Back to School in January! PENGUIN WEEK!


Cute Footprint Art Penguins! Just use wiggly eyes and paint on all the rest! 

I got this cute idea to do footprint penguins from Fun Handprint Art’s blog.  I thought we could do it in January right when we get back from our Christmas break.  Her link is HERE for Penguin Footprint Art.
I like to get something up on the bulletin board the day we get back too, so these would be great; a FAMILY of PENGUINS! 

I thought since Mr. Popper’s Penguins came out and it will probably be in video by January, we should do a fun unit on it.  I read it to my class last year and since I am looping and teaching them again this year in 2nd grade we could go from where we left off.

A cute Penguin Fill-in-the-blanks worksheet is HERE at TLS Books.  And some cute writing paper shaped like a Penguin and a cute Penguin Title Page for a story or report with the same shape can be found HERE at A to Z Teacher’s Stuff Penguin and Polar Bears Printables. I LOVE that website. It is probably the first one I ever used as a teacher.  Another good one if you want to do little mini research reports is Enchanted Learning for Penguin theme.  They have so many resources and some are free.

Some Fun Penguin Books for the COOL PENGUIN UNIT!

  • Your Personal Penguin by Sandra Boynton
  • Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater
  • Cinderella Penguin: Little Glass Flipper by Janet Perlman
  • The Penguin and the Pea by Janet Perlman
  • The Emperor Penguin’s New Clothes by Janet Perlman
  • Little Penguin’s Tale by Audrey Wood
  • The Penguin and the Pea by Janet Perlman
  • Antartic Antics: A Book pf Penguin Poems> by Judy Sierra
    I will have the kids do Penguin research reports. They check out books from the library on penguins first. Then they copy off some facts that they think are interesting about the penguin. Then they get in cooperative groups and share some facts with some other student in their group and discuss what they found out.  Then they can add some new facts to their own reports from a friend.

    Lastly we will paint our penguins.  Last year I had them write penguin stories with a little problem and a solution and a setting which was a city and state in the U.S.A.  They were really pretty hysterical.  We had Katie Perry the Rock Star Penguin falling off the stage!  So Cute!

    Here are some funny Penguin Stories we did last year and the funny tear art penguins that went along with them. 

    To check out how we did these darling Penguin Stories and the Tear Art LINK HERE to Patties Classroom. We did some CUUUUUUUUTE STUFF last year too!

    We brainstormed Penguin facts on this giant penguin to keep up all during the unit. 

    This is a fantastic strategy for getting kids to learn facts from your unit.  Keep a big visual aid up the whole unit long in the shape of what you are studying and keep adding facts you learn from literature, magazines like Scholastic News or Weekly Readers, and any activities or experiments you do in the unit.


    Penguin Bowling is a fun game I found online. The link and directions for Penguin Bowling in math is HERE at Mathwire! They also had a Capture the Penguins game that looks similar to Battleship. My students would LOVE both of these games! I would not LOVE making all those penguins though. So maybe some out of lima beans spray painted black with a white belly and face.  I’ll have to see what I can come up with.


    These penguins were made from clothespins on a doll stand…SO CUTE!


    Since I like to teach thematically I will have the kids play a math problem solving called “Pascal’s Penguins. The Link to Pascal’s Penguin Problem Solving is HERE.  This is perfect for my kids, but if it is too challenging independently it sure would be a good whole class problem solving to introduce daily math. Lots of kids could figure it out if you give the proper directions. 

    Language Arts & Character Education
    This is my all-time favorite book. I don’t know why but I think it is cute, hilarious, sends an important message to kids against bullying the one who is different, and also, Tacky turns out to be the HERO when he saves the day.  I like happy endings, what can I say. 

    So I found a reader’s theater we could read, since we did the story last year.  This year we will do the play. I’m sure the kids’ expression and fluency has improved over the year too and should be a fun play we could put on for the other classes. A link for the free Tacky the Penguin Reader’s Theater is HERE at Reading Lady.

    You could also do a 2nd relay race with tiny plastic Easter Eggs…(penguin eggs) on spoons….

    P.E. Penguin Relay Races!!!
    These are super fun to watch AND to play. You need a nerf type ball for each relay team. 
    Divide kids into two teams. Have players put a ball (penguin egg) between their knees and “waddle” to a finish line. Carry ball back to teammate next in line who in turn waddles down. If ball is dropped, they must return to start and begin waddling again. Winning penguins are those that waddle fastest without dropping their “egg”

    Another fun one is Duck Duck Goose only with Penguin Penguin Polar Bear!

    This cute art project from a black potato print is from


     And lastly, how about a game of Penguin HOPPERS? Similar to Hopscotch, you tape some paper rocks to the gym floor in a sequence with a little space between, just enough for hopping.  The children throw a fish bean bag and then hop on 1 foot across the rocks to “catch” the fish. Then hop back and the next person goes.  You can write different points on each rock to make it more competitive to see who can score the highest after 4 rounds.  I usually do this in teams of 4 so everybody gets multiple turns.

     Or they can go in a circle around the gym (more rocks needed) by throwing their fish…hopping to get it….throwing again…tallying their points.  That way the class can watch 3 or 4 kids going around the circle at staggered times. You could do it with carpet squares too, which might make it easier on teacher! 😀
    OR if you have the funds you can purchase a Penguin Hopscotch rug. It looks like it would be fun for indoor games for $40.00 bucks…..not cheap….but lots of fun!

    I don’t know why all primary grade teachers love penguins so much. Maybe it is because the art projects in black and white always turn out sooooo cute! Maybe it is because they are so interesting and unusual animals…..and the kids are very inquisitive and intrigued by them. Whatever the reason, kids are always engaged in learning more about them!

    It should be a fun week back from holiday!

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