Hi, friends! Let’s be honest…penguin week (well, it’s actually two weeks) are my most favorite weeks of the whole year! There is just so much to do regarding math, science, social studies and literacy! It’s one of those topics that easily extends itself across the curriculum!
We kicked off our penguin unit with a fun poem all about penguins! This little ditty is to the tune “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”
This life cycle anchor chart really helped us create a visual representation of the penguin life cycle.
We also enjoyed reading these nonfiction penguin readers from Crayons and Cuties in Kindergarten! My kiddos begged to read a new one each day! They just couldn’t get enough!
I especially loved that they were written with kid friendly words that helped reinforce many of the sight words we were learning.
The kiddos even wanted to read them during our Daily 5 routine! One student would read a page, while the other student would check for understanding. We simply asked “who is this page about” and “what is this page about.”
Now, no penguin unit would be complete without some penguin crafts! We used these Penguin Flap Books as a culminating activity to help solidify our learning. First, we made the penguin craft.
Then, we used the penguin tree map to review all we had learned.
Each kiddo used their completed tree map to help them finish the inside of our Penguin Flap Books. These were a huge hit with not only the students, but also other teachers, school visitors and parents! Gah! Their illustrations are just the cutest!
We chose to use the can, are, have templates, but this set also includes templates for penguin facts, penguin diagram, penguins vs. birds, penguin life cycle, penguin predators, penguin diet and penguin habitat.
And how about this cute penguin craft our art teacher completed with the kids?! They looked adorable hanging in the hallway!
We even integrated our penguin learning into our math instruction. Did you all know that an Emperor Penguin can grow to four feet tall?! Of course, we had to measure ourselves by laying next to our four foot Emperor! Then, we used some penguin cards to measure the height of the Emperor in nonstandard units.
Once we figured out his height, we worked with a partner to measure our nonstandard height. Some of us were shorter than an Emperor, some taller, and a few of us were the exact same size!
Our most favorite penguin activity was the blubber experiment! Simply place two large Ziploc bags inside each other. Fill the inside between the two bags with Crisco, roll the top down and secure with Duct Tape. My kiddos happily called this the “blubber bag.”
We followed the scientific method while conducting our little experiment. Therefore, we made a hypothesis and tested the ice water without the “blubber bag.” We described the water. It was freezing!
Then, we placed the “blubber bag” inside the water and inserted our hand into the “blubber bag.”
We learned that the blubber helped insulate our hand and keep it warm, much like the blubber helps keep a penguin’s body warm! Grab the FREE recording sheet below!
At the listening station, we listened to If You Were a Penguin by Wendell and Florence Minor. It tells all about the things penguins can do, such as “fly underwater,” “sing a duet,” “live on land but get really wet,” “wear a tuxedo,” “live underground or on top of the ice,” and our most favorite, “toboggan.” After listening to the story, we completed a simple response sheet to check for understanding.
Some of us made text-to-self connections!
Grab the response sheet below!
If you’re looking for more penguin fun, head on over to my “Penguins” board on Pinterest!
Don’t forget to waddle on over to these other blogs for more penguin activities and freebies!
Jennifer Drake says
Great ideas Ashley! I love the response sheet and will be adding that to my plans for penguin week(s)! I am so glad your kiddos loved the readers and it warms my teacher heart to read that they wanted to read them repeatedly!
Crayons & Cuties In Kindergarten
Elyse Rycroft says
Love your ideas, Ashley! Great idea to get children waddling like a penguin!
Lori Raines says
We make penguins out of paper of foam core and use wiggly eyes. We also have a poster of an emperor penguin and the children come up to it to see if they are taller or shorter than the penguin.
Ellen Coan says
Great ideas! One of my favorite books is "Penguin Chick" by Betty Tatham.
Mary Love Strange says
I like to read The Emperor's Egg when teaching about penguins. Thanks for sharing some more great ideas!
Samantha Rigby says
My favorite penguin book is "Tacky the Penguin". My students are always laughing when I read a Tacky book and beg for more. 🙂
Ms. Hoag says
I love Tacky the Penguin!
Mrs. S says
This is my first year teaching 1st grade so I am building my unit for this grade. We did it at 6th grade last year. 🙂 I love the Tacky series.
I love love love penguins. I plan on reading both fiction and nonfiction books to my firsties.
Kelsey Bryant says
I'm excited to try out the blubber experiment this year. Thanks for the freebie! 🙂