Penguins and Their Young

Science and Math Activities for Young Children

Grades Preschool—1

Written by Jean C. Echols

Inch for inch and toe to toe, an emperor penguin and a young child can pretty well relate. Drawing on the natural empathy of children for these beautiful and endearing birds, this guide invokes mathematics, the physical and life sciences, and language development in an assortment of activities that explore the emperor penguin and its habitat.

In four principal activities, children learn about the penguin's body structure, its cold home of ice and water, what it eats, and how emperor penguin parents care for their young. A life-sized poster invites the students to compare their heights and body structures to those of this four-foot-tall bird. Children experience a penguin's icy home by playing with cork penguins in a tub of "icebergs" and water. Using paper-bag penguins, the youngsters create dramas on a paper-ocean scene complete with floating ice, and continue role-playing when baby penguins "hatch" from plastic eggs.

Important math concepts and skills are introduced when children pretend to be hungry penguins and catch fish crackers to eat in a fun series of multi-sensory math games. Throughout this unit, children build skills in observation, comparison, communication, role-playing, and creative and logical thinking. The youngsters conclude their explorations with ice investigations and tasty ice treats.

This GEMS guide was developed by the PEACHES program.

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ISBN: Grade Level Format Price



4 Activities,
80 pages


Lawrence Hall of Science    © 2004 UC Regents. All rights reserved.    Contact GEMS    Updated February 03, 2021