3 Ways to Celebrate Groundhog’s Day in your Classroom

Recognizing Groundhog's Day with FREE activities for grades 4 5 6 upper elementary classroom
Are you looking for ideas to celebrate Groundhog’s Day in your classroom while following state standards? No longer feel like you cannot infuse holiday fun in your classroom by using these three Groundhog’s Day ideas in your classroom. 


Three Groundhog’s Day ideas to incorporate into your curriculum:


Groundhog’s at Hoghaven

This is a free site for students to tour to see what groundhogs look like and where they live. In addition, they have access to several videos that will give them information about groundhogs, the holiday, how and where they live underground. After students scour this site, they can learn about groundhog facts and then feed Thor, the instructor on groundhogs, his favorite treat, a hotdog!  
I like this site and would use it in my classroom to give students more information about groundhogs and the holiday. Students love to learn information independently, and working in collaborative groups will help them learn from one another, so the information sticks. 

         How does this fit into your curriculum?

Students are using 21st Century technology skills through accessing the internet to locate information about a specific topic.

Having students locate information from the text will check off CCSS RI 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, and 5.6 because they would be quoting from the text and drawing inferences, determining the main idea of the text, explaining the relationship between the groundhog, other animals and their interaction with the land, determine the meaning of general and academic words, and analyze the similarities and differences in point of view based on the different web links. 

In addition, this activity can also help you check off NGSS by learning about the groundhog. Knowing the animal’s habits will lead you to NGSS 3-LS 4-3

         This site seems to be THE PLACE to go for all things Groundhog’s Day. In addition to all the happenings revolving around this holiday, there is an area on the site specifically for teachers. The activities that are included range from:
  • pre-school to high school and include
  • reading,
  • social studies,
  • math, and
  • English-language arts ideas.

The materials are print and go, and the ideas are limitless. Some ideas that I have:

  •          Use the vocabulary terms and definitions. Then, upload them to Quizlet (F-R-E-E) and have students play the assorted games on there to become familiar with the words. This will increase vocabulary skills, and most of the work is already completed for you, so you have very little prep to do!
  •        Shadows: This activity can allow you to bring science into your classroom. Students can go outside or use materials like flashlights and paper to make various shadows. Have them measure the length of the shadow and research what makes shadows have different lengths.  
  •      Number Plot: Students can get into the Groundhog’s Day spirit by making a graph of GH Day and coloring it in. This would then make for a great bulletin board display. 

   How does this fit into your curriculum?

    Depending on your curriculum, each of these activities very easily meets the CCSS or NGSS standards. Learning content specific vocabulary is a skill that is needed to help students gain background knowledge on different topics. 

    Science curriculums throughout the United States teach different topics at different times, but learning about shadows would be part of an earth science or measurement curriculum as you are talking about animals, earth, the sun, and the sun’s angle to create a shadow. 

    While the Groundhog’s Day website claims the number plot is a high school activity, any students studying graphing in the upper elementary or middle school could quickly complete this activity. In addition, this would reinforce coordinate graphing skills.

Three FREE groundhogs day activities to use with grade 4 5 6 students



   Allow students to use teacher approved links to learn about the ins and outs of this holiday. This activity will have students access different sites to learn about the following:

  • hibernation habits of animals,
  • what a groundhog is,
  • its lifestyle and habits,
  • the origin and traditions of this winter holiday and
  • use the information to decide whether this holiday is a fact or legend. 


   I love activities like this because students can work collaboratively in stations or 1:1 depending on the technology available in your classroom. Either way, students are navigating websites and reading to explore information. When students complete tasks in this manner, they do a better job than when the information is presented to them.

How does this fit into your curriculum?  

   Like the other activities, this lesson incorporates and strengthens 21st Century technology skills. Students use the internet to find information, write or type information, and compare and contrast different sources

   In addition to meeting technology skills, it also integrates critical nonfiction reading and writing skills aligned to CCSS. For example, reading different sources to decide whether they believe it to be fact or fiction is an essential lifelong skill. (It specifically aligns to CCSS RI 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, and 5.6 – if you need to know for lesson planning purposes). 

   Also, it can help you begin to talk about NGSS 3-LS 4-3 as students are studying the life and habits of the groundhog. 

Connecting the holidays into your curriculum shouldn’t be painful. In addition to the motivation and engagement from the students, recognizing the holidays can also allow students to remember when the holidays occur.


Still short on time? Have students complete a crossword puzzle. These activities are great for fast finishers and help to strengthen critical thinking skills. Who knows what kind of classroom conversations can be sparked from even simple activities like this. 

three groundhogs day ideas to use in the grade 4 5 6 classroom

Do you celebrate the winter holidays in your classroom? Let me know in the comments below. 

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