5 Ways to Prepare for Punxsutawney Phil’s Prognostication

With Groundhog Day upon us, help your students prepare for the weather ahead with these 5 ideas!

1. Rodents Aren’t Actually Meteorologists

Whether Punxsutawney Phil predicts 6 more weeks of winter or an early spring, every student should know that it’s actually Earth’s position around the sun that causes our weather to change from season to season. Kick off your class this week with the Reasons for the Seasons activity, which helps students to understand the connection between seasonal weather and the sun.

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2. Punxsutawney: Subsolar Point?

Use this gallery of illustrations to further show your students how Earth’s position determines seasonal weather. You can download and print these out to use in your classroom!

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3. Get Some Ideas

Once Punxsutawney Phil’s shadow has made an appearance (or not), check out National Geographic Education‘s Ideas page on how to celebrate the end of winter and the beginning of spring! Perhaps your class will enjoy tracking buds as they begin to appear on trees near your school or drawing pictures that describe the transition from winter to spring. Let us know if your class has an idea that we should add to our collection!

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4. Shoot the Season

If your students have an interest in photography, challenge them with photo tips from Nat Geo Kids! This is a great way to get your students outside and working on their observation skills! What differences do your students find in the plants and animals they spot during winter and spring?

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5. Migration Station

Speaking of animal sightings, be sure to take a look at our animal migration activity. Are there animals in your area that migrated south for the winter that you’re anticipating to return? What animals near you will be waking up from hibernation? Discussing animal migration and hibernation is a great way to get your students thinking about seasons and their impact on living things.

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Post a comment and let us know which of these ideas resonated the most with your classroom! Or let us know how you celebrate Groundhog Day with your students!



More related resources from National Geographic Education

Website: Groundhog Day

Activity: The Reasons for the Seasons

Illustration Gallery: Seasons

Ideas: Seasons

National Geographic Kids: Photo Tips and Tricks

Activity: Many Moves of Migration

Encyclopedic Entry: What is a season?

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