Students around the country love learning about the legendary groundhog popping out of his hole to look for his shadow on Groundhog Day. This infamous groundhog gets a lot of attention on February 2nd, but put yourself in his shoes for a day. How do you think the groundhog feels on Groundhog Day? Better yet… How do you think he feels the rest of the year?
Groundhog Day is the perfect holiday to teach perspective and point of view. If you’re looking for a few ideas to try out this year, check out the resources below for teaching point of view using Groundhog Day poetry (FREE download included). A few writing extension activities are included, as well!
February 3 (the day after Groundhog Day)
The concept of point of view can be challenging for some students. They have a hard time thinking about different perspectives or looking at a situation through different lenses. One poem that I absolutely love for teaching point of view around Groundhog Day is Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s poem, “February 3.” Her poem portrays a unique character point of view and helps students think about how the infamous groundhog feels the other 364 days of the year, when he is not the focus of attention.
After reading the poem, I have my students identify what is being compared in the poem (today vs. yesterday). We set up a t-chart on chart paper and students help me underline clues and record details from the poem for each column: “today” (February 3) and “yesterday” (February 2).
Students then use the details from the poem and chart to make inferences about how the groundhog feels when Groundhog Day is over. I have the students record their inferences on a corresponding comprehension worksheet. You can scoop up this comprehension question sheet for FREE below!
If you like this poem, be sure to check out Amy’s author website and her poetry blog, The Poem Farm. Her blog is very classroom-focused, and it includes many wonderful resources for teachers who wish to learn more about writing workshop and setting up writing notebooks with students.
“Groundhog Grumbles” – A Poem for Two Voices
Partner poems are wonderful for teaching point of view and different perspectives.
There’s a lot of hoopla surrounding Groundhog Day, and I can’t help but feel for the celebrity groundhog. The poor creature pops out of his hole, only to be faced with a barrage of lights and cameras in his face. If I were him, I’d crawl right back into my hole… or just not come out at all!
A few years ago, I wrote a partner poem“Groundhog Grumbles” featuring a groundhog and a group of kids. In the poem, the grouchy groundhog is not thrilled to be the center of everyone’s attention on Groundhog Day… all he wants to do is hide in his hole until spring! (I mean, really… wouldn’t you?!)
Students will love changing their voices in the poem to match the different characters as they practice fluency and expression. After reading the poem, they can compare the different perspectives and discuss how both sides view Groundhog Day.
Scoop up the complete resource here which includes a few different versions of the poem and a variety of comprehension activities, including evidence based questions. This poem is part of my partner poetry series and includes comprehension activities to help your students!
Groundhog Day Point of View Writing Extensions
Have your students put themselves in the shoes of the celebrated groundhog… one who may or may not actually wish to be in the spotlight! Here are a few ideas for writing you may wish to try out in your classroom this year:
- Diary of a Groundhog – Have your students write a journal/diary entry from the groundhog. This is a great way to get the students to think about the groundhog’s feelings and point of view!
- Letter from a Groundhog – Ask your students to write a persuasive letter from the groundhog to the community. They can choose whether to ask the town to leave the groundhog alone, or they can come up with their own idea for a persuasive letter. With letter-writing, students will have fun coming up with a voice for the groundhog!
- Interview with a Groundhog – Students can create a back-and-forth interview between a groundhog and a news reporter. In this interview, students can share how the groundhog feels and can have fun coming up with different questions a reporter may ask him!
Watch the Live Stream Video
If your class is eager to know if the GOTY (“groundhog of the year”) indeed saw his/her shadow, or needs some writing inspiration, you can now tune-in and watch the Groundhog Day festivities, a live stream video from Punxsutawney, PA. Isn’t technology an amazing thing?!