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Early Childhood Thematic Program


Minor, Wendell and Florence Minor
If You Were a Penguin
Pictures and rhyming text present some of the many extraordinary things penguins can do. Includes facts about penguins as well as related websites.
Barner, Bob
Penguins, Penguins, Everywhere!
Color illustrations and rhyming text describe the life of penguins.

Additional Books:

Crewe, Sabrina
The Penguin
Provides an introduction to the life cycle, physical characteristics, behavior, and habitat of a penguin.
Lester, Helen
Three Cheers for Tacky
Tacky the penguin adds his own unique touch to his team's routine at the Penguin Cheering Contest, with surprising results.
Edel, Rodriguez
Sergio Makes a Splash!
Even though he loves water, Sergio the penguin is afraid to swim in the deep water until he learns how.

Vocabulary Word:

Toboggan: (verb) to fall rapidly (from If You Were a Penguin)



Penguin March

(children are marching or waddling as they repeat this military chant; children repeat each line after the teacher)

I'm a penguin black and white
I can't fly but that's all right
I've got feathers that's not fur
and I lay eggs like other birds

Penguins, 1, 2
Penguins, 3, 4
Penguins, 5, 6, 7, 8
They're great!

I just swim to get my meals
But I watch out for leopard seals.
I'm from the south as you may know
And now it's time for me to go.
(repeat chorus)

Penguin Shuffle

Penguins shuffle shuffle to the left, left, left
Penguins shuffle shuffle to the right, right, right
Give a little wiggle
Give a little hop
Waddle round the iceberg
Never want to stop



If You're a Penguin and You Know It

(to the tune of "If You're Happy and You Know It")

If you're a penguin and you know it flap your wings (flap, flap)
If you're a penguin and you know it flap your wings (flap, flap)
If you're a penguin and you know it and you really want to show it,
If you're a penguin and you know it flap your wings (flap, flap)

If you're a penguin and you know it waddle your feet (waddle, waddle)
If you're a penguin and you know it eat a fish (yum, yum)
If you're a penguin and you know it go for a swim (swim, swim)

Penguin Song

(Tune: The Ants Go Marching)

Penguins waddle all day long, Hurrah, Hurrah!
Penguins waddle all day long, Hurrah, Hurrah!
They only stop to take a swim and when they're done, they waddle again
The penguins waddle around, and around, and around, and around




Ice Painting
Give each child a paper plate and an ice cube. Sprinkle a small amount of powder tempera paint on each child's paper plate. Have the children rub their ice cubes over the powder tempera. As the ice melts, it will turn the powder into liquid paint that dries quickly on their paper plates.

Physical Activity:

Ice Floe Jumping
Lay ice floes (carpet squares or large pieces of white butcher paper) out on the floor in a single file line. Have everyone line up single file and take turns hopping from ice floe to ice floe. They must land with both feet on each ice floe; if they don't, they are considered to have fallen in the drink and must step aside. Space the carpet squares/papers a little farther apart for each new round until all but one penguin, the winner has been eliminated.


Blubber Experiment
Separate Ziploc bags into two pairs. With each pair place one Ziploc bag into the other. Take one pair of the Ziploc bags and fill with a layer (about 2cm.) of Crisco. Seal the gap between the bags with duct tape leaving the inner bag open so you can put your hand in it. This is your blubber glove. Put one hand inside the blubber glove. Squish the fat around as necessary so as to cover your hand completely. Put your other hand inside the two other plastic bags (without Crisco). This is your control. Now dip both hands into the icy water. Which one gets colder first?

Children participating in this activity should learn that the blubber glove keeps their hand from getting as cold as their other hand. This is to simulate how penguins and other marine mammals (walruses, whales, otters, etc.) stay warm in such cold waters as in the Antarctic/Arctic environments.