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February 08, 2009

Did you see your shadow today?

Groundhog’s Day is one of my favorite holidays.  There isn’t much to it, I suppose, but it has been celebrated at my house for as long as I can remember.  I love celebrating February 2nd at school.  It is a great study in the changing seasons, shadows and hibernation!


Throughout the day, we do a lot of activities.  When the students arrive at school, they answer the question of the day, “Did you see your shadow today?”  We learned from a few families that shadow is “sombra” in Spanish.  During our group time we read a story about a groundhog that can’t get to sleep.  We discussed animals that hibernate.  The story has great predictable text that encourages students to decide whether or not the groundhog should be awake during various months of the year.  We also made groundhog headbands and used them to make shadows on our wall.  With a desk lamp we create the “sun” and our little groundhogs make shadows of various shapes and sizes.  To end our day we learn a song and fingerplay to help us remember what we have learned about groundhogs.  It goes like this:



                                                            I’m a little groundhog small and round,

                                                            I sleep in a burrow deep in the ground.

                                                            I look to find my shadow on Groundhog’s Day

                                                            To see if Spring is on its way!


Try it next year!  It is one of those, “just because” kind of holidays.  Not only is it fun and interesting, it incorporates many early childhood concepts. 


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