Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Resources For Groundhog Day

Image from http://www.groundhog.org/ 
No, really - why would I make that up?
Recently I was asked by a former co-worker from another District (who shall remain nameless, for what I hope are obvious reasons):
"Hey Matt!  Know any place where I might find some great lesson plan ideas about Groundhog Day?"
Groundhog Day?  Really? 

It’s a day about a rodent, right? 

…kind of a big rodent, mind you, but a rodent nonetheless.

First I though I might suggest he show a few clips from the Bill Murray/Andi MacDowell movie of the same name, but then I thought, “No, I don't want to be responsible for exposing another generation to that.” Undaunted, I set out to find a more educationally-appropriate response to this seemingly simple question.

And hey, wouldn’t you know? There’s an official website of the Punxsutawney Phil Groundhog Club.  Please note: It’s the OFFICIAL web site!  Beware of imitations…

Anyway, visitors can find lesson plans & activity ideas, including teaching students the lyrics to groundhog-themed songs, like I'm Dreaming of the Great Groundhog, and Groundhog Wonderland.  (I was shocked, however, that there was no redux of The Captain & Tennille's Muskrat Love.  I mean, is that connection not obvious?)  Kids can also learn groundhog-themed games, like Groundhog Bingo and something called "Toss the Hog."  You could then end your day crafting Groundhog Poetry, sharing a Groundhog Video, or completing some paper & pencil activities while enjoying Groundhog Cookies!  (Oh my, you can even buy a groundhog-shaped cookie cutter.)

Mmmmm.... I can't remember the last time I enjoyed Groundhog Cookies. 

Honestly...  I really can't.

And DID YOU KNOW:  According to THIS ARTICLE, Willard Scott of NBC’s Today Show fame is coming to the nearby Wildlife Prairie State Park to do his own version of the traditional "holiday" celebration.  I can imagine the field trip requests that will be flooding local administrators' offices now... sheesh...

Hmmm…  who would be your prognosticator-of-choice… ?
Image from www.groundhog.org
Bet they're glad they snapped up that URL before it got away

Image from http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/3684316/
Well, anyway, the pearl gleaned from the rest of my searching was found amongst one of my usual haunts, Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day.  Now, there certainly are a lot of other resources out there, but this is one of the most comprehensive listing I found all in one place.  Here you’ll find actual lesson plans and links to interactive web sites and such that will enrich your educationally appropriate classroom activities about this day…

… devoted to a rodent…

… a really BIG …

… rodent…


The Best Resources For Groundhog Day | Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...


  1. I have been reminded that the band America originally recorded Muskrat Love. The Captain and Tennille covered it and hit it big - somehow - with it. My appologies for this oversight.

    ...ya gotta be kiddin' me...


    We've just learned that, due to the impending blizzard we're expecting today & tomorrow, the nearby Groundhog Day celebration has been moved from Wildlife Prairie Park to Peoria's WEEK/HOI Studios back-40. (That's a central Illinois hickinism. It's probably in their parking lot or something.)

    Yes, it is reported that Mr. Scott will still host. There's video of them moving the Gertie the Groundhog's ceremonial dwelling to it's new location. It looks like an outhouse. Priceless.

    News Story & Video: http://www.centralillinoisnewscenter.com/news/video/Groundhog-Day-Plans-are-Changing-114946234.html

    Wildlife Prairie State Park:

  3. UPDATE! Gertie and Willard have pronounced a early Spring! Hard to believe when I spent several hours today digging through 4-foot snow drifts. I certainly hope they're right!

    For more on the Groundhog Gurus, watch:


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