Kindergartners learn about groundhogs

Students in Mrs. Katie Francis’ class watched all the fun in Punxsutawney, PA on Groundhog Day in front of a large screen television. Photo by D. Rush

Feb 2 fun at DA

By Don Rush

Oxford has a long relationship with Groundhog Day. In the early 2000s the Oxford Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a number of Groundhog Day celebrations with Noah, the one-eyed groundhog making the prognostications for a number of years. In 2004, the Oxford Leader even published a “Groundhog A-go-go!” special section. Then, when Noah passed, Tutor the Llama started predicting the coming of spring. So then, it’s no wonder then that kindergartners at Daniel Axford Elementary had fun this past Feb. 2, Groundhog Day.

Wyatt Gregor

In Katie Francis’ class, students gathered around a large television to watch whether or not Punxsutawney Phil saw, or did not see his shadow. As the official ceremony commenced on TV, at Gobblers Knob in Punxsutawney, PA, excited students shouted, “Phil, Phil, Phil!” as the groundhog was taken from his shelter.

Why is Phil’s handler wearing those big black gloves,” Mrs. Francis asked her class. “What does he have on him?”

Poo!” shouted one student.

No. What else does he have on his feet,” Mrs. Francis corrected then asked.


He has claws on his feet!”

When Phil was held in the air for folks to see, the kids started chirping.

He’s so fat!”

Owen Anderson

He’s so cute!”

He looks like a chihuahua!”

The day before, their teacher said, students learned about groundhogs and then students predicted Phil would see his shadow.

And, when the special scroll was unrolled and read, stating Phil saw his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter the kids all screamed “Yay!”

Afterwards, the students made a fun craft of a groundhog popping out of his hole.

Lochlan Haverington

After watching Punxsutawney Phil predict how long winter will be this year, students in Mrs. Katie Francis’ kindergarten class did crafts showing a groundhog popping out of his hole. From the left are Wyatt Gregor, Ownen Anderson and Lochlan Haverington. Photos by Mrs. Francis.

Before the prediction on spring, students predicted Phil would see his shadow. When they saw Phil make the same prediction they were all smiles. “Yay!” they shouted. Six more weeks of winter. Photo by D. Rush


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