Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
A Penguin Year by Susan Bonners, or other book about the life cycle of Adelie penguins.
A book about Antarctic explorers.
Any other penguin books that look interesting.
The March of the Penguins DVD
Chapter 1: Mr. Popper is a painter and will have no more work until spring. The Popper family is going to have to economize on their meals. Have the children plan an economical menu by using weekly grocery ads and coupons.
Chapter 2: Mr. Popper wrote a letter to the explorer Admiral Drake. Have the children find out who Admiral Drake was and write a friendly letter.
Chapter 3: Mr. Popper receives a penguin from Admiral Drake. Have the children research the different species of penguins to figure out what species Mr. Popper’s penguin is, based on the description given.
Have each child choose a species of penguin they would like to study. Print out Penguin Worksheet for each child for them to fill in as you progress through the rest of the book.
Chapter 4: The Poppers try to figure out what Captain Cook, their penguin, likes to eat. Have the children research what their penguin species likes to eat.
Chapter 5: Mr. Popper has the icebox fixed for Captain Cook’s house. Have the children research the habitat of their penguin species. Plot out on a map where their penguin species lives. Also, plot where other penguins live. See if they can figure out what all of these places have in common.
Chapter 7: Captain Cook builds a nest. Have the children research the nesting and breeding habits for their penguin.
Chapter 8: Mr. Popper is interviewed by a newspaper reporter. Have the children pretend they are the reporter and write the newspaper article.
Chapter 10: Captain Cook is acting ill, so Admiral Drake sends another penguin, Greta. Read “A Penguin Year” by Susan Bonners.
Chapter 14: In order to make money to pay for all of the penguin expenses, the Poppers start a penguin show. Have the children put on their own penguin show.
Chapter 17: Mr. Popper gives a testimonial for Owen’s Oceanic Shrimp in exchange for free shrimp for the penguins. Have the children draw how they think the magazine ad would look.
Chapter 18: Mr. Popper’s performing penguins encounter some show seals.Have the children research what the natural predators are for their species of penguin.
Chapter 20: The Popper’s have traveled to Seattle, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Boston, and New York. In Chapter 20, Mr. Popper, the children, and the penguins set off to the North Pole from New York with Admiral Drake. Trace their route on a map.
This book uses a lot of alliteration: Popper’s Performing Penguins, Marvelous Marcos, Owen’s Oceanic Shrimp, and Swenson’s Seals. Let the children try to come up with their own examples of alliteration.
Other fun penguin ideas:
Watch “The March of the Penguins” video.
Have each child draw a picture of the penguin they researched.
Have the children try to walk like penguins. Feed them goldfish crackers as they “Ork”
Read Psalm 50:10-11.
Compare and contrast penguins with birds that live near your home and with puffins.
Go to a zoo that has penguins.
Easy Penguin Word Search
Penguin Species Word Search
Older children might enjoy the movie “8 Below”. It is about Antarctic explorers.