Thursday, December 2, 2010

Playful Penguins

Petroleum Jelly 
To start off the Winter season I always like to being with a unit on penguins. I find them to be an easy transition from turkeys to gingerbread, reindeer and etc. There are so many fun things to do with penguins. When I first starting teaching, I had trouble coming up with activities so I would do polar bears and penguins together. What was I thinking? I'm sure many of you teachers have thoughts just like that. Needless to say, polar bears and penguins are completely separate units now and I have trouble figuring out what activities to do for both! I want to share my favorite activity and one that is most loved by my kids. I found this idea from Mrs. Jumps Class
so I cannot take an credit, but I have tweaked it and made it my own, of course!

First we start out with petroleum jelly on our hands and I go around to all the kids and have them dip their hands inside ice water and pull them out. They notice that the water rolls off just as it would on a penguin's feathers.

Glove & Ice
Penguin Puppet
Next we put on a winter glove (just like the penguins winter feathers and blubber) and put a plastic bag over it. Then they put that hand inside ice water and their other hand without the glove inside ice water. They notice that the hand without the glove and bag are FrEeZiNg! This is how penguins stay warm during the winter.

They love this! I am actually doing this experiment with my class tomorrow and will upload pictures as soon as possible. In the mean time I will include a recording sheet that my students use to record their findings.
Enjoy the freebie!!
How do penguins stay warm?

"All penguins have soft feathers"
"A penguin has blubber"



  1. That's great.

    I'd never thought of doing penguins or polar bears. Makes me rethink December altogether. I'm really curious as to what sort of activities you do, aside from this one. I might do penguins & polar bears in January.

    Ms. M