Living in Florida, Groundhog Day can be a bit confusing for my kindergartners. If Phil sees his shadow then we’ll have 6 more weeks of winter. If Phil doesn’t see his shadow, then Spring will come early. But, let’s be honest…it’s 74 degrees here right now, so the shadow part is kind of irrelevant to us.
Instead, I flipped things a little this year to use Groundhog Day as a platform for teaching about hibernation and habitats for our burrowing animal friends. We discussed why animals hibernate, what they do to prepare for this change, and how they know when it’s time to wake up.
I created this STEM Challenge as a way for students to learn more about groundhog burrows and habitats by creating their own. Students were tasked with designing a new home for their groundhog friend complete with all the basics: a cozy living space and enough room for it to fit inside. They could only use dominoes, popsicle sticks, cotton balls, tissues, and tape to construct their new homes.
I must say, their final creations were not only adorable, but also very thoughtful. They made sure the new burrows were well-insulated, big enough for the groundhog to “crawl” inside and even included a few extras like beds and bathrooms!
Once they finished creating, students journaled about their designs. They drew a picture of their completed burrow and then wrote about why it would be a good home for the groundhog.
If you’d like to try this Groundhog STEM Challenge with your students, click the image or the link below to get this product from my TPT Store. Minimal prep-time needed. Just gather materials, print and go!
Get the Groundhog STEM Challenge
Do you cover Groundhog Day or hibernation in your classroom? Share your thoughts in the comments below!