Penguin Unit

Penguin Unit

As a part of our Antarctica Continent Study we learned about penguins (along with other animals). This was VERY much of interest to the girls so it grew into its own unit. They had so much fun acting like penguins, reading about penguins, watching penguins… all the penguin things! I planned for both the tot and the preschooler for this unit. The tot had three works that were “more” for her on the shelf but that were also fun for my preschooler. The preschooler had her own presentation on that day as well and would choose whether or not to be part of the tot’s presentation and visa versa. Both girls chose to be together and observe and then have a turn.

One day 1 we talked about the two types of penguins that live exclusively in Antarctica: Emperor Penguins and Adelie Penguins! I just did this piece in a story telling format. Then we made silly penguin drawings with our metal insets.

Silly Penguin Drawings with Metal Insets

I saw an idea on Living Montessori Now to use these sweet cards as a matching activity BUT I had a hard time finding the printable and thought my girls would enjoy using the metal insets to make their own and I was right! They loved this and selected this activity multiple times after the first day.

Penguin Matching – Small, Medium, and Big
Small, Medium, and Big Penguin Sorting

The Littlest Miss was really into this for three sets of cards and then she announced she was all done and moved on! My oldest chose to happily and quickly finish this work. My tot pulled this off the shelf a few times because it was “her own” but wasn’t into matching. Just exploring and looking at the pictures (which is totally ok!) and practicing how to handle a work properly.

Parts of the Penguin

Three part cards and parts of animals are not new for my oldest so she picked up on this really fast. She already knew some of these parts from our penguin puzzle as well. We also had fun listening to the words as we went and picked out beginning and ending sounds we heard.

Penguin Cutting Work
These strips were her favorite!

The Penguin Preschool Pack we grabbed from Trillium Montessori had the cutting strips pictured as well as zig zags, straight lines, square lines and v shaped lines to practice cutting or tracing. My preschooler is a bit of a perfectionist so she didn’t choose the harder ones much. We are working on understanding that growth is hard and can be frustrating + we don’t have to do perfect work each time. Our best is best! This is all good conversation and work in addition to the cutting.

Cards and Counters… Penguin Style!
Cards & Counters + Penguins!!!

This was our first introduction to this material in the Montessori sequence. This was great for continuing to build her understanding of numbers 0-10 and numerical order. She chose this work multiple times.

How to Draw a Penguin

We’ve been enjoying looking at how to draw something and then doing our own drawing. This was an activity that she actually asked for before knowing I had prepped it! So I busted it out and we all three drew our own penguins. It is so fun and relaxing creating art together.

Types of Penguins 3 Part Cards

I originally downloaded this Types of Penguins 3 Part Cards (which is great!) but I found this Penguin Identification Mini on Trillium Montessori’s shop and loved the added detail so we ended up using the three part cards for types of penguins, parts of a penguin, and the booklet from this unit.

Penguin Identification Book + Book Making

The Penguin Identification Book, Matching Three Part Cards, and Book Making Activity all came from Trillium Montessori’s Penguin Identification Mini Unit. It was fun! We had already done the three part cards on types of penguins, but I liked that the three part cards with this one matched the book well and we used them to look at as we created our own Penguin Identification Books. This was our first book making activity that Little Miss has finished and really gotten into.

Penguin Number Clip Cards
These were a big hit! And still challenging as she is still committing the number symbols to memory.

These number clip cards were a fun reinforcement activity for numbers 0-10. It helps with number recognition out of order. Pairing it with the quantity is a great way for the child to self correct and to still ground the work in the concrete.

Penguin Shadow Sorting
Surprisingly my preschooler was into this one the most!

This is one I had planned as more for the tot as I assumed it would be too easy for my preschooler but my tot was uninterested and my preschooler loved it! She worked it through quickly and chose it on another day as well.

Five Funny Penguins
“Five Funny Penguins” by Sheila Wheaton

This is a freebie (plus a game- although we didn’t play the game this time around… it’s a little reading/word game that we aren’t ready for yet) on Teacher’s Pay Teachers that I found through Living Montessori Now. SO cute! I also did a fun song called, Five Silly Penguins that day. They both work on counting and subtraction (organically). In addition to that, I printed off these finger puppets that I glued to a popsicle stick and the girls absolutely loved playing with them (picture at top of post) to act out the story or song, reenact on their own, and to make up their own penguin stories.

Penguin Color Sorting

This is an activity I originally planned for our tot shelves but my preschooler was really excited so we got the whole deck out. I gave each girls some cards (2-3 of each color for the tot) and we mixed them up and sorted them. We played with the sounds in the color labels as we sorted as well.

Penguin Color Matching Memory Game

This was a fun extension to the sorting work above that I thought of on the fly. We also played with our types of penguins three part cards one day. My oldest is really into this memory game right now and loved it.

Penguin Command Cards

This was a fun game! We actually played this all together on a Saturday because the girls couldn’t wait to play. We went through the deck twice.

Resources for this unit:

  1. Living Montessori Now Penguin poster (free)
  2. Living Montessori Now Round Up Post
  3. Five Funny Penguins Book (free)
  4. Five Silly Penguins Songs (free)
  5. Five Funny Penguins Printable (used for finger puppets/free)
  6. Trillium Montessori’s Learning about Penguins Post
  7. Trillium Montessori’s Penguins Preschool Pack ($6.50)
  8. Trillium Montessori’s Penguin Identification Mini Unit ($6.00)
  9. Disney Nature’s Penguins Documentary on Adelie Penguins
  10. March of the Penguins (Documentary)
  11. Penguin Island (Documentary)

If you loved this post, you’ll enjoy these:

  1. Antarctica Unit
  2. Martin Luther King Jr. Mini Unit
  3. North America Continent Box Resources and Lesson Plans