Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Storytime: “Groundhog Day–Shadowplay!” - Bedminster Library/Nicole's Special Ed Class/Bedminster School

Image result for i have a friend keiko

For school-aged groups, opened with Groundhog Stays Up Late by Marjory Cuyler
For CDPL live storytime, set up projector with Youtube pure white screen & Reading Rainbow "My Shadow" tabs

Read: I have a Friend by Keiko Narahashi (great figurative language)  
(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.

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Read: Moonbear’s Shadow by Frank Asch (also published as Bear's Shadow)

clip_image002[4]Action Song: 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!

Read: selections from What’s That Shadow – 535.4HAR  (interactive – can read some of the rhymes aloud w/o showing pix to emphasize listening skills) skipped for CDPL
(Could follow with "Look There Daddy" flannel)
Guess Whose Shadow by Stephen Swinburne, better for younger, didn't arrive in time.

Action book: Shadows are About by Ann Whitford Paul (splendid action words =verbs)

clip_image002[7]Action Song:  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 …

Read: My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson (clever classic poem) - showed this from video below at CDPL storytime

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!

Handout available here

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

Flannel (1st grade only, no time in Kindergarten): The Shadows Run Free

DVD Reading Rainbow: My Shadow 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.)  also available on YouTube ( -- first five minutes is the science behind light & shadows, at 7:00 there is an incredible shadow puppet show with hand shadow master puppeteer Sonny Fontana. 

Other possibilities: 

Shadowville by Michael Bartolos 
Nighttime Ninja by Barbara DaCosta 

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

Additional possibilities for Groundhog Day:

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 (can create a season/holiday “clock” to accompany story) or Grumpy Groundhog by Maureen Wright

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

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.

DVD Go to Sleep Groundhog.


  • Shadow Puppets – (materials: cardstock, scissors, hole punches, paper fasteners, pipe cleaners, scotch tape, chopsticks or popsicle sticks) resource book: Making Shadow Puppets 791.53 BRYANT  (2017)
  • Silhouette heads (materials: overhead projector, 11x17 black paper, 11x17 construction paper for backing, pencil, scissors, glue sticks, chair to sit in, tape to hold black paper on wall)
  • Making silhouettes pictures  – cut their own action shadows (materials: scissors, black paper, construction paper, gluesticks, pencils) -- related book: Nighttime Ninja by Barbara Dacosta
  • Hand Shadows handout (use projector left up after DVD) or (LOTS!)
  • Groundhog visor (printouts from, scissors, markers, tape)

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