Sunday, December 8, 2013

Penguins Aplenty!

What is black and white and loads of fun? PENGUINS!

I have always had a soft spot for these waddling, fascinating animals, and it is always one of my popular themes in speech each year.  I am amazed at the stuff I have found this past year to add to my penguin fun, and I thought I would share them with you since winter is a great time to do a penguin theme (either in place of holidays or after holiday break).

I always start the week with Tacky, the Penguin by Helen Lester. 

Using my camera on my iPhone, I took pictures of pages from the book, printed them out, and have the kids retell the story using the photos.  I also like to use nonfiction when possible!  The We Give Books site allows members (it is free to join) access to many nonfiction texts, and I use this site to read the book "See How They Grow-  Penguins" about penguins. 
The site has other nonfiction books about Emperor Penguins and arctic animals that tie in nicely with the theme!  Click here to see:
We add in additional fun with an array of games!  Here are some that we have used:
Penguin Popper (practice your goal, get two chances to pop the popper into a bucket)
Don't Rock The Boat (my kids are obsessed with this game and ask for it all year).  Simply balance penguins on a boat without any falling off.
Penguin Panic (Jenga with ice bricks)
Penguin Land (a new game I got at a Tuesday Morning store where you get to spin a snowball as fast as you can to knock down your opponents penguins).

And what theme isn't complete without a craftivity?
This time, we use a black plastic cup to make our own penguins.  I like to make a Tacky, but sometimes we just make a plain Penguin too!
Students can use white crayons to write words on the black cup used for the penguin that have their sounds in them.   Or you can use this template from Live, Love, Laugh to make a paper copy where your students can write down words from the book with their sounds in them on the penguin.

Have fun!

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