Thursday, 17 January 2013

Fun with Penguins

I think children and adults love penguins. 
They are so cute and fascinating.

A number of years ago my hubby and I went down to Melbourne to Phillip Island to see the fairy penguins coming back from their day at sea. 
Watching the penguins come onto the beach was so interesting. At dusk the penguins would start coming in on the waves. There would be a group of about 20 to 30 penguins and they would ride the waves in.  
Once on the beach, they seemed to know if all the group was there. If it wasn't, they would go back into the surf and a few minutes later they would come back onto the sand.

This routine could happen several times before they would be ready to head up the beach to the sand dunes and to their burrows.

Once the group was assembled they would waddle up into the sand hills to their hungry chicks.

 The chicks were eagerly waiting in their burrow, it was the cutest sight. 
Sometimes the chicks would come out of their burrows and harass the penguins as they came past as if to say...
"Are you my mother?"

 There were several groups of penguins all along the beach coming in from a day at sea and as the night fell the beach was full of fairy penguins. It was a wonderful sight.

If you get the chance you should visit the little fairy penguins at Phillip Island, you won't be disappointed.
I worried for the chicks whose parents did not return. 
I know, I am one big 'softy'.


My class learned about penguins and my little ones were like sponges and soaked it all up. 

Before we started the unit we talked about what we know about penguins.


We made a Penguin Facts book and I was so impressed with my students' writing. 

As we learned new information we completed pages in the book.

We also did a penguin Glyph.

 We talked about the food that penguins eat and what animals are predators of penguins.

We did a penguin food chain in our journals...

 We also did some measuring. 
We estimated whether we would be taller, shorter or the same height as the emperor penguin.

 Of course we had to check our estimate.

I have a life size blow-up emperor penguin so we were able to compare our size next to the 'real' thing! Well sort of the real thing.

The emperor penguin is rather huge.

We also made a little reader , The Itty Bitty Penguin.
I did a pocket chart activity and then my little ones made their own book to take home.

 My little ones had a lot of fun learning about penguins and so did I!!
We did lots of other literacy and maths activities.


I finally put all my activities together and it is available on TPT HERE 

Happy teaching.



Sarah said...

Oh my goodness. I bet seeing all those fairy penguins is amazing! I'm going to add that to my list of things to do if I ever make it to Australia for a trip!

Where did you get the blow-up emperor penguin? I love that!

Mrs Poultney said...

They look like they had fun with this Rhonda. I remember seeing the fairy penguins when I was a kid and we lived in Melbourne, they were adorable! It is nice to know they are still coming in to the same spot all these years later.
Mrs Poultney's Ponderings

Rhonda said...

It is a well organised viewing of the penguins.
There is a viewing area on the beach where you sit and watch the penguins arriving at the beach. Also there are boardwalks in the sand hills and you get a good look at the chicks in their nests. The whole idea is not to disturb the penguins or damage their habitat but to allow tourists the pleasure of seeing them without interfering with them. The penguins seem oblivious to all the attention and just carry on.

Rhonda said...

I got the emperor penguin from a National Geographic store in Sydney many years ago.
It is super cute. It takes a lot of air to blow it up but well worth it when I see the look of amazement on my children's faces.

Sandi Purdell-Lewis said...

We saw fairy penguins when we visited New Zealand. They are very cool little birds. I LOVE your blow up penguin - hope that you used a bicycle pump!

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