle (buy here). When a child places the puzzle piece with the name of the state correctly, the puzzle "says" the name of that state's capital. I wish the puzzle came with a control chart, as the smaller states were challenging for Adrian at three years old.
People have been gathering in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania to celebrate Groundhogs Day since the late 1800s. The famous groundhog who predicts the weather is Punxsutawney Phil. He always gives his annual “forecast” on the top of a tiny hill in the town called Gobbler’s Knob. So today, Punxsutawney Phil, on this 2nd Day of February 2017, during the 131st Annual Trek of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, read in his prediction Scroll:
At Gobbler’s Knob on Groundhog Day
We celebrate a world-wide Holiday
It’s mighty cold weather, you’ve been braving
Is it more winter or is it spring that you’re craving?
Since you’ve been up all night and starting to tottle
I, Punxsutawney Phil, shall not dawdle
My faithful followers, I could clearly see
A beautiful, perfect shadow of me
Six more Weeks of 🌬❄️Winter, it shall be! ☃️
We are using this animal figure since Schleich does not make the groundhog.
HAPPY GROUNDHOG DAY!
We shall enjoy six more weeks of Winter 🌬☃️🌨❄️!
p.s. See a live stream of Phil predicting on Feb 2nd 2018 here ~ Six more Weeks of🌬☃️🌨❄️Winter, it shall be!