Monday, January 27, 2014

“Groundhog Day–Shadowplay!” Story/Craft Program (Ages 3-9)

(Long program but full of action songs and activities, may wish to pick and choose depending on ages attending & whether doing crafts or not.)

Display: Books about Groundhog Day, Shadows, 535.4

Optional video playing as kids enter: Robert Louis Stevenson’s “My Shadow” story section and/or hand shadow section (played this in 2016) from Reading Rainbow DVD “My Shadow” or "My Shadow" from the album A Child's Garden of Songs: The Poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson in Song (very nice rendition).

Opening: Talk about Groundhog Day, showing pix of groundhog in Groundhog Day by Lynn Peppas (394.261 Peppas) or from other sources.

Read: Go to Sleep Groundhog by Judy Cox – created a season/holiday “clock” to accompany story  -- in 2016 replaced by Grumpy Groundhog by Maureen Wright

optional Flannel: Ground Hog Day – Gregory Groundhog Looks for His Shadow based on the book Gregory’s Shadow by Don Freeman

Sing: one or two of these groundhog songs:
1. Groundhog Day  (to the tune of "Where is Thumbkin? / Frere Jacques", source unknown)

Where is groundhog? Where is groundhog?   (Thumb behind back)
Here I am! Here I am!   (Bring thumb forward)
Shadows on this sunny day,   (wiggle thumb)
Frighten groundhogs all away.   (Thumb behind back)
Winter will stay! Winter will stay!

Where is groundhog? Where is groundhog?   (Thumb behind back)
Here I am! Here I am!   (Bring thumb forward)
My, oh my, a cloudy day.   (Wiggle thumb)
I will stay outside to play.   (Move thumb around)
Spring is near! Spring is near!

2. Shadow Time  (to the tune of "The Itsy-bitsy Spider", source unknown)
The furry little groundhog
Goes in his hole to sleep,
Through the cold winter's
Snow and ice so deep,
In February
He stretches to and fro,
Will the furry little groundhog
Get scared by his shadow?

3. I'm a Little Groundhog (to the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot", source unknown)
I'm a little groundhog, it's my day.
Wake and stretch, go out and play.
Down in my burrow, down so deep,
Time to wake, from my long winter's sleep. I'm a little groundhog short and stout,
February second I will come out.
If I see my shadow they will shout,
"Six weeks more winter without doubt!"

4.  Little Groundhog --Jean Warren  (Tune: "Kookaburra" from
Little Groundhog sits in his home all day.
Wishing that winter would go away.
Go - ice and snow. Go - winds that blow
Let Little Groundhog play.
Little Groundhog sits in the sun all day.
Wishing his shadow would go away.
Go - ice and snow Go - shadows that show
Let Little Groundhog stay.

2017, started here:

Image result for i have a friend keiko

Read: I have a Friend by Keiko Narahashi (great figurative language)  or My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson (clever classic poem)
(Science snippet: talk about when shadows are short and long -- midday & ends of day because of the position of the sun.)

Action Song: Shadow Song by Carol Simon Levin (Tune: " Mary Had a Little Lamb”  suit actions to words)

It was a very sunny day, sunny day, sunny day.
It was a very sunny day, when my shadow came to play.
And everywhere that I did go, I did go, I did go,
Everywhere that I did go, my shadow followed too.
It followed me when I ran fast, I ran fast.
It followed me when I ran fast, for that's what shadows do.
   It followed me when I climbed high…
   It followed me when I dug in the sand…
   It followed me when I skipped rope…
It started out pretty short, pretty short, pretty short.
It started out pretty short, in the early afternoon.
Later it grew very long, very long, very long,
Later it grew very long, at the end of day.
When nighttime came, my shadow was gone, (sharply clap hands together)shadow was gone, shadow was gone.
When nighttime came, my shadow was gone -- it had gone away.

Product Details

Read: Moonbear’s Shadow by Frank Asch clip_image002[4]Action Songs: 

I Am Your Shadow by Carol Simon Levin (Tune: “I'm A Little Teapot”)

I am your shadow, short and fat,
Lift up your hand, I can do that,
Lift up your foot, I'll do that too,
I do anything that you do.
I am your shadow, long and thin,
Put your finger to your chin,
Then watch me, I do that too,
I do anything that you do!
Did You Ever See A Shadow?  by Carol Simon Levin (Tune: "Did You Ever See A Lassie", suit actions to words)

Did you ever see a shadow, a shadow, a shadow?
Did you ever see a shadow, swing this way and that?
Swing this way and that way and this way and that way.
Did you ever see a shadow, swing this way and that?
Continue with other actions e.g. Jump… Dance…Clap …
You are My Shadow by Anne Harris, Wichita Public Library (tune: “You are my Sunshine”)
You are my shadow, my only shadow.
Whenever I jump, then you jump too.
Whenever there’s sun, you are right by me.
Oh, clouds (or night) don’t take my shadow away.
Continue with other actions e.g. run, dance, wiggle

Read: selections from Guess Whose Shadow? – Stephen Swinburne (younger) or What’s That Shadow – 535.4HAR  (interactive – read some of the rhymes aloud w/o showing pix to emphasize listening skills)


Read: Shadows are About – Ann Whitford Paul (splendid action words)

Action Song: Dancing with my Shadow on  Musical Games by Don Cooper

Read (if kids have interest): Shadowville by Michael Bartolos or Nighttime Ninja by Barbara DaCosta 

Action Song:  Be My Shadow by Carol Simon Levin (Tune: "Be My Echo" from Sesame Street --action song, words in italics are echoed by children)

Be my shadow, sing after me
Do what I do, care-ful-ly
Reach high, high, high (high, high, high)
Bend low, low, low (low, low,low)
Run fast, fast, fast (fast, fast, fast)
Walk slow, slow, slow (slow, slow, slow)
Walk along a tight rope (walk along a tight rope)
Skipping to and fro (skipping to and fro)

Be my shadow (be my shadow)
Do what I do (do what I do)
Follow the leader and sing after me (sing after me)

Climb up stairs (climb up stairs)
Turn around (turn around)
Reach arms to the sky (arms to the sky)
Now touch the ground (touch the ground)
Walk on your tippy toes (walk on your tippy toes)
Then upon your knees (then upon your knees)

You've been my shadow (been my shadow)
You did what I did (did what I did)
You followed the leader and sang after (sang after) me!

Show: DVD Reading Rainbow: finger shadow demo. segment (through curtain fall)  left projector on so kids could try themselves (repeatedly ran this segment with no audio the rest of the program - kids could make hand shadows and watch their puppets dance on the lighted screen as well.)  In 2016 showed DVD Go to Sleep Groundhog.

Optional: Add more science by including the sun rotational segment from the DVD.

Craft Stations (some years):

Optional: Played this while stations and for dancing:

2/14 2/16image
Handout available here:

2017 storytime/craft – week after Groundhog Day – showing DVD Reading Rainbow “My Shadow” as kids arriving, then opened program  by showing picture of Groundhog and asking about the holiday but didn’t read any Groundhog books or sing any Groundhog songs, skipped directly to the book I Have a Friend.

Other possible titles:
The Black Rabbit by Philippa Leathers
Hortense and the Shadow by Natalia & Lauren O’Hara (2017) – for school age audiences

Flannel (not the most interesting): The Shadows Run Free

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