Monday, January 14, 2013

Penguin Fun

Last week was a week of penguin fun!  We learned a lot, did an awesome science experiment to experience life as a penguin, played a great little game, and everyone loved Tacky.
We started the week off by meeting Tacky.   Yeah!  If you have not read any of the Tacky books, you have to check them out!   There are several books in the series, and Tacky will always give you a good laugh.  "Tacky is an odd bird, but a very nice bird to have around." 

After reading one of our non-fiction books about penguins, we completed a compare and contrast diagram with penguins and birds.  The kids did great with this.  They were coming up with so many things: swim, fly, beak, eat fish, webbed feet, wings, etc.   Then they told me, "Mrs. Rucker, I think you need to put more lines on the diagram for the kids next year."  lol  Way to go kindergarten! Click here to download this freebie diagram:  Compare and Contrast: Penguin & Bird

But, how can you understand what it's like to be a penguin, without trying it out.  So, we did! We belted pillows on our bellies (of course black and white) and put a little "egg" on our feet.   Then I had the kids waddle down around a cone and come back.  This was hilarious! When their egged rolled off,  they sure had a tough time getting it back on their feet with all that blubber in the way!  My para told me that she thought everyone should try this so they could experience life being pregnant!

To end the week, I wanted them to experience the "cold" life of a penguin. So, I posed a question:  "How are the penguins able to swim in that really cold water?"  Eeeeek!  We had to put on our "Serious Scientist Faces!"  After drawing our equipment and making predictions about why, we were ready to go.  This was incredible.  They could actually explain why:  the blubber, the feathers, the oil, and they could actually experience it.

We stared by feeling the water with the "icebergs"......just to make sure it was cold.  Then we talked about a penguin's blubber and feathers:  our green cotton glove.   Oh yes, our hands were warm, but what would happen if we put them in the water?????   BURRR - wet and cold!  

Then came the oil discussion:  our purple (latex-free) glove that we got from the nurse.  Would this help?  Yep, it did the job.  One hand was freezing and one hand was warm and dry!  This glove represented the oil on the penguin's feathers, and the kids totally got it!


What an incredible week!

"An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge."  Proverbs 18:15

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday


  1. So, so, so. so cute! I LOVE Tacky the penguin and have owned that book for years! Cute little 'ol Tacky. Since he is a favorite of mine, I have to share him on FB tonight!
    The Teacher’s Chair
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    Happy Pinning!

    1. Thanks Tracey!!! The kids had a total blast last week, and I always get a kick out of how much they love Tacky! :)

  2. You are so creative Faith! I love all your creative ideas. I wish we had an arctic animals unit because I'd LOVE to use Tacky the Penguin, I'm just going to have to figure out how to work him in somewhere! :)

    Fun in PreK-1

    P.S. I'm having a giveaway for my new transportation unit if you want to hop over!

    1. Ooooh, I am going to have to check that out!! :0) I could definitely use that when we do our "Communities" unit! Thanks for the wonderful encouragement and kind words. I definitely love my job. If you can fit Tacky and the adorable penguins in some where, do it! Your kids will love it.

  3. These are some fantastic ideas for learning about penguins! I'm pinning this to do these with my kids!

    1. Yeah!! Thanks! My kids had so much fun, and I hope yours do to! :o)

  4. I love the penguin waddling!! I did something like this a few weeks ago but only used balls.... Next time I am using the pillows! Looks like the kiddos had a blast!!

    Teaching Munchkins