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Keeping Them Curious: Penguin Edition

(This penguin facts email was sent on January 4, 2024.)

Happy New Year! The first “Keeping Them Curious” theme of 2024 is all about penguins!

This “Keeping Them Curious” series is designed to support your thematic teaching and help you inspire an inquisitive culture in your classroom.

Each week, I will cover a theme by giving you some tidbits and trivia to share with your students and links to relevant resources from my site and across the web.

🐧 Penguins are a perfect winter theme! Kids really enjoy learning about these lovable polar birds. Like other animal themes, penguins offer opportunities for exploring vocabulary and science topics in a kid-friendly and engaging way!

You can find the previous editions all in one spot over here so you can refer back as needed!

Keeping Them Curious: Penguin Edition - penguin facts for kids

Keeping Them Curious is an email series for teachers who are passionate about actively engaging students in thematic learning. I’m posting the email content here for those who might like to have a place to revisit each theme. If you would like to receive this content by email, please let me know below!


Did you know? Penguin Facts for Your Class

I’ll start with some interesting penguin facts you can share with your students this winter!

🐧 There are currently 18 recognized species of penguins in the world! See a video that includes most of them here.

🐧 All penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere (or just slightly north of the equator, where some Galápagos penguins dwell). Use this interactive map to see where each species of penguin lives!

🐧 Most penguin species live in colonies near the shore. Yellow-eyed penguins of New Zealand, though, are much more solitary. Breeding couples make their nests privately in coastal forests. See this rarest species of penguin in action here. 

🐧 Zavodovski Island (a volcanic island that is part of the South Sandwich Islands 🥪 near Antarctica) is home to the largest penguin colony. Over 600,000 chinstrap penguins breed there.

🐧 There are several collective nouns for groups of penguins! On land, depending on species and behavior, they might be called a waddle, a colony, a rookery, or a creche. In the water, though, a group of penguins is called a raft!

penguin joke for kids: Why do penguins carry fish in their beaks? They don't have any pockets!

Planning a penguin unit? Here’s a post with 30 videos you can use to supplement your teaching, provide brain breaks, and integrate math and reading into your theme!

penguin videos for kids

Plan a fun “Feed the Penguin” math snack with this free printable ten-frame mat.

Goldfish crackers and ten frame mats for a penguin math snack

Take a look at the penguin books to read aloud and read ideas for integrating them into your penguin unit.

penguin books for kindergarten - perfect picture books to read aloud in kindergarten

Looking to save time? I also have some ready-to-go penguin resources in my store. Click through to this bundle on TPT. You can see all four resources that are included: a thematic unit with a PowerPoint, a set of penguin math puzzles, a set of CVC word activities, and some informational digital activities! You can find these activities in the My Happy Place website shop, as well.)

Penguin Activities Bundle: Penguin Informational Unit with PowerPoint, Penguin Math Puzzles, Penguin CVC Words Activities, Penguin Digital Activities

I hope you’ve enjoyed this “Keeping Them Curious” post! I’m looking forward to continuing this series with additional themes. ❄️ What themes do you have coming up? As always, please feel free to comment below or send me an email—I’d love to hear from you!

Find previous editions of this series here!

Penguins Unit with PowerPoint


This “All About Penguins” thematic unit includes materials to help you integrate learning about penguins into science, social studies, literacy, and math in your primary classroom. You will download a zipped folder containing a PowerPoint File and a PDF.

Read more…

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