Saturday, March 26, 2016

Spring Reading 2016 Groundhog's Dilemma


Teachers are always looking for a read-aloud for Groundhog's Day and this is a fresh new title they are sure to love. Not only does it show Groundhog checking on his shadow and making his prediction, but it also has a valuable lesson about friendship. Groundhog wants to make his friends happy, and no matter what prediction he makes, someone will be disappointed. When some of his friends see Hare bringing Groundhog berries, they begin to worry that he will predict 6 more weeks of winter (because everyone knows that Hare likes to wear her white winter coat). Before we know it, Groundhog is receiving invitations to ballgames, picnics, and bonfires, not to mention having fresh-baked pies dropped off at his house. Pretty soon the situation is so complicated that even Owl can't help him decide what to do. How in the world can he keep all his friends happy at the same time?

This is a very good story to read and discuss. Friendship can sometimes be difficult for children to understand. They wonder if they have to like all the same things their friends like, or always do what their friends ask. And although we enjoy making our friends happy, we also need to be ourselves and be truthful. Real friends don't like us for what we can do for them, but for our own sake. The book also makes it clear that the tradition of looking for the groundhog's shadow is a prediction, the groundhog doesn't actually control the weather. Very young students are not always clear about the difference between predicting and causing the change of seasons.

Perfect for elementary ages and for reading at home or in class. Teachers may wish to have students research the animals in the book and figure out which ones prefer a long winter or an early spring. They may also investigate the history of the holiday and the famous prognosticators like Punxsutawney Phil.

Visit Curious City DPW for book activities.

*Update 08/01/2016 We have added this book to the Fairview library.

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