Friday, February 6, 2015

P is for Penguin

The snow and cold temperature this week inspired activities involving penguins. The twins loves animals so I thought penguin activities would be perfect. First, I contacted my favorite resource}e for books, Bonnie Coose. Seriously, if you need a reference for a book relating to any subject she's your gal! She recommended Penguins in Peril" by Helen Hancocks. Then, I checked Pinterest for some activities that looked fun and age appropriate. Of course I found tons.

We started our lesson by reading the book. It is a super cute story about a three cats who kidnap a penguin. The cats want the penguin to catch fish for them to eat. Thus, the penguin is in peril. We discussed the word peril but not sure they understood its meaning. We will try to use this word often in the next weeks so that they will grasp its meaning and be able to add it to their working vocabulary. We spent a lot of time looking at the pages of the book and predicting what they think will happen next. We also talked about camouflage since the penguin hid in many spots in the book to escape the cats. They really loved this book. Finally, we learned a song while marching like a penguin.

The song is sung to the tune of "I Am A Little Teapot."
Penguin Song:
I'm a little penguin
Black and white
Short and wobbly
An adorable sight I can't fly at all
but I love to swim
so I'll waddle to the water
and dive right in.

Once we completed reading the book we did an activity I found on Facebook as well as Pinterest. We created penguins using shapes. Look at those penguins! Aren't they adorable? I introduced the shapes to the twins. We played "I Spy" with the shapes. Basically I place all the shapes on the table and say "I spy a square" and then the twins find the shape. Finally, we put the shapes together and created penguins. They did really good creating the first penguin on their own but I really had to help and encourage them to finish the second.

On day two we read the book for the second time and again discussed all the things in the book. Next, we played a sorting and counting game I found on Pinterest. Again, the print out was free. I would suggest laminating the pages. If you don't have access to a laminator, clear contact paper will do. I [;aced the game board in gallon size Ziploc bags since I didn't have clear contact paper on hand. Players take turns choosing a card. Each card has one or two colored fish. The player locates the fish in his ocean found on the game board and places the correct number in the fishing bucket of the same color. At the end of the game I had the twins count the number of fish in each bucket. The twins loved this game! We also reviewed our shapes using the penguin activity we did yesterday. They played with these shape people for awhile. Again,to finish the lesson for the day we wobbled around like penguins singing our song to finish off our penguin activities.

On the third day, we read the book, again. I showed them pictures of real penguins that I printed. We talked about how they were alike and different. Next, we played a stop and go game of penguin walk. Basically, we took turns saying "stop" and "go." When it was time to go we had to wobble like penguins. Next, we talked about the letter P and what sound it makes. We discussed the fact that the word penguin begins with the letter P. We used play dough that was rolled into "ropes" and placed the ropes along lines of a letter stencil. Later in the day we created penguin hand art. (I forgot to take pictures on this day.)

During our fourth and final lesson for the week, we listened to "Tacky the Penguin" by Helen Lester being read by Pam on a Youtube video. This is just a unique and different way for the kids to read a book and they seem to enjoy it. We culminated our penguin fun by creating a penguin treat. I am a big proponent of the Montessori educational method and thought having the twins help create their treats would be a good activity to promote the self help and daily living skills this method incorporates. Check out the picture below for our treat!

We had a fun week with our penguin theme. I am not really concerned with teaching them letter and letter sounds at this age. I am just introducing them to the fact that letters represent sounds and sounds make up words we read.
The twins know their colors very well and the basic three shapes: triangle, square and circle. I hope to help them recognize rectangle and oval soon. They can count items to seven very accurately. We will continue working on counting.

Part of the lesson is learning how to sit still and complete a task. This is can be difficult for a three year old. I am proud of how much progress they are making with this.

I have linked the printouts below.

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