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Penguins unit for 3rd grade- so many great ideas for teaching about penguins! Love the free writing activity at the end! #penguinactivities #3rdgrade

Penguins Unit

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This was our first week back from break! I had totally forgotten how exhausting teaching can be. I tried to keep this week open for review but still hit some of those more complex skills (cuz we’re in 3rd now) I thought it’d be fun to do a little penguins unit!

Penguins unit for 3rd grade- so many great ideas for teaching about penguins! Love the free writing activity at the end!

Activating Our Prior Knowledge on Penguins

We started with a KWL interactive anchor chart to get our brains moving.

Instead of a theme-specific one,  I made this interactive anchor chart neutral, so I could reuse it over and over again. #timesaver #winning After watching a live feed from SeaWorld as our hook,

Penguin camera feed

I gave each student one sticky note and had them write facts that they already knew about Penguins…

We stuck those on our “K” part of our chart and reviewed and shared as a class. Then we brainstormed some questions we still had about penguins and then used another sticky note for those q’s. Some of our questions were pretty interesting like…

  • “Why do penguin mommies throw up their food for their babies?” Umm… yum….
  •  “Why do they live in the cold if they have to huddle together?” Yeah… why do they??? LOL! 

Close Reading About Penguins

For our close read that week, I pulled a story from our reading series..

This was a great narrative nonfiction and lent itself very well to our study. You can check it out here on Amazon!

Penguins Center Activity: Multiple Meaning Words

This week we also were learning about multiple meaning words or homographs, so I updated my “Snow Days” Differentiated Literacy center pack to include this fun iceberg penguin game.
penguin literacy center
To complete the activity, students had to match the penguin word card with the two iceberg sentence cards that word would complete.
penguin activities center

I kept it challenging by separating the iceberg sentences.

penguin activity using multiple meaning words

We needed a little brain sweat this week! I would suggest leaving the sentences together for younger students. If you have this pack, be sure to re-download it to grab this new activity! Click the pic or here to check it out!

Whatever we couldn’t find answers for during our reading, we used the I-Pads to search a few websites to find answers to our questions and to learn a few more facts.

Some of the websites I suggest for allowing your students to research on:

Wrapping Up Our Learning about Penguins

By the end of the week, we were ready to share some of the new knowledge we had gained!

My favorite fact was that one student discovered an extinct species of penguin that stood almost as tall as an adult! What a great conversation to have about key content vocabulary and why we thought that penguin died out. Another favorite fact was the understanding of how a penguin’s size is directly linked to their location and the cold. #geniuskids #teachme

Penguins unit for 3rd grade- so many great ideas for teaching about penguins! Love the free writing activity at the end! #penguinactivities #3rdgrade

Penguins Unit Writing Activity

As part of our writing this week, we used our close reading story, “Penguin Chick,” to write an essay on how Emperor penguin chicks grow and change.

You can grab this paper here!

I made up this quick writing sheet for use to publish our essays. It was a great lesson on note-taking and using evidence to support your claims. #nailedit

Penguin Activities for 3rd Grade

Do you teach about penguins? I’d love to hear about your fun activities, so comment below! Oh! and if you didn’t get a chance to read my guest blog post over at CorkboardConnections, be sure to check it out!

easy math games

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Hi, I'm Leigh.

The Applicious Teacher is all about creating hands-on and engaging lessons that align with the standards while still having time for your life. This is your place for ideas, tips, and resources for the REAL teacher!


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