Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Groundhog Day Activities


Groundhog Day Shadow Investigation
Groundhog Day Shadow Investigation Activity
Groundhog Day Shadow Investigation Activity

Never celebrated Groundhog Day? Here's a great way to make the day fun and memorable, even for the first time.

What You'll Need:

Stiff paper

Ruler

Pencil

Crayons

Scissors

Masking tape

Flashlight

Celebrate Groundhog Day by investigating shadows with a flashlight and a stand-up groundhog drawing.

The traditional tale about this day is that the groundhog wakes from his winter hibernation on February 2 (the midpoint of winter) and comes out of his hole.

The groundhog is then supposed to take a peek around. If he sees his shadow, it means there will be 6 more weeks of winter cold. If he does not, warm weather is on the way.

Though the tale is popular, it is not scientifically accurate! But you can still take advantage of the holiday to learn something about shadow casting.

On a piece of stiff paper, draw a horizontal line about 1-1/2 inches from the bottom for a ground line. Draw a groundhog sitting on the ground line. Color your groundhog, and cut off the excess paper around his outline (but don't cut along the ground line).

Fold the bottom of the paper on the ground line so that the bottom becomes a base for a stand-up groundhog. Tape the base to the floor.

Darken the room and shine a flashlight at the groundhog from different angles. Notice what happens to the groundhog's shadow as you change the angle and distance of the light you shine on him.

For more fun holiday activities and crafts, see:


More to Explore