Fun Penguin Activities Kids Love!
The winter months are a perfect time to work a penguin unit of study in! This winter theme on flightless birds is a great way to include some nonfiction learning fun!
Penguins may seem like a bunch of formal, tuxedo-wearing birds, but let us tell you, they know how to have a good time! These cool critters are not only super cute, but they also make for a fantastic theme in the classroom.
Whether you’re looking to teach kids about the diverse penguin habitat locations and behaviors or simply want to have a little fun, we’ve got you covered. From penguin puppet shows to art projects and matching games, we’ve got a variety of waddlingly good activities that are sure to bring a smile to the faces of your little ones. So grab your top hats and monocles because it’s time to party like a penguin!
Whenever possible, we like to include other subject areas in our literacy block! Check out some of these cool penguin activities.
Penguin Activities – Reading Comprehension
We love the book The Emperor’s Egg by Martin Jenkins (affiliate links). This book is all the Emperor Penguin. It is a perfect penguin book to include in our informational text study and it makes the week pretty spectacular!
We love how the book includes a narrative text along with informational texts.
We use this book in our lesson plans to explore various reading comprehension strategies throughout the week!
Penguin Activities – Schema Building
Whenever we start a nonfiction use, we tend to start with what we already know about a subject. For this example: What do you already know about penguins?
Then, as we dive into our penguin unit studies, we can document the new knowledge we have gained.
Penguin Anchor Chart
We also use can-are-have charts to help support our young children as they write about penguin facts.
For example, students can use this chart to write:
- Penguins are black and white.
- Penguins have feathers.
- Penguins are birds that swim underwater.
You can also add additional books from your local library or school library. Drop those books into a book basket, and your kiddos can keep learning about these unique birds.
Penguin Vocabulary Work
Each of our Engaging Readers Reading Comprehension books highlights rich vocabulary words that are found in the book. Students explore the meaning of these words and work to incorporate them into their own language.
For your youngest students, you may wish to create this page as a class. OR you can do as this kindergarten teacher did and write the meaning of the word in first for her students before she made copies of the pages.
This may be a better way to prepare the vocabulary sheet for your little guys. Then students were able to draw a picture of the word and use it in a sentence.
Penguin Craft Activity
These adorable penguins are a great way to talk about the parts of a penguin. You could even add labels to the craft. Students strengthen their fine motor skills as they cut this cute penguin craft out of construction paper.
This craft is also a great way to add a mentor sentence to the penguin art masterpiece! This sentence says, “The Emporer chick hatched from an egg.”
Penguin Stem Activities
The students learn that Emporer penguins balance their precious egg on their feet while it is incubating. Therefore, students will explore balance.
For this STEM Challenge, you will use a few different materials:
- popsicle sticks
- a few wooden blocks
The object is to get the popsicle stick to balance on the block, then build a structure above it. It is fantastic fun!
Kids of all ages will have a great time with this engaging activity.
You can find the detailed directions by clicking on:
More Penguin Activity Fun
We also practiced balancing a ball on our feet and waddling.
The Emporer’s Egg Video
Because we read these books each day, it is a wonderful idea to offer another example of reading fluency and intonation. This is a great place to find videos that go with our Engaging Readers book series.
We look for our high frequency words in the poem then add the poem to our poetry notebook and also complete the emergent reading book that goes with the poem.
You can find these penguin poems by clicking:
The Emporer’s Egg Math and Literacy Activities
Keeping with the theme of “All Things Penguins,” we also have some penguin-themed centers.
These centers were created to go with the book, but they could be used with any penguin unit.
We have included two different puzzles in this unit.
- short vowel sound “e”
- “-old” word family
In this way, I can reach all of my students’ needs.
These penguin math worksheets were a big hit!
We also have some additional easy to prep worksheets. There is a sight word version that is editable, so you can add your own words.
You can find all of these activities by clicking:
Additional Penguin Activities for Math and Literacy Centers
I’m just going to share some of the different math centers and literacy centers can be used. If you click on the images, you will find the resource.
Free Penguin Worksheets
Here are some free penguin worksheets for you. Just add your email to the box below.
Other Winter Blog Posts
You may be interested in a few of these other winter related blog posts:
Other Polar Animals Blog Posts
You may be interested in a few of these other icy waters polar creatures