Monday, December 31, 2012

It's All About Penguins & a FREEBIE!

Friends~I hate to break the news to you but WINTER BREAK is almost over!  My mind is whirling about ideas for Back to School in 2013.  My big plan is to wow my kiddos with the exciting world of PENGUINS!  I love teaching this nonfiction theme!  Penguins are silly birds and my students always get super excited at their funny names and antics.

There are so many things that you can do with Penguins- it is always hard choosing!  Here are some of my very favorite activities. 

Before we get rolling with any unit I always print out lots of pictures and vocabulary cards.  
I place them in centers and in pocket charts for my students to view.


I always start with a KWL and by January I know my kiddos are able to start one of their own.  I pass out the sheet below and my students begin working on the W sections on their own.  We then meet as a group to share what we know and what we want to know.  It is fantastic way to assess prior knowledge. 

Then we jump right in with an anticipation guide for the book Penguins by Gail Gibbons!


Then we head back into our KWL to add some information that we learned.  We will visit our KWL after every lesson for the rest of the week or so to add learned info and to answer our questions.

I also set my centers up with activities that my students can manage by themselves but also keep them focused on the theme! I love to add short sentences for my students to type on our computers.  It is great for keyboarding skills!  They also can illustrate the sentences after they print.


We always do some blubber science!  We learn all about how penguins stay warm in freezing temperatures.  You will never look at blubber the same after THE BLUBBER GLOVE!



Grab a FREE download of my Blubber Glove Directions and ingredient cards to use when you are exploring this activity! Just click the image above!

In Science, we focus on the life cycle of the Emperor Penguin.  It is an amazing cycle!  Watch the video below with your class and fall in love with the fluffy baby chicks!
Be sure to grab a copy of The Emperor's Egg by Martin Jenkins.  It is a fantastic book that will walk your class through the life cycle.  Click the book below to purchase! 





We of course have to act this process out in class.  I start by grabbing my tub of Easter Eggs and filling each one with a picture of baby chick.  I then put them in a nest of construction paper and cover my tables with blue bulletin board paper.  I bust open a few bags of Goldfish Crackers and I am all set.  Insert an excited group of students and we begin.  I pass the eggs out to the girls and the boys always groan!  I then have the girls find a boy partner and pass the egg to them.  The boys smile until I tell the girls to go out to sea (Blue Table TOPS).  They are instructed to eat Goldfish Crackers:)  The boys are then to take their shoes off and balance the eggs on their feet!  It is so darn funny to watch:)  After awhile the mothers come back and take their chicks so the fathers can go to sea and eat.  


It is such a simple activity but it packs lots of information for students about how life cycles are very different. 

Gosh...there is so much more I promise to continue to post all about our Penguin Fun in the month of January!  
If you are interested in my All About Penguin unit you can watch a quick video preview below to see what it is all about!



You also can read more about my file by clicking the image below!  Happy 2013 FRIENDS!


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