Animals in the Wild PENGUIN Vincent Serventy 0-590-40102-5
A Smart Start Reader Penguins Scholastic books 0-590-96962-5
The kids generate "I wonder" questions. I wonder where penguins live? I wonder what penguins eat? I wonder how penguins move? I wonder how the penguins take care of their babies? I wonder how penguins stay warm in the ice? I wonder ....
Then we read a penguin book together. I use A Smart Start Reader Penguins Scholastic books 0-590-96962-5 to begin this unit of study. It is set up with bold print headings and is similar to many text books.
After reading a page, I ask what "I wonder" question did the page answer. Sometimes the page doesn't answer any question we had. Sometimes, the page generates another round of questions.
I then give the kids 15 minutes to read the penguin books I have available. I let the kids read alone or in partners or in small groups. They do a variety depending on the kids.
Then the kids tell the class one fact they have learned so far from their reading.
We continue reading and adding to KWL everyday. The children begin reading penguin books of their choosing. The kids get into groups and research specific penguins. I gather the children together to have them sign up for penguins that they want to learn about. I list the 17 penguins on the board. They sign up for the penguin they want. I am not particular if more than one child wants to study the same penguin. I also don't hold the kids to studying everyone of the different penguins. Working together is part of the goal of this project. Then the kids read and learn about their specific penguin. At the end of each day we add to the "learn" section. As the kids want to add to the learn section, I have them read from their book where they learned that fact.
Day 2-4 the kids work together learning about penguins. They make some kind of visual for an oral presentation.
The kids share their reports with the rest of the class and me.
I put crisco -- thick white vegetable oil (not liquid) in a double baggy. Then the kids put their hand inside the "blubber" baggies so their hand doesn't get messy, then they stick their hands on the ice cubes. They figure out that the hand with blubber is warmer than the hand with straight ice cubes. Then the kids understand that penguins blubber helps keep them warm.