Sunday, January 18, 2015

Penguin Palooza

It's been a penguin fest in my classroom the past few weeks!  We have been reading about penguins, learning key vocabulary, classifying information, gathering fun facts, and more!  I love seeing the kids get excited about these goofy little birds. And, I was super excited to bust out lots of fun activities from my Penguins unit!

Last week, we kicked off our unit by reading The Emperor's Egg. This story is part of our reading series, so the students all had access to their own copy of the text.  The students then used the book to create this adorable fact hat.  It was so fun seeing them parade onto the playground at the end of the day.  They looked like a line of penguins waddling out to sea.  Hehe.
That same day, I read another book to them that gave lots of penguin facts.  Then, the students used the information in the read aloud to complete a can/have/are organizer.  I usually task them with writing more information than shown, but by the time they were able to sit down and do this assignment, we only had 10 minutes left in the day! Our late afternoon "period" can be a very tricky time block to work with sometimes.



I also read Penguin Chick to the class.  During the reading, I stopped to discuss key vocabulary terms as they were encountered in the text. Then, we made these fun vocabulary mini books.  I love how they turned out!



We also made these cute art projects!  The whole project was directed, but the penguin was created separately from the background.  We simply cut the penguins out and glued them to the painted backgrounds.



My students love mini books, and so do I! So, of course, we had to read this little interactive mini book about how an Emperor Penguin cares for its egg and chick.  Each page of the book prompted the students to do something related to the text.




By the end of the week, the students were experts in caring for a penguin egg.  After all, we read The Emperor's Egg in our basal about 4 times, and we read the mini book shown above, so the students were well equipped to write some how to directions explaining how to care for a penguin egg.  I encouraged them to pretend they were a penguin writing to another penguin.  They did great!


We also practiced our fact and opinion skills by making this adorable flap book after reading a book about our flightless friends.


I love, and completely agree with, the second opinion below.  Everyone should have a penguin as a pet.  Hehe.


Once the students had acquired lots of penguin knowledge, we played a game of True/False I Spy.  They read the statement on each card and determined if it was true or false.  I Spy is such a great way to promote individual engagement within a whole group setting, and the kids love it!


Finally, we did some penguin research.  This was extremely guided for two reasons.  First, it was our first official research project and second, all of the penguin books were checked out of the library (school and public).  I found some information on the internet, but the printout was a bit much for the students to handle in this capacity on an independent level.


I let the students complete the last page of their reports independently because at that point, they just had to locate anything that stood out to them.  I love how they turned out!

That was it, our Penguin Palooza 2015!  We had a blast learning about these little guys.  There were lots of other activities I would have loved to do, but there is only so much time (and we were in the midst of report cards and assessments)!  If you're interested in these activities, be sure to check out my Penguins unit on TpT.

Toodles!


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1 comment:

  1. Your kiddos are amazing artists! I wonder if my ability to draw stick people could ever transfer into drawing penguins as cute as theirs :)
    Tania
    My Second Sense

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