Ground Hog Day

Information and activities are from KRP’s Ultimate Holiday Activity Guide and Understanding Weather from the NIE Institute.

Does the groundhog seeing his shadow on Groundhog Day really mean anything? Legend has it that if he sees his shadow when he awakens from his winter sleep, six more weeks of winter will follow. But if it’s cloudy and the groundhog does not see his shadow, spring will arrive soon.

There is a grain of truth to the beliefs associated with the American tradition of Groundhog Day. Most of the time, mild, sunny weather in January and February will be followed by wintry weather in March. After bad weather in January and February, spring often comes early.

Although most people don’t take Groundhog Day seriously, the custom of predicting the arrival of spring on this day is based on a few traditional weather signs. For example, people have looked to the awakening of hibernating animals as one of the first signs of spring.

Here are some activities you can do with the newspaper.

Create a comic strip about Punxsutawney Phil (the famous groundhog) or other characters from weather folklore. Check the Herald comic strips to see how comic strips are written and drawn.

Make a prediction about the weather based on an aspect of weather folklore. Write your prediction in the style of a newspaper weather report.

Clip newspaper ads for businesses that are affected by weather. Based on the extended forecast in your newspaper, what kind of sales can these businesses expect in the coming days?

To learn more fun facts about groundhogs check out the official website of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.