Middle School Resources

Find studies and curriculum available to download.

Our middle school content is organized by subject. Simply scroll down the page and click on the subject to download ideas to use in your classroom.

Shadow Play
Groundhog Day is the perfect time to study shadows. Studying shadows is not only fun, but it also gets the creativity flowing.
  • Allow students to make shadows on the overhead screen or a piece of white paper.
  • While one student is making a shadow on a piece of white paper have another student trace it. Add lines, colors and backgrounds to create a “Shadow Creature.” Have students write a descriptive paragraph or a narrative about their creature.
  • Divide students into groups of three or four and have them write and perform a shadow play.
  • Use a projector light to draw a silhouette of each student. Use them as a bulletin board display and then have students take them home as a Valentine gift for the family.
  • Have students display a shadow on the classroom floor. Students can take turns measuring each other’s shadow in inches and centimeters.
Color Phil!

Phil is just waiting to have some color added to his life! Help Phil by giving him some color; Phil is always much happier when he is brightly colored! Click here for a version you can print.


Phil's Weather Word Scramble

Download the word scramble.

Vocabulary Words Game
Use this game to practice the Groundhog Day vocabulary words. Cut out the 21 cards and distribute to the students.  Students can get more than one card and all students do not have to have the same amount of cards.  The student with the FIRST CARD begins the game.  Play until the LAST CARD is played.

Download the game cards.

Vocabulary Words
  • Banquet - a big dinner party
  • Burrow - the underground home of Punxsutawney Phil
  • Celebrate - to have a party
  • Celebration - a big party
  • Famous - well known         
  • February - the second month of the year 
  • Forecast  - a prediction of the weather
  • Gobbler’s Knob - where Phil makes his forecast
  • Groundhog - the type of animal of which Phil is one
  • Legend - a story handed down from the past
  • Mammal - a warm-blooded animal with hair or fur who 
  • gives birth to live young
  • Meteorologist - another name for a weatherman
  • Prognosticator - one who foretells future events
  • Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania - the home town of the   
  • world famous groundhog
  • Seer - one who sees
  • Shadow - a dark figure cast upon the ground
  • Spring - the season of new life
  • Trek - a journey
  • Weather - the conditions of the atmosphere
  • Winter - the coldest season
Story & Questions: 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, the crowning of the Groundhog King and Queen, school assemblies, craft shows, and activities for entire families.

Download the full story and questions.

Groundhog Day Number Plot (Easy)

Download the PDF.

Groundhog Number Plot (Medium)

Download the PDF.

Paw Number Plot (Easy)

Download the PDF.

Phil Number Plot (Easy)

Download the PDF.

Phil's Handlers Secret Message!

What does Phil's Handler say in this secret message? Decode it to find out!

Phil's Math Message

Phil has a special message for you. Solve the math problems, then use the code to find the message. (The first one was done for you.)

Phil's Maze

Help Phil find his picnic! Trace the route from beginning to end! Download the maze.

Shadow or Spring Game

"Shadow or Spring" is an easy game which asks students to try and guess Phil’s prediction. Even though the real prediction is known only by Phil, students will have fun trying to outwit Punxsutawney’s famous weather prognosticator.

Each student should have two cards--one depicting a sun and another depicting a shadow (see below). The teacher should have several of each card in a bag. After asking the students to make their predictions by holding up the appropriate card, the teacher pulls one card out of the bag. Students whose predictions do not match the card drawn by the teacher is OUT. The game continues in this fashion until only one student is left.  

The winning student is named “Phil’s Assistant Weather Forecaster”!

Download the full game sheets and accessories.

Sun and Snowflake Number Plot (Hard)

Download the PDF.

The Trek To Gobbler's Knob 

When my family and I arrived in Punxsutawney for the annual Groundhog Day weather prognostication, we headed out to find out more about the history of Groundhog Day.  We found out that the tradition of Groundhog Day was first celebrated in the early 1880's when the first German settlers arrived in Pennsylvania.  Since there were so many groundhogs found in the state, the Germans decided that the groundhog was the most intelligent and sensible animal, therefore the best choice for the official weather prognosticator.

Download the full story.

Where is Phil? Coordinate Game

Before play begins, have two students sit across from each other with a barrier placed between them. 

Have the students place a brown dot, representing Phil, anywhere on the coordinate grid. Then have students place ten black dots on the coordinate grid to represent ten members of the Inner Circle. 

Students should take turns asking each other if there is a point plotted at a specific ordered pair. If the students correctly ask choose an occupied ordered pair, they receive 2 points for a black dot and 5 points for a brown dot. 

The winner is the first student to reach 10 points. To provide a differentiated activity, students could use graph paper showing all four quadrants, with both positive and negative coordinates

Groundhog Wonderland Song
(to the tune of "Winter Wonderland")

From: Holiday Ideas for Youth Groups, Wayne Rice & Mike Yaconelli, Youth Specialties, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Groundhogs hoot, are you listening?
'Neath the sun, all is glist'ning
A real warm light we're happy tonight
Waitin' in a Groundhog wonderland.

 In the field, we're watching for the Groundhog.
 We've been waiting for this day all year.
 Do you think that he will see his shadow?
 And will we know if springtime's almost here?

 Later on, while we're eating
 What we got on Groundhog Day
 We'll share all our sacks
 Of good Groundhog snacks
 Waitin' in a Groundhog wonderland.

I'm Dreaming of the Great Groundhog Song
(to the tune of "White Christmas")

From: Holiday Ideas for Youth Groups, Wayne Rice & Mike Yaconelli, Youth Specialties, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan

I'm dreaming of the Great Groundhog
Just like I do this time each year
When he brings nice weather
And brings us together
To wait for him to appear.

 I'm dreaming of the Great Groundhog
 With every groundhog card I write.
 May your Groundhog's Day be bright
 When the Great Groundhog visits you tonight.

Song List

For music/poetry that was submitted during the Merchandise Fair go to:

Marilyn Ferguson: www.marilynspoetry.com
Lana Dalton: lanapdalton@mac.com

“Up At the Knob”
(to the tune of "Up On The Housetop)

Words by: Kathy Bish

Version 1: If Phil does not see his shadow

Up at the Knob the groundhogs pause
Sitting up and showing claws.
Is there a shadow her today?
If not spring is on the way.

Cheer, Cheer, Cheer
Spring is here!
Cheer, Cheer, Cheer
Spring is here!
Up at the Knob it is so clear
We're waiting for Springtime to appear!

Version 2: If Phil sees his shadow

Up at the Knob the groundhog's pause
Sitting up and showing claws.
"I see my shadow." says old Phil
Six more weeks of winter chill.

Boo, hoo, hoo,
We're so blue!
Boo, hoo, hoo,
We're so blue!
Up at the Knob when shadows come
Six more weeks till we have sun!

“Gobbler's Knob”
Tune: Jingle Bells

Words by Kathy Bish

Gobbler's Knob, Gobbler's Knob, Home of Punxsy Phil.
If his shadow he does see we'll have more winter still.
Gobbler's Knob, Gobbler's Knob, Home of Punxsy Phil.
If no shadow does appear, we'll cheer, oh yes we will!

“Old Phil, The Punxsy Groundhog”
(Tune:  Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer [words by Kathy Bish])
Old Phil, the Punxsy Groundhog, 
has a very special job;
He watches for his shadow, 
every year on Gobbler's Knob.
Thousands of screaming people, 

Make the trek this time each year.
Up to the Knob they travel, 
waiting for Phil to appear.
If his shadow he does see, winter's here to stay.
If no shadow does appear, 
that means spring will soon be here.
Then all the screaming people, 
go upon their merry way,
Giving Phil peace and quiet, 
'till next year on Groundhog Day!

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