PENGUINS! Penguin Research Project

Our penguins research project brings these adorable creatures into the classroom, where we get to explore their unique characteristics and behaviors. Join us on this adventure as we integrate science and literacy standards while having fun and becoming penguin experts!

Our Penguin research project includes everything you need to implement this research project in your classroom:  labels for graphic organizers, recording pages/writing pages to make student research journals, and math and literacy centers!
Background knowledge and content knowledge are an essential piece of students learning to read. Our TKS reserach projects are aligned to the science of reading and build that necessary content and background knowledge.

Penguins Research

We start off every TKS research project with a schema map.   As we learn about penguins, we add new learning to our schema map and address misconceptions as the research project continues.
The way we do our research is through our read-alouds and videos.  As we’re reading, we add information to our graphic organizers.   The information is added DURING the read aloud and not after.

The research in our research projects is done with read-alouds and videos. As we read aloud a penguin book, we’re adding information to the graphic organizers. We don’t wait until the end of the book to add information to the charts.

Toward the end of the research project, we do a true/false sort. These sorts require students to recall what we’ve learned about penguins and pull in higher-order and critical thinking skills. If a statement is false, the students have to explain why it’s false. If they can do this, they’re applying what they learned!

The students use graphic organizers to help them with their writing in their research journals.  Students are encouraged to write on their own but the graphic organizers provide support and scaffolding as needed. We also use this time to work on writing instruction.

Labeling And Vocabulary

One of the most essential pieces of of our science of reading-aligned research projects is vocabulary. The research tells us how vital vocabulary instruction is for kids, and we see vocabulary as an area of weakness across the board. Our research projects integrate vocabulary throughout the 2-3 weeks of learning. Another way we pull vocabulary into our Penguin research project is with labeling. We label the parts of the penguin and discuss what each part is and how it helps the penguins.

Grab our all-inclusive Penguin Research Project to make your planning and prep for January a little easier!

Here’s what you’ll get:

  • Graphic organizers
  • Recording sheets
  • Writing and drawing activities
  • Read aloud book suggestions
  • Center activities
  • Included activities:
  • Schema maps
  • KWL charts
  • Penguins can/have/are chart
  • Penguins look/live/eat chart
  • Differentiated writing pages
  • Labeling penguins
  • True/False sorts
  • Vocabulary
  • Math and literacy centers
  • 8 Math and Literacy Centers:
  • Ten Frame Matching
  • Addition to 10
  • Subtraction to 10
  • Number Order (to 100)
  • CVC-E Word Matching
  • CVC Word Matching 
  • Rhyming Word Matching
  • Beginning Sounds Matching 


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Ariel M. says:  “My students loved learning about penguins. The centers that were included had my students thoroughly engaged, and I will be continuing to use these for the rest of the year”

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️  Carden C. says:  “Literally ALL of Mr. Greg’s resources are amazing. He puts a lot of time and effort into making sure all of his resources are SOR aligned, and the centers are SO engaging.”

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Jennifer D. says:  “As always, these Mr. Greg’s unit didn’t disappoint.  Easy to meet Science and writing standards – the kiddos were engaged and we all had fun and learned a lot.  Thank you for your amazing resource!”

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Kim C. says:  “So happy to have a research framework that will allow my kiddos to complete research without me pulling out my hair!  Another AMAZING product from Mr. Greg!!!” 

Penguin Art Projects

We also do a lot of fun penguin art projects.   You have to have art with your research projects because it’s what’s right for kids and it’s fun!  Art projects and crafts in the classroom provide students opportunities to build language, follow directions/sequencing, work on fine motor skills, and more!
Paper plate penguins!  These are made with 2 paper plates.  The head is the center of a plate.  The ring that is cut off is cut in half to make the wings.  We then use the extra pieces to make feet.  BAM!
We also made these adorable symmetrical penguins.  These were so easy.  Fold a large sheet of white construction paper in half long way.  Add black paint to one side.  Less is more.  I made a shape like a three.  Then added a little squirt of orange where the feet are. Let the kids do the work! Put the paint in condiment squeeze bottles and supervise the kids but let them do it!
This was a simple penguin project.  After making our penguins with construction paper, we used handprints for the feet!  Anytime you can make hand/feet art, it’s a must do!

This is a penguin directed drawing. I don’t have any directions for this. I looked a penguin clipart and made it up as I went.

Penguin hats! We actually make the penguin hats on day 1 of our penguin research project. It’s a fun way to kick off the research project. You can even do the penguin dance with Jack Hartmann on YouTube while wearing your penguin hats!

The hats are basically a half circle with eyes and a beak. The hats are glued to a sentence strip!

Penguin Snack

Use a mini ice cream sandwich for the body, Oreos for the wings, jelly beans for the nose, candy orange slices for the feet, and candy eyes!

And a costume.
And no penguin research can be complete without Jack Hartmann’s Penguin Dance!

Reading Comprehension With Penguins

We also include narrative stories with penguins as part of our penguin picnic! Our favorite penguin story is And Tango Makes Three!  And since this is a true story, it makes a great lesson on family/diversity/tolerance!

Tacky The Penguin is another great penguin read-aloud that teaches great lessons about acceptance, kindness, and being yourself! We LOVE Tacky because he is who he is, and he’s proud of that!

The students also create a shirt for Tacky! I give them access to all of our art supplies and let them create!

Penguin Resources

Here are some additional penguin resources for your classroom!

Penguins Freebies

You might also be interested in our Arctic Animals Research Project:

For more information, check out these posts:

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