Jumpstart Your Planning with These Amazing Penguin Themed Ideas

Kids love penguins. They are fascinating. This post offers teaching resources, book titles, and freebies for a fantastic Penguin week.

Penguins are amazing, but studying them is even more exciting. In fact, researching penguins crosses multiple subject areas…math, science, reading, and writing, and even better than that, kids LOVE them! In today’s post, I am sharing ideas, book suggestions, and resources for penguin and polar animal studies. 

BEST PENGUIN THEMED BOOKS

To start off, here are my favorite books for the theme.  Of course, we can not teach a penguin theme without using great books. The Tacky books are my favorites in the primary grades as well as nonfiction selections. It’s amazing how many different breeds of penguins there are, so there should be a great choices in your school library.

For the middle grades, I love the book,  Mr. Popper’s Penguins as a read aloud. You can even share the movie afterwards.  You see resources for both of these below.

Kids love penguins. They are fascinating. This post offers teaching resources, book titles, and freebies for a fantastic Penguin week.

Eve of the Emperor Penguin

Eve of the Emperor Penguin by Mary Pope Osborne is another great penguin book that I enjoy using with my third/fourth grade kids this time of year. The Magic Treehouse series are well liked by so many children, and I love the fact that Osborne includes such rich vocabulary and ties in science and social studies content into the books.  This one takes Jack and Annie to the Arctic for lots of frigid adventure.

Tacky the Penguin

Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester. This series is just plain fun. Our kindergarten teachers have a whole week devoted to penguins and Tacky is a favorite. His crazy behavior keeps the children engaged, and the story works well with many reading skills. You must check them out if you haven’t already. I haven’t made anything for Tacky, but Teresa Maguire has with this great Close Reading set, and it’s free! The set could be used with the whole group to model skills in K-1, and in small group with 2-3.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Another favorite Penguin book of mine is Mr. Popper’s Penguins. It’s always fun to share it and the movie afterwards.I have enjoyed using this book with fourth and fifth (depending on the reading level of the group).  It is an old classic.  Every group I’ve had read it has enjoyed it. The reading level is third to fourth grade.

Close Reading Resources about Penguins

There are so many great options for studying penguins and other polar animals, but I am going to start out with two sets that I’ve made.  I plan to use them together during the same week and teach my students to make comparisons across multiple texts. The first is a forever freebie.  I have purchased a LOT of close reading materials to use with my students, but I’ve really wanted to make a few of my own.  It will introduce your students to penguin research and help your students learn the routines of close reading.  To access this FREE resource, simply click the image to the right.

Kids love penguins. They are fascinating. This post offers teaching resources, book titles, and freebies for a fantastic Penguin week.

The second set is a partner script written for two voices called Penguins on Parade.  It is a fictional story based upon the idea of Tacky.  The main character has all sorts of challenges on the ice, but he overcomes these issues by being a superb swimmer. It would work well if you are trying to teach author’s message/theme or character development.  The resource is not free (but is only $3.00).  It includes supplementary materials for writing too.

Art Ideas:

I love pairing art projects with writing, and I found these projects especially cute and fairly easy to use. If you’re displaying work, then adding these to the project sure makes a fun display.

Kids love penguins. They are fascinating. This post offers teaching resources, book titles, and freebies for a fantastic Penguin week.
Kids love penguins. They are fascinating. This post offers teaching resources, book titles, and freebies for a fantastic Penguin week.
Kids love penguins. They are fascinating. This post offers teaching resources, book titles, and freebies for a fantastic Penguin week.
Kids love penguins. They are fascinating. This post offers teaching resources, book titles, and freebies for a fantastic Penguin week.

Polar Animal Research:

If you’re wanting to do an extended study of polar animals, check out this bundle in my store. It includes five close reading sets plus and a Polar Animals Paper Bag Book Research Project. The paper bag books guide students through the researching process for a fun final project.

This Pinterest board has been formed to collect our planning sheets as well as other themed resources. Feel free to follow it or pin to your own collection.

Do you enjoy thematic teaching? Check out the other themed posts on my blog for ideas you might enjoy trying. The posts each include book lists, resources, tech ideas, and other ideas I’ve found enjoyable. If you enjoy themed teaching, share some of the themes you like in the comments below.

Kids love penguins. They are fascinating. This post offers teaching resources, book titles, and freebies for a fantastic Penguin week.
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This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Kim Wood

    Great post again Carla! Thanks for all the great ideas and for the opportunity to share and link up!

  2. Sebrina Burke

    Thank you for the opportunity to link up Carla. I always enjoy reading your posts and get lots of great resources and information. I was glad to participate this time!
    Sebrina
    Burke's Special Kids

  3. I am so glad you linked up, Linda. I had not visited your blog before, so it's nice to see a new face. 🙂 I used to use that with second grade, but now have 4/5. Eve of the Emperor Penguin is more my level with 4th (struggling). I still totally love Tacky though!! My kids are going to have so much fun next week.

  4. Yeah on the resources! Likewise though…I love reading your posts too. It's nice to combine all of these great ideas and make planning easy for everyone! I have way more resources than I have time to do them all. 🙂 Nice to have options.
    Carla

  5. Kylie M

    Thanks so much Carla. I am so pleased this post came through my thread actually, as it is really timely. We are looking at animals from the Arctic and Antarctic in our literacy course this semester coming, so all of the links are AWESOME and very timely 🙂 Your generosity in sharing is really appreciated…so that question re: penguins, was a sincere question and I feel a bit naive to admit that I thought penguins were also in the Arctic region before working on this for my literacy course, tbh. Keep up your great work! You are amazing and inspirational 🙂 Kylie

  6. Okay…all fixed up! That was my project for today…revised, created a sample of the research mini book (so cute and fun), and even did an instastory. I appreciate greatly your note and revision. I should have caught the error when I bought the clip art that I used. It was named Arctic Animals Clip Art, but included a penguin. I knew better and should have caught it when I taught the unit to my fourth and fifth graders. Goodness, we spent two weeks research penguins, so I knew.

  7. Kylie M

    Dear Carla, I love your work and I love your resources! I can't wait to check out your instastory – I don't think I have ever seen one of those 🙂 You inspire so many, so thank you 🙂 Kylie

  8. Kylie M

    p.s. Is there a link to the instastory, Carla?

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