Will it be an early spring? Explore Groundhog Day with these themed activity worksheets.

What is Groundhogs Day? An American tradition that dates back over 200 years, Groundhog Day is a celebration where Americans gather around in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to watch a groundhog predict the weather for the next six weeks. Even though the day is not a public holiday, it is widely observed throughout the United States of America! Every year on February 2nd, a groundhog is said to forecast the weather by looking for his shadow. If the Sun is out and shining, and the groundhog sees it, it is said to give six more weeks of winter. However, if the weather is cloudy, the forecast is of an early spring. Due to the weather being different in the different parts of the States, may town in Canada and the U.S have their own groundhogs for weather prediction with their own traditions and cultures for the Groundhog Day. How fun is that!

These worksheets contain a number of different activities using a dedicated set of vocabulary words related to the Groundhog Day celebration, including mazes, word search, fill in the blanks, scrambled words, word wall flash cards, acrostic poems, crossword puzzles, and more. Last but not least, a KWHL (know, what, how, learn) diagram is included to help students pick a topic to explore in more depth. Where did this crazy holiday come from anyway? It all stems from Dutch country in Pennsylvania. While the Ground Hog is as right as a coin flip we keep at it. Come on, we all know its fun!

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Print Ground Hogs Day Worksheets

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The Story Worksheet

The Story of Groundhog Day

This day marks the changing of the seasons from winter to spring. It is celebrated every year on February 2nd.

History of Groundhog Day Worksheet

The History

Groundhog Day has its roots in an ancient Christian celebration called Candlemas Day, which marked the midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.

Predictions Worksheet

Predictions

According to legend, when a groundhog emerges from his den on February 2nd and sees his shadow, then winter will last for six more weeks.

Word Search Worksheet

Word Search

Find the related words in the puzzle. Write each word you find on a line.

Crossword Puzzle Worksheet

Crossword Puzzle

Use the clues to complete the puzzle.

Proofreading Worksheet

Editing

Proofread the passage and find the errors.

In the News Worksheet

In the News

Pretend it is 1886 and you are a reporter for the Punxsutawney Spirit. The groundhog has not seen his shadow. Write the story.

Writing Worksheet

Happy Day!

Did he see his shadow? Draw his picture below. One the lines, write a short paragraph about the holiday.

Color and Trace Worksheet

Coloring

Trace the words. Color the picture. If he saw his shadow, draw in the shadow.

I Hope... Worksheet

Writing Page

I hope that...

Fill In Worksheet

Paragraph Fill

Fill in the missing pieces over the course of an entire paragraph.

Shadow Writing Worksheet

His Shadow?

Pretend you are a reporter. Write a news story about what happened when the groundhog came out of his burrow. Then draw a picture to go with it.

Word Ladder Worksheet

Six More Weeks of Winter

Each ladder contains a pair of words. Find the words that connect the two, changing only one letter per step.

Trivia Worksheet

Trivia

The animal that predicted spring before groundhogs took over the job in the U.S.

Reading Worksheet

What's a Groundhog?

This is a reading passage with questions to follow below. They are large rodents, the largest of the species of the squirrel family. They have brown fur, round bodies, bushy tails, and strong legs with sharp claws which they use to dig into the ground.

What's a Groundhog? Questions

Follow Up Questions

What other animals are of the same species?

Visual Crossword Worksheet

Visual Crossword

You know that we had to get boxing day in there.

Word Scramble Worksheet

Word Scramble

Unscramble : drizzle, February, sunshine, shadow, predict, scared, forecast, hibernate, controversial, accuracy, broadcast

Word Search Worksheet

Word Search

Accuracy, Broadcast, Controversial, Drizzle, February, Forecast, Hibernate, Predict, Scared, Shadow, Sunshine

Missing Letters Worksheet

Missing Letters

Complete all the words on that sheet.

Word Chop Worksheet

Word Chop

Sniff out the vocabulary words up in there.

Alphabetic Order Worksheet

Alphabetic Order

Gets those words in order. It is helpful to use numbers with it.

KWHL Worksheet

KWHL

Do you know what the shadow means?

Maze Worksheet

Maze

Help the groundhog find his bed.

Groundhog Word Wall

Word Wall

A whole lot of words for your students.

Poem Worksheet

February Poem

This gives you a lot of different topic ideas to work with.

Hog Poem Worksheet

Hog Poem

There is no "S" for shadow. That always disappoints.

Weather Worksheet

Weather Poem

We often lose sight that this is what it is all about.

The History of Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day is a much-loved North American tradition observed every year on February 2. It originates from the Pennsylvanian Dutch superstition about the emergence of a hedgehog from its burrow on the aforementioned date.

According to the tradition, if a hedgehog comes out of its burrow and is able to see its shadow because of the clear weather, it will immediately go back into its den. As a result, winter will continue for 6 more weeks. On the other hand, spring would come early if the hedgehog doesn’t see its shadow due to the thick clouds and overcast conditions.

How It All Started

Groundhog Day actually has its roots in Candlemas (also spelled as "Candlemass"), the ancient Christian tradition in which the clergy used to bless and distribute candles required during winters. These candles were considered a representation of how cold and long a winter season was likely to be.

German settlers in Pennsylvania continued and reinvented this tradition by selecting a hedgehog to predict the weather. Later on, they switched to groundhogs, owing to their greater presence in the Keystone State. The very first Groundhog Day was celebrated in the area on February 2, 1887. The official event, featuring a rodent meteorologist, took place at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

This inaugural celebration was the brainchild of Clymer Freas, a local newspaper editor. He sold a bunch of groundhog hunters and business executives (collectively called the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club) on the idea. Soon afterwards, the party headed over to a site we all know today as Gobbler’s Knob. That’s where the first groundhog became a weather predictor.

These days, the annual festivities in Punxsutawney are presided over by the Inner Circle, a group of local dignitaries. Members of this clan wear top hats and carry out the official activities in the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect. Apparently, they speak to the groundhog in "Groundhogese."

Each year, tens of thousands of people attend Groundhog Day proceedings in Punxsutawney, which is a borough with a population of around 6,000. The entire tradition was aptly depicted in the 1993 movie Groundhog Day. Interestingly, the filming took place in Woodstock, Illinois.

Are These Critters Accurate?

Even though sunny winter days can be an indication of cold and dry air ahead, we should give science a bit more credit and refrain from appointing groundhogs in place of our meteorologists for the time being!

According to studies conducted by the Canadian Weather Service and the National Climatic Data Center, weather predictions by Punxsutawney Phil (a groundhog in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania who’s a key figure in the annual Groundhog Day celebration at the borough) have a success rate of just about 50%. For some context, Staten Island Chuck tends to be accurate about 80% of the time.

Interesting Facts...

Also called "woodchucks," groundhogs are part of a group of big ground squirrels. They are collectively referred to as "marmots." These marmots can live in captivity for a decade and have the ability to grow as much as 25 inches. Legend has it that Punxsutawney Phil is over 125 years old. This is primarily due to the magical punch he imbibes each summer.

In general, groundhogs spend the winters in hibernation. This leads to a considerable reduction in their body temperature and metabolic rate. By the time February rolls around, they’ve lost almost half of their weight. When these bristly rodents are out and about in friendlier weather, they like to eat succulent plants, insects, and wild berries. They’re also quite fond of agricultural crops and garden veggies. So, if you’ve got a farm to tend to, make sure those groundhogs don’t ruin your produce that you’ve probably worked very hard for!