Penguin Tear Art and Stories by 2nd Graders

 Every year in January when it is super snowy cold outside, we get out the penguin books and magazines and we decide to write a story copying the style of Helen Lester in one of my most beloved children’s books: Tacky the Penguin.

Our Bulletin board of penguin stories and tear art penguins. 
Tacky the Penguin is my favorite children’s story book of all time.

My very favorite children’s book is called Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester. She is a wonderful children’s author. The story is all about a comical, odd bird who does not conform and doesn’t fit in. (hmmm…maybe I feel a kinship to this bird, ya think?)  I love books like this because of course, by the end of the story, all those who didn’t really like Tacky, grow to love him when he saves the day. The author has written a slug of similar books starring Tacky, and he cracks me up in every single one. It teaches kids a lesson too: that just because somebody is different doesn’t mean they don’t have a lot to offer. (yeah, all of us oddballs have something in common….).

 Trenton the Scientist Penguin gets himself into a lot of trouble!

And who wouldn’t love an opera singing penguin from Bangalore? Hmmm?

Love the cute “microphone” she is singing with….too funny! 
I think this artist penguin has an art easle here with an abstract of falling snow…..sweet! 

 So we start by reading and laughing at Tacky and all his antics in several books. Tacky does odd things because he is an “odd” bird.” (It repeats this phrase throughout the story). We brainstorm other types of penguins like scientist penguins, doctor penguins and football star penguins, and I ask what kinds of things each would like to do? 

 I take all their crazy ideas and we do a brainstorm on the board. For example, a rock star penguin might like to play guitar on stage and sing in a microphone. A football player penguin might like to tackle other penguins and throw football spirals, or make touchdowns in an icy stadium full of screaming penguin fans. This takes time and energy. But I may have a future Mark Twain or Hemingway in my group, who knows? 

The artist penguin looks so cute like he’s a little frenchie complete with a beanie and a painter’s pallette.

Weekly Readers and Science Spin Magazines I have Saved over the years and the kids read these in small groups to get more of a background on Penguins of the Antarctic. I always read them the book Mr. Popper’s Penguins during this time too. It is a chapter book my teacher read to me one year. I still remember how much I loved it! 
A Graphic Organizer for listing penguin facts one year when we did a Penguin Fact Book. 

 I always ask them to add 2 describing words to their stories after they are done. Word choice is an important feature. We like $100 words like “fantastic” and “awesome” and “humungus” a lot better than $1 words like “good” and “nice”And our word wall is papered with $100 words the kids have come up with. So you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every writing. A cute art project using a toilet paper roll can be found HERE

Gotta love a Super Hero Penguin, don’t ya? 

 For the penguins we tore little, 1 cm strips of white paper into a pile of “snowflakes bits”. Then we used a  9 x 9 inch square of bright blue construction paper and glued the little snowflake bits on the bottom of the page forming a small “hill” for penguins to stand on (or snowboard on….LOL ). 

Football Player Penguin…so cute.

Here is a fun webcam to watch the penguins in their habitat HERE.

Got to have a penguin from Las Vegas, now don’t ya?

We had several “Rock Stars” in the group too! 

 We then drew a black “potato” shape on black construction paper and tore around it. This was the body. Glue that on the hill. Then we tore a black round head and tore 2 “finger shaped” flippers. I punched out white holes from a hole puncher and went around each desk and dropped 2 holes for eyes. They glued those on their heads and used a sharpie fine point marker to make tiny black dots on the eyes. Then they tore 2 small, orange feet and  cut out a yellow triangle beak. 

Cute soccer ball and soccer penguin. 

Snowmen and Penguin math and literacy pages can be printed and some challenge added. I’ll  use the Snowmen sentences to have the kids write their vocabulary definitions and the snowmen syllables for their spelling words practice.This would be a fun center if I laminate them on cardstock to reuse them different weeks during the winter.

Last Year we did Penguin Acrostic Poems to go with our art project. It was cute too. Here are a few.

 Penguin Acrostic Poems.

 Then we did Footprint Penguins. They took a LOT of time. The kids kept squealing that the paint was cold! lol. The small penguins are thumbprints. These turned out cute too. But the kids enjoy making their own tear art penguins much better I decided.

Here are some of the books I read to the kids
about Penguins. 

This is a cute Snowman Syllables literacy page from Live Love Laugh’s Cute K  website.

Hope you enjoyed the penguin stories and art. We sure  had some good penguin fun writing them and being artsy, designing them, I’ll have to say.

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