The first Groundhog Day dates back to February 2, 1887, and honors a rodent meteorologist named Punxsutawney Phil. We all brace ourselves, hoping that Phil will not see his shadow and run back into his burrow. Especially for our friends in the North! Shadow = winter, or so Phil forecasts. It’s a fun tradition and come Tuesday, we will have another fun literary source to help us celebrate.
As the animals work their way through possible solutions, Groundhog emerges to see his shadow. This is where the story launches into an inquiry-based learning sequence that models many activities for preschool-2nd grade students. Alongside Moose, children can explore how to make shadows dance. They’ll enjoy exploring Bunny’s silhouette drawing segment, Squirrel’s cloud study, and Porcupine’s shadow puppets. With the four-holiday mash-up, students might also internalize a unique sense of time by creating a holiday timeline for each season.
The story addresses the whole child by highlighting social disagreements between friends, the value of listening to all ideas, and communicating to solve problems. Speaking to so many different areas of child development, this story ranks high on the useful meter.