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Back to Groundhog Day Lesson Plan

Where Is
Punxsutawney Phil? -
A Groundhog Day
Tag Game


  • Physical Education


  • K-2
  • 3-5

Brief Description

A Groundhog Day tag game. Catch Phil before he goes back into his hole!


Students will

  • follow instructions.
  • play according to the rules of the game.


Punxsutawney, Groundhog Day, woodchuck, game, tag, physical education, phys ed

Materials Needed


  • chalk, masking tape, or jump ropes

Lesson Plan

This fun Groundhog Day game can be played on a paved area, in a gym/all-purpose room, or on grass. The game is similar to tag. Set aside a specific area for play. Set boundaries for the field of play, and then mark the field by drawing a handful of circles on it. Each circle should be about 2-3 feet in diameter (large enough to hold 2-3 students).

  • If playing on a paved area, use chalk to draw the circles on the field.
  • If playing in an enclosed gym, use chalk or masking tape to mark the circles on the floor.
  • If playing on a grass field, use limestone or jump ropes to create the circles.

In this game, two players are "it." Station those players in the playing field area. Line up the remaining students -- the groundhogs -- along one edge of the playing field.

When the game begins -- when the leader blows a whistle or calls out the start of the game -- the groundhogs run onto the field. The "its" try to catch the groundhogs before they jump into a hole (get to one of the marked circles on the playing area). If a groundhog makes it to a hole, he or she is safe. When a groundhog is tagged (caught), he or she is out of the game and must go to a pre-determined area off the playing field.

Once a groundhog is safe, he or she can stay in a hole for only 30 seconds or less. By then end of that time, each groundhog must make an attempt to run to another hole or be called out.

This game of tag should move quickly. The last two groundhogs remaining are "it" in the next round of the game.



Students will follow the instructions/rules and play fairly.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

National Standards

NPH.K-12.3 Physical Activity
NPH.K-12.5 Responsible Behavior
NPH.K-12.6 Respect for Others

Find more lessons for teaching about Groundhog Day on Education World's February Holiday Page.

Click to return to this week's lesson, Groundhog Day: Fill Your Day With (Punxsutawney) Phil Fun.

Updated 1/31/2012