Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Penguin Geography, Science, and All Kinds of Fun

Just when I think we're done with penguins, we get pulled back in by all their black and white cuteness.

On a whim, I checked out several penguin themed, story books, on our last trip to the library, thinking we'd read them, and then move on. One of them, Bob Barner's Penguins, Penguins, Everywhere!, turned out to be a science text, in story book disguise.

It has colorful, cartoonish, illustrations, and a simple text, perfect for little ones, but enough penguin facts, for older children to enjoy. It ends up with a nice review page of what penguins eat, and who eats them, followed by a couple of flashcard like pages, picturing the 17 different types of penguins, with fun facts, such as where they live, how tall they are, and how much they weigh.

D, doubted that penguins really live anywhere but Antarctica (we'd recently had a discussion about how penguins, and polar bears don't live together, because penguins are at the south pole, while polar bears are in the north).

So, we had to look up a map of penguins of the world. The map we found (click, here,to view it), was an interactive one, that let the children click on the locations of penguins (in red), to see pictures of the penguins, and view facts about them.

D (age 7), and A (age 9), spent a good hour clicking around on the map.

They had such a good time with it, in fact, I thought it would be fun to follow it up with some video footage of live penguins. I Googled around a bit, and found this amazing BBC video. You might have already seen it, as it's from 2008, but somehow we had missed out on the fun.

Of course, about the time the penguins were flying over South America, I realized it was a hoax. But, what a hoax! They really did a good job with the special effects. Naturally, we had to watch the "making of" video, too.

It's just unbelievable, how believable it looks. Now, I'm off to search for some credible penguin footage, from the different locations around the world.

But, in the meantime, you can find more fun with geography, and history, at the Geography and History link-ups, hosted by Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Kimberly said...

wow, what a funny hoax video!

Penguins are just so engaging as a theme!

we are having fun with our C.S.I. classes. M boys think matches and superglue should be daily school tools now.

Christy said...

How funny!

Did you read the book Penguin Pairs: Counting By 2s? C enjoyed it last year and I am waiting for it to come in at the library now.

Christy said...

Now I am curious about the other April Fools jokes by the BBC.

Becky said...

Have you seen The March of the Penguins? It is such an amazing documentary!

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Christy - No, we haven't read that one - but it sounds cute...we're never going to finish with penguins!

Becky - We saw it when it first came out on DVD, but I remember thinking it was terribly sad - so I was afraid to try it with younger ones this time. I did notice it's instant streaming on Netflix, though.

Discovering Montessori said...

I love how you gathered those resources together so quickly and delivered really great lessons. Thank you for sharing.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Discovering Montessori - Our best lessons tend to be by the seat of the pants, because they are in the moment.

Ticia said...

That video is awesome!

I wonder if our textbook will cover penguins?

Jenny said...

Oh, we checked out the National Geographic Science Reader: Penguins from the library last week, and I was thinking it would be fun to do some more on penguins. Good to know that March of the Penguins was sad...we have it, but we've never watched it. I was wondering if it would be upsetting for them. Thanks for the links - I'm going to let the kids watch those when they come downstairs.

Debbie said...

That sounds like a cute book. I had to laugh about the video, amazing though how some can make these so realistic! Thank you for linking up this week.

Raising a Happy Child said...

You always find the best links! The book looks interesting. We have a Penguin book from National Geographic Kids series, and daughter was very interested in it. I learned all about leopard seals and elephant seals from her retellings too.