Groundhog Day is a holiday celebrated on February 2 in USA and Canada. According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, it will leave the burrow, signifying that winter-like weather will soon end. If it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its burrow, and the winter weather will continue for six more weeks. Do you want to meet Phil? Let me introduce you to him!
Groundhog.org has given us the idea of drawing our personal groundhog using our fingerprints like this. Lizzy and I are doing this with 1ESO.
2ESO and 3ESO will be doing the following text about the origin of the tradition also provided by groundhog.org (Reading practice)
The Groundhog Legend
The origin of they groundhog legend is based on the old Scotch couplet, “If Candlemas Day is bright and clear, there’ll be two winters in the year.”
During the conquering of Northern Europe, the Romans brought this tradition to the Germans. They concluded that if the sun made an appearance on February 2nd, which is Candlemas Day, an animal would cast a shadow, thus six more weeks of bad weather, known as two winters.
Pennsylvania’s earliest settlers were Germans. They found many groundhogs in the state. They determined that the groundhog was the most intelligent and sensible animal.
Records show that in the early 1800’s people from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania began to celebrate every year by going into the woods to honor the Punxsutawney Groundhog as the only true weather prognosticator. This group soon became known as the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club and they placed the official groundhog home just outside of town on Gobbler’s Knob.
The first official trek to Gobbler’s knob was made on February 2, 1887. Each February 2nd since, thousands of people celebrate Groundhog Day by making the trip to Gobbler’s Knob to get the official word of the world’s only true weather forecaster. The rest of the day is filled with activities including: the annual Groundhog Banquet, crowning of the Groundhog King and Queen, school assemblies, craft shows, and activities for entire families.
Questions for “The Groundhog Legend”
1. Use a dictionary to look up the meaning of the underlined words in the paragraph. Write a sentence to show the meaning of each word.
2. When is Candlemas Day? ________________________________
3. Where is the official Groundhog home? _____________________
4. What group of people brought this legend to Pennsylvania? _______
5. Name two things that happen in Punxsutawney on Groundhog Day.
If you have read or watch up to here, you will like to get deep into the tradition and at the same time revise conditional sentences by minute 3 onwards. (Listening practice)
Enjoy Groundhog Day and cross your fingers for an early spring! Last year Phil predicted six more weeks of winter... the show is almost to start!
Teaching English by Fran | Candlemas