There's something about penguins that makes them irresistible.  The way they waddle so awkwardly in their tuxedo-like skin and then slide and dive and swim gracefully is just intriguing.  While it's cold outside, celebrate cold-climate life with a penguin storytime.
Antarctic Antics by Judy Sierra is a fun book of rhyming poems about Emperor penguins.  Share a few or a bunch of the poems depending on the amount of time you have, but don't worry about loosing students' attention.  Sierra's poems have a catchy cadence, and each one is cram-packed with bits of true information about penguins' habits, features, and adaptations.  The illustrations and endearing poems will engage little listeners, but older students will enjoy the rhyming science as well.  This book could also make a fun introduction for a life science lesson. Read one of the poems, "Regurgitate," at Judy Sierra's site. 
Your Personal Penguin by Sandra Boynton is a happy penguin friendship story that can be appreciated by all ages.  The best part about this book is that it comes with a cool musical version of the story that's sung by Davy Jones of The Monkees.  Visit the Workman Publishing site to hear the song, download the song, or see this neat video of Davy Jones recording "Your Personal Penguin" in the studio.
I have shared this book and song with students for the last five years, and it has never failed. Young students especially enjoy singing along with the song and waddling like a penguin.

After the read-aloud, take advantage of the theme to teach a geography lesson.
Use this interactive map to show where penguins live around the world.  Students can click on the red areas to find out lots more about the types of penguins indigenous to each area.

Visit Penguins of the Antarctic by PBS to see this cool, interactive map of penguin distribution in Antarctica.  You can use the map to compare the locations of different types of penguins on the continent.

Finally, let students make their own personal penguin with this super simple shape craft.  First, students glue a small white oval onto a large black oval.  Discuss the colors and shapes as you go along.  Next, two small white circle make the penguin's eyes.  Finally, students use three small orange triangles to make a bill and feet.  All they need is a little glue.  I think glue sticks are less messy, so that's what I like to use.

 If you have extra time, students can use crayons to add more details to their penguins.


Terry M Scott (AKA Terry Mann) said...

Wow Amber, you must be a great teacher.
I'm carrying the spiral notebook you gave me in my purse
to jot down blog ideas.Thanks again.

librarianism said...

That's so nice of you to say, Terry! I'm glad you're enjoying the notebook.