Learning All About Penguins: Creative Lessons for Curious Kids (2024)

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All About Penguins: Non-fiction and science penguin activities for the primary classroom: includes a free Emperor penguin life cycle mini-book.

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Penguins are fascinating birds. They are beautiful creatures, and their lifestyle is unique and exciting. There is a lot of value in sharing information about penguins with children.

Conducting a non-fiction study of penguins and learning about their habitat, diet, appearance, and life cycle would excite and engage young minds. This post shares learning activities all about penguins for the primary classroom.

Table of Contents

  • All About Penguins
  • Penguins Fact Posters
  • Anchor Charts: All About Penguins
    • Labeled Diagram of a Penguin
    • Penguin Directed Drawing
    • Penguins Are, Have, Eat Anchor Chart
  • Penguin Life Cycle
  • All About Penguins Science Unit
    • FREE Life Cycle of an Emperor Penguin Mini-Book
  • Non-Fiction Penguins Reference Books
    • Here is a recommended list of penguin books to fillyour bookshelves:
    • More Non-Fiction Penguin Books
  • Complimentary Resources for Winter

All About Penguins

Whenever I teach my class about penguins, we begin by sharing what we know about them. Usually, children know some facts, but there is so much more to share with them. They typically recognize the emperor penguin. We ask “I wonder…” questions to get ourselves thinking about what we want to learn.

We use each non-fiction and science topic we learn about as an opportunity to build our vocabulary. There are tons of new words to learn that will help children better understand the reading material we share.

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Themany activities available in this unitwill help your students build their vocabulary. I will fill a bookshelf of age-appropriate non-fiction and fiction books for our penguin unit. Below, I have included a list of age-appropriate penguin books that provide great information for children.

Penguins Fact Posters

I will also print and post fact postersabout penguins. Each fact poster provides essential information about penguins. These are written with children in mind. Meaning they are easy to understand. They introducenew vocabulary and provide the information required to complete the activities in thispenguin unit.

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The posters feature eye-catching images of penguins in their natural habitat.

Anchor Charts: All About Penguins

Labeled Diagram of a Penguin

When learning about a new animal, I teach my students about the parts of a penguin. We create a class anchor chart with a large penguin. Then, we learn what each part is and how it helps penguins—for example, teaching students that penguin’s bodies are shaped and made for swimming.

Penguin Directed Drawing

We learn to draw penguins and label each part individually. I like to do a directed drawing of a penguin as a separate activity. Students can then draw their penguins to correspond to their writing this way.

Penguins Are, Have, Eat Anchor Chart

We read a lot about penguins using the fact posters and non-fiction books in our class to learn penguin facts. Then we read each poster slowly, sentence by sentence, and decide what type of fact it is as a class. We use a large anchor chart to organize the facts we learn.

We write facts under ‘Can, Eat, Have, Live, andAre.’ For example,the sentence ‘Penguins have black backs and white fronts’ would go under the ‘Have’ category.

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The reason for doing this activity is two-fold. Students learn each fact individually as we discuss each one and place it in the category. Students are also learning how to distinguish different types of information and how to categorize that information.

Penguin Life Cycle

Any study of penguins would not be complete without discussing their life cycle. It is one of the most interesting in the world. I use the example of Emperor penguins to illustrate how they take precious care of an egg for a very long time.

Students find it fascinating that the male is the one who takes care of the egg while the female travels a long distance to find food. They are amazed that penguins can find each other in their densely populated and icy habitats.

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We spend a lot of time learning about the different stages of the penguin life cycle. Completing various activities helps. We create anchor charts, and we use posters to present the information. There are two different types of mini-books that we use. We use a life cycle storybook to fill in missing words and draw each stage.

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We record the information we learn about each stage of the Emperor penguin life cycle andwrite it in our mini-books.

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All About Penguins Science Unit

ThisAll About Penguins ELA & Science Unitwill help your first, second, or third-grade studentsbuild writing skills, understandinformational text,andbuild reading comprehension. At the same time, they learn interesting facts aboutEmperor Penguins, penguin chicks, and other penguins.

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Kids will enjoy the fun activities as they learn all about penguins and their interesting facts. Try the craft activity where kids pretend they are penguins and describe what they would like to do.

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If you enjoy this ELA & Science Non-Fiction Unit, check out the otherscience and non-fiction resources.

FREE Life Cycle of an Emperor Penguin Mini-Book

You can download and print this life cycle mini-book for FREE today by clicking the image below!

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Non-Fiction Penguins Reference Books

As mentioned above,these are a mix of non-fiction and fiction picturebooks that I have read myself and used to support our study all about penguins.

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Here is a recommended list of penguin books to fillyour bookshelves:

  • The Emperor’s Egg by Martin Jenkins – The story of a male Emperor penguin and how he takes care of an egg.
  • Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #18: Penguins & Antarctica by Mary Pope Osborne – This non-fiction companion book answers the questions raised in Magic Tree House #40 – Eve of the Emperor Penguin.
  • Magic Tree House #40 – Eve of the Emperor Penguin by Mary Pope Osborne – A fictional story where Jack and Annie travel to Antarctica, discovering and learning about Emperor penguins.
  • Penguins by Emily Rose Townsend – A non-fiction book with photographs and text that introduce the characteristics and behaviors of penguins and their habitat.
  • Penguins by Jill Esbaum – An Explore My World picture book where you will learn about the world of penguins and how they take care of their young.
  • Face to Face with Penguins by Yva Momatiuk, National Geographic Children’s Books – Penguins are examined and explained in the South Georgia Islands. Learn about their nesting habits, diet, family, and social lives in this non-fiction book.
  • Penguins, Penguins, Everywhere! – Bob Barner – Your youngest readers will enjoy the simple, rhyming text as 17 species of penguins come together in this fictional story of a parade.

More Non-Fiction Penguin Books

  • The Life Cycle of an Emperor Penguin by Bobbie Kalman – This non-fiction book details an Emperor penguin’s life cycle, habitat, adaptation, and appearance—a great book to complement your study of penguins.
  • Scholastic Discover More: Penguins by Penelope Arlon – Discover how all 17 types of penguins sleep, eat, sleep, talk, and swim, as well as how they look after their eggs and chicks with this jam-packed non-fiction book that includes a digital book companion.
  • Penguin Chick by Betty Tatham – An up-close look at the growth of a penguin chick from an egg to an adult.
  • Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester – A tale of Tacky the Penguin and how he annoys his penguin friends until his behavior scares off hunters.
  • Penguins! By Gail Gibbons – A complete book of facts about penguins, including their life cycle, habitat, physical characteristics, and behavior. The perfect book for any study of penguins!
  • National Geographic Readers: Penguins by Anne Schreiber – A great little non-fiction book for children with exciting facts, easy-to-understand text, and captivating photographs about penguins.

Complimentary Resources for Winter

Children’s Books About Winter

Winter Snow Poetry Writing Activity

Snowman Drawing

PIN for Later

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Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

I am an expert and enthusiast based assistant. I have access to a vast amount of information and can provide insights on a wide range of topics. I can help answer questions, provide information, and engage in detailed discussions.

Regarding the concepts mentioned in this article, let's explore each one in more detail:

All About Penguins

Penguins are fascinating birds known for their unique lifestyle and appearance. They have captured the interest of both children and adults alike. Conducting a non-fiction study of penguins can be an exciting way to engage young minds and teach them about penguins' habitat, diet, appearance, and life cycle.

Penguins Fact Posters

Fact posters about penguins can be a valuable resource for learning. These posters provide essential information about penguins in an easy-to-understand format, making them suitable for children. They often feature eye-catching images of penguins in their natural habitat.

Anchor Charts: All About Penguins

Anchor charts are visual aids used to support learning. In the context of penguins, an anchor chart can be created to display information about the different parts of a penguin and how they contribute to their unique abilities. For example, students can learn that penguins' bodies are shaped and made for swimming.

Labeled Diagram of a Penguin

A labeled diagram of a penguin can help students understand the different parts of a penguin's body and their functions. By creating a visual representation and labeling each part individually, students can better comprehend the anatomy of a penguin.

Penguin Directed Drawing

A directed drawing activity allows students to learn how to draw a penguin step by step. By following specific instructions, students can create their own penguin drawings and label each part accordingly. This activity can be a fun and engaging way to reinforce learning and connect it to the visual representation of a penguin.

Penguins Are, Have, Eat Anchor Chart

An anchor chart can be used to categorize and organize information about penguins. By reading fact posters and non-fiction books about penguins, students can identify different types of facts and classify them under categories such as "Can, Eat, Have, Live, and Are." This activity helps students learn how to distinguish different types of information and develop categorization skills.

Penguin Life Cycle

Studying the life cycle of penguins is an essential part of learning about these birds. The life cycle of penguins, particularly the Emperor penguin, is often highlighted due to its unique characteristics. Students can learn about the different stages of the penguin life cycle, such as egg incubation and chick rearing. Activities like creating anchor charts and using mini-books can help students understand and document the various stages of the life cycle.

All About Penguins Science Unit

The All About Penguins ELA & Science Unit mentioned in the article is designed to help students in first, second, or third grade build writing skills, understand informational text, and develop reading comprehension. This unit provides interesting facts about Emperor Penguins, penguin chicks, and other penguins. It includes various activities that engage students and make learning about penguins enjoyable.

FREE Life Cycle of an Emperor Penguin Mini-Book

The article mentions a free downloadable mini-book that focuses on the life cycle of an Emperor penguin. This mini-book can be a valuable resource for students to learn about the different stages of the Emperor penguin's life cycle. It may include missing word activities and opportunities for students to draw each stage of the life cycle.

Non-Fiction Penguins Reference Books

The article provides a list of recommended penguin books that can be used as reference materials. These books cover both non-fiction and fiction genres and offer valuable information about penguins. Some of the recommended titles include "The Emperor's Egg" by Martin Jenkins, "Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #18: Penguins & Antarctica" by Mary Pope Osborne, and "Penguins" by Emily Rose Townsend.

I hope this information helps you understand the concepts mentioned in the article. If you have any further questions or need more information, feel free to ask!

Learning All About Penguins: Creative Lessons for Curious Kids (2024)

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