Groundhog Day is on February 2nd! You’re never too old to celebrate a day about weather-predicting rodents. This is a short Data Management Probability math activity that allows Grade 5-8 students to engage with real data.
Every year on Groundhog Day (and most other fun holidays), I see many resources floating around for early years and younger grade students - and I think that's so great! But, I also don't want our middle-grade and intermediate-grade students to be left out of the fun. Whenever I can, I always like to make fun freebies for older students. We did this last year on Twosday (22/2/22) and it was a hit!
What is Groundhog Day?
Groundhog Day happens every year on February 2nd. It is based on a Pennsylvania Dutch superstition that suggests that a groundhog seeing its shadow can predict the weather.
If a groundhog comes out of its den and sees its shadow due to clear weather, it will go back into its den, and winter will last six more weeks.
If a groundhog comes out of its den and does not see its shadow due to cloudy weather, it will be an early spring.
Many regions have their own groundhog prognosticators (a prognosticator is someone who can predict the future). For example, in Ontario, there is "Wiarton Willie," in Québec there is "Fred la marmotte," in Pennsylvania there is the famous "Punxsutawney Phil" and in Ohio there is "Buckeye Chuck."
Awesome... I'm in! What's the freebie?
I made a fun freebie in which students will learn about Groundhog Day. They will look at the predictions for either early spring or long winter made by different groundhogs around Canada and the United States (Wiarton Willie, Fred la marmotte, Punxsutawney Phil and Buckeye Chuck) for the past decade. Then, they will calculate the probability of what the groundhogs may predict for this year! This activity would be great as a minds-on at the beginning of the day on Groundhog Day or during your Math block.
Click here for your free download in French or English:
Happy Groundhog Day!!! Comment on this post to share other ways that you're celebrating Groundhog Day with your students this year.