How to Draw a Creative Groundhog
Celebrating Groundhog’s Day on February 2nd.
Groundhog’s Day is found under Holiday Category, K-3rd Lessons
“I really love being human. But some days I really wish I could be a fairy.” ~ Greta, age 4
Greta wished she could be a fairy ‘some days’ and my 7-year-old student Will, wished he could be Groundhog #25 “Richard Sherman”. Richard was the first football-playing Groundhog I had ever seen. Inspiring imagination is the best! ￼
One of my favorite art lessons is teaching K-3rd students all about Groundhog’s Day. So many students have no idea we celebrate a rodent that predicts the weather. I say it’s time for them to learn.
Groundhog’s Day happens every February 2nd. Who thought it was necessary to pull a hibernating groundhog out of its den in mid-winter to see if it could see his shadow? And if the groundhog does see its shadow we get 6 more weeks of winter, but if it doesn’t see its shadow,….well it’s not clear exactly when spring will come. But the good news is Spring’s coming one way or the other.
Weather determined by a rodent is questionable, but still a lot of fun. Let’s get started.
Every one of my art lessons is intended to teach more than “how to draw”. For example, the How to “Draw a Groundhog” lesson can incorporate math and animal facts, and let’s not forget creativity and imagination.
Allow creativity and imagination.
Encourage your students to add anything they want to their groundhog to personalize it. Give them suggestions like giving their groundhog crazy hair, or a top hat, or a tux with tails….so many ideas will happen. If I hadn’t allowed creativity with my groundhog drawing lessons, I would have never met Groundhog #25 Richard Sherman.
Here are some ideas to add to the lesson
- *Groundhog facts
Let’s start with predictions.
When I start the lesson I show students a short video about Punxsutawney Phil, the most famous Groundhog of all. Punxsutawney Phil- https://youtu.be/Da8lSQqfhWA
We talk about the apparel worn by the Officials, their silly hats, their tuxes worn with tails, and the excitement as the crowd awaits with bated breath for the rodents unveiling and the final prediction as to when Spring will arrive.
Using the word “guess” to explain the word “prediction” helps the little ones understand the word “prediction” every time.
As your students do the step-by-step with my “How to draw a Groundhog video, don’t be afraid to stop the video if I’m going too fast or to teach more about Groundhog habitat.
If you have time, here’s a cute 3-minute video all about groundhog’s habitat. https://youtu.be/wfrq11bowOw
I talk about why Groundhogs have long teeth as we draw, but there’s lots more to learn about.
Asking questions like:
- Why do Groundhogs have big teeth?
- Where do Groundhogs live or where is their habitat?
- What do Groundhogs eat?
- Why is the Groundhog sitting on a pile of dirt?
Drawing while learning facts about an animal will help retain the lesson and the information for years to come.
After completing the groundhog drawing, it’s time to start coloring.
Students are excellent at following instructions with their drawings. I’m always surprised to see how well they do, but when it comes to coloring, usually the beautiful drawing disappears. It’s a practice thing and will get better as they grow. But to make sure we can still see their lines and identify the drawing as a groundhog, I ask the students to outline their pencil lines with a Sharpie, a black marker, or a black colored pencil.
Use whatever you have on hand, which includes crayons, markers, and colored pencils to finish the coloring. It’s okay not to use the exact art supplies I use in the video.
This is one of the only projects I don’t have the students create a background. That’s because when the coloring is complete, I have the students cut out their groundhog and glue or staple it onto a paper band that fits their heads. I cut 2” strips of construction paper and staple or glue the strips together to make a headband. I then measure the student’s heads and cut and staple the bands to fit each student. I then staple or glue the cut-out groundhog to the headband, so it’s attached in the center of the student’s head.
To know a groundhog, one has to become the groundhog. On February 2nd the students become the groundhog.
There is nothing more exciting and hilarious than watching the students don their rodents as they line up for a walk outside to see if their Groundhog sees its shadow. But before doing so, write their prediction on the back of their groundhog with a yay or nay. You can use the counts later for a math project.
Here’s a short video fraction’s and percents 4 minutes – https://youtu.be/Kr52yfR3wGA
If you want to get into percentages, take a count of those who predicts seeing shadows and those not seeing shadows.
You can use the counts to create the percentage of students who predicted yay, with the students who predicted nay. Use the numbers to make a visual like that in the short video I provided above.
Have fun, be silly and remember…’ don’t drive angry’ (Phil’s excellent groundhog advice in the movie Groundhog’s Day.)
The first day of Spring is Monday, March 20, 2023, at 2:24 p.m. PST, but who’s counting?
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