Saturday, January 8, 2011

Penguin Unit for First Grade

Hopefully, I'm getting this out to you with enough time to incorporate it into your January or February lesson plans!  And, if you've already done penguins this year, maybe it will just give you some new ideas.  I also want to note that many of my idea came from or were inspired by activities given in Deanna Jump's Penguin Unit which can be purchased at Teachers Pay Teachers.  {It will be a purchase worth your while!  Promise!}

Also, I would have to say this was probably one of the most fun topics that we have studied all year.  The kids LOVED it and were totally into all the non-fiction books we read.  They were inspired all week - even to the point of waddling through the hallways when we were on our way to lunch or specials!  Their excitement was contagious.  When I know my kids are truly inspired about learning, I am inspired.  Those are the best kind of teaching days :)

Click the pic above to download the 5-day {brief} unit plans!

{Day 1}
To start off our week, I created this large, whole-group graphic organizer so that we could ground our old knowledge and add our new learning throughout the week. 


After our readings and discussions, we completed the following activity (this was my sample; the worksheet is in Deanna's unit).

{Day 2}
After reading another non-fiction selection, we defined habitat as a whole group and listed penguin habitats.  They LOVED talking about "guano" - AKA penguin poop - and we had a really good laugh discussing how it was part of some penguins' habitats.  One of my students even wrote a sentence about it {see below}. 

Our culminating activity was to paint a penguin in an icy habitat.  This idea came from  Deep Space Sparkle{I would HIGHLY recommend this blog if you enjoy doing artsy projects with your kiddos!}  I modeled this by drawing and painting a large scale scene and guided the kids through the lesson.  I think the results were marvelous!  Little kid art is my fav!

{Day 3}

Earlier in the week, I'd asked my students to wear "tacky" clothes for Tacky the Penguin Day.  {No pictures of my kiddos due to privacy, but they were hilarious!}.  The kids thought this "odd bird" was extremely entertaining and have been singing Tacky songs ever since :)  All worksheets were taken from Deanna's unit.  I had some penguin stationery and the students made up penguin stories to write about.

{Day 4}

Though our readings really didn't have anything to do with the glyphs, they were enthralled with the birth of a baby penguin.  They wanted to read more and more!  To make the glyph activity easier to understand when "shopping" for the pieces, I made this whole group chart and laminated it for reuse next year.




We also completed an can/have/are whole group chart.


{Day 5}

The kids LOVED the "blubber" glove simulation activity.  I didn't take pictures {because I was busy slathering Vaseline on hands!}, but it was definitely worth the mess.  My recommendations - add LOTS of shortening to the baggie!  Once you think you have enough, add another dollop! 

{Literacy Center Activity - Long I}
Since we are studying long i this week (we didn't do it the week before Christmas due to all the snow days we had), I made this to keep it current.  You can download it by clicking HERE.   

Lastly, here is a Long I chart I made to use throughout the week and for upcoming lessons...
I did write the poem - but please feel free to use it or change it! 

Whew!  That was a lot!  Please feel free to use and or alter any activity you see here! 

Let me know if you have any questions or if a link is down.  Have a great day! 

27 comments:

Rachelle and Brian said...

So cute! I just went and bought the Penguin unit from Deanna Jump! I can't wait for the blubber experiment! Love the long I poster too!
-Rachelle
www.whattheteacherwants.blogspot.com

Curly J said...

Wow!! This IS a lot of stuff, but thanks so much for posting! There's tons of ideas there for Penguin/Winter units! =)

It's nice too see what penguin unit activities look like completed in the classroom too :D

calpers said...

THANK YOU sooo much Abby for sharing your penguin unit! We are doing penguins this week and now I really can't wait! : )
I love the poem that goes with your long vowel i chart. Did you create that or did you find the poem somewhere? Love it! : )
Cindy in South Carolina

stacy said...

Love this!! Can't wait to use it.. we start our penguin unit in 2 weeks!! Perfect timing!

According to Ashley said...

I love penguins!! Such cute activities! I need to get better about planning actual UNITS next year, instead of just teaching objectives.

Jamie said...

What a great unit! I know the kids have a wonderful time in your class!

California Wife said...

Whan an adorable penguin unit!

Anonymous said...

Awesome! Do you have any other long vowel poems or posters to share? Thanks!!!

Abby Farnham said...

i forgot to tell you this... but i think it's funny. two weeks ago i got an etsy order from a follower. i didn't think twice about seeing which follower it was. and on the form she wrote that she loved all the spotlights i did on educational materials because she was a teacher too! and then it hit me. she thought she was ordering a headband from babbling abby! :) happy saturday! and thanks for inadvertently sending me business!

Deanna Jump said...

Abby,
A friend just told me I needed to come and check out your blog! Wow, thank you so much for the awesome compliment (I don't know why I'm such a sap but your post made me cry)! I'm so glad you and your firsties liked my unit. I appreciate your post and I'm adding you to my list of favorite blogs!
Deanna Jump
www.mrsjumpsclass.blogspot.com

Gladys said...

I LOVE all the fun penguin activities...I have to go and purchase Deanna Jump's unit now...and thank you for the cute "I" poem...I'll definitely be using this one with my kiddos!

-Gladys

http://teachinginhighheels.blogspot.com

The Taffs said...

I teach 3rd grade, but you definitely have given me some great ideas! Thanks for sharing!


How do you balance mommyhood and teaching???

Sharon said...

How awesome! You did a great job. Makes me want to do these activities too!

Krazy for Kinders said...

Thanks Abby for all the wonderful ideas and pictures. It truly inspires me to try these new fun and exiting ideas in my classroom. I was also wondering if you had any other poems or charts for the other long vowel sounds?
Thanks! :-)
~ Amanda

Jess said...

Hi, I just found your blog through a mutual friends. Just wanted to drop in an say hi! I look forward to following you. I love all the penguin ideas you posted! I may have to use them for my music therapy sessions.

~Jess
http://bringingyoumorethanasong.blogspot.com/

Ashley said...

Wow! This looks like so much fun! I might have to steal some ideas for my kindergarten classroom!

Sassy B said...

I LOVE doing penguins with my students each year. I would like to ask if you have a basal textbook that you are required to use. Also if your school gives grades in first grade. I am definitely going to be using some of your ideas if we ever get to go back to school!!!! Snow! Last week we went two days and I did some of the gingerbread activities since we missed the week before Christmas break.

Kelly said...

Aww, I love all these great penguin ideas. I haven't taught penguins in a few years but all these fun ideas might motivate me to bring them back!

Hadar said...

Love that long i chart! So creative!

Vodka Mom said...

Love it! I am going to adapt some of these when we do animals in the artic in three weeks!!

Emily said...

Thank you so much for sharing! I stumbled upon your blog recently and LOVE IT. We are starting a polar animals unit and this will fit in perfectly! I appreciate all your work!

smorss99 said...

Great ideas! You inspire me to do more!

kinder-pond.blogspot.com

Sarah Denley said...

Ohmigosh, this is awesome. I was in the education field before I started staying home with my little girl and stuff like this makes me miss it a little bit!

I have to say I remember reading your post about wishing you could be at home and feeling so sad about it. It's really great to see that you are making the most of it and your students obviously have a fabulous teacher!

amanda said...

I love this unit! I am using the long I sort for one of my classes! Thank you for sharing!

EDunnagan said...

I love your unit ideas! I bought the unit you recommended from TPT and downloaded Sea World's penguin unit for some additional ideas to stretch my unit to 2 1/2 weeks. Thanks for everything! We start our unit on Monday!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing! I'll be teaching about penguin in two weeks and this is just perfect.

Amanda Boyarshinov said...

I just adore penguins and learning about them. This week I posted 101+ activities and crafts to do with a penguin theme and included a link back to this post. It was sooo cute. I hope our readers stop by and visit your site! Thank you for inspiring others to craft, learn, and connect with their children.