Penguin Palooza!

Do you study penguins in your classroom?  Over the years I have always tried to incorporate the research of these cuddly little waddlers because students just eat it up!  Even if you don't teach science, you can still make it work by completing a nonfiction unit of study PLUS you can tie that in with lots of great fiction literature with penguin characters!  Here's what I have done in the past...

This is probably my all time favorite:  Our Penguin Parade
Students were grouped together to study a type of penguin.  Once they completed their research, students drew life size penguins to display with their research.  We measured each penguin out and the students did an awesome job drawing their penguins together.  You can read more about that HERE!
We normally do start with whole-group research over penguins in general.  HERE's a little peek at how we started our penguin unit a couple of years ago.
Need a grammar skill to integrate?  Try adjectives!  Students can describe penguins for days!
Here we brainstormed a few adjectives and practiced writing facts rather than opinions.  You can grab that freebie HERE!
Even though we study penguins every year, I'm always looking for new ideas and activities to incorporate.  I'm just not the kind of person that can do the same thing year after year.  Katie and I looked high and low for penguin books that were top-notch.  Let me tell you... there's a lot of cute stories out there with penguins, but it was difficult to find stories that we could dig deep into!  When we ran across Penguin Problems and Flight School, we just had to create a little Rooted in Reading Special Edition!

In this unit you will read these two texts and compare the attitude of the characters.  One is super pessimistic and witty while the other is persistent and optimistic.  They view their limitations completely opposite... perfect for comparing and contrasting.  If your school promotes the Growth Mindset, I highly recommend Flight School!
Links to books

Because studying the different types of penguins is so intriguing, we include a nonfiction reader about Emperor Penguins that can be read together or independently.  The directed drawing of an Emperor Penguin chick can be paired perfectly with informational writing about the penguins!


Your students will also conduct their own little research.  This can be done for penguins in general OR for a specific type of penguin.  Your students can do this independently, in groups, or in partners. 
To finish it all off, students can make this little penguin booklet to showcase all of their research!  Just lift up the white body to see all of their hard work :)


To find the activities in this blog post, see below!
 

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