STEAM · story · teaching thoughts · topic

Penguin Flying?

Today, let’s read a fantasy story about a penguin who wanted to fly. The Penguin Who Wanted to Fly by Catherine Vase. Flip-Flop wants to fly like, but he can’t fly. So, he decide to get creative and try to find other ways to fly.

Create a paper version of Flip-Flop and then problem solve ways that you can help Flip-Flop fly! This is a great challenge project for your child. You can either provide materials such as paper, string, a small paper cup, tape. Challenge your child to find ways to help Flip-Flop fly. They could make a paper airplane, a zip-line, a “hot air balloon”. Maybe they want to put him into a toy plane, build something out of Lego or even make him a parachute. The point is to let your child’s creativity drive the result on how (s)he can help Flip-Flop fly. Also remember that failure is part of the process. In the story, Flip-Flop did not give up when his ideas were a flop, he just came up with another thought and then another. We need encourage children to try again. Look at things a different way, and not give up.

While searching for the story above, I found a different version of this idea. The Penguin Who Wanted to Fly by Rob Spicier This one is made of photographs put together to match the text written by the narrator. Umiak is a penguin who wants to fly like the puffins. He talks to other animals who live near him to find the answer to why he can’t fly. His mother helps him see that penguins do fly, just differently than other birds.

Why did both stories say that penguins can fly in the water? Is this really flying? Why do you think they compared the way that penguins move in the water to flying?

Another activity that these two stories work well with is comparisons. Create a Venn Diagram or Double Bubble Map to compare and contrast the two stories. How are they the same? How are they different?

Venn Diagram Maker | Lucidchart
Science- Double Bubble Map Instructions by Grant Ed | TpT

art · STEAM · story · topic

More Penguin Fun

Today we will read another penguin story. This story is If You Were a Penguin by Wendell and Florence Minor. This fun story looks at many attributes of penguins and various activities that different penguins do based on where they live. You can use some of these facts to add onto your can/have/are chart from yesterday.

my paper penguin (he’s a macaroni penguin!)

Today we will make a penguin! A paper penguin. There are lots and lots of options on the web, or you can just provide your child with black, white, and yellow/orange construction paper and show him/her pictures of real penguins. This in my opinion is the best way to do these projects. Too often people get wrapped up in making the project perfect. They expect all the projects done in a classroom to look the same, or REALLY really similar, but why? I love seeing the size differences. The perception of what is and what is not the main features when you give children permission to be independent and do things on his/her own! So make a paper penguin… just have fun!

How can I add more learning to this craft? Easiest answer is to write. Have your child write a story about their penguin. This can be more information about the penguin OR it can be a story about the penguin. What is your penguin doing? Where is (s)he going? Think about the five senses. What can it see? Hear? Taste (what is it eating?)? What does it smell around? What can it feel?

You could have your child measure their penguin. You can use a ruler or work on non-standard measurement. How many 2×2 Lego blocks tall is your penguin? How many more cubes tall is it than it is wide? Can you find something that is taller than your penguin? Something shorter? Something the same height?

STEAM · story · topic

Penguins

This week we are going to learn about an Antarctic bird… penguins! Penguins live near the south pole, or in the Antarctic circle. While many penguins live on Antarctica, not all penguins live there, certain types of penguins live in New Zealand, Australia, South America and Africa. They are also found on the islands near Antarctica.

Let’s learn some more about penguins. Here are two stories for you Penguins by Gail Gibbons and Penguins by Jill Esbaum (A National Geographic Kids book). While you listen to these stories, think about the facts the authors share. What can you learn about penguins?

Create your own Can, Are, Have chart and write or draw facts about penguins to remember. Then uses these statements to write sentences, you already have the foundation: Penguins can waddles. Penguins are flightless birds. Penguins have pouches to keep their eggs warm. Look… you already wrote three informational facts about penguins! Now draw a picture to show what you wrote.

story · topic

Humans get ready for winter too

While some people might migrate to warmer climates, and others wish they could hibernate all winter… humans have to adapt. For us this means wearing winter clothes, turning the heat on in the house and eating warm foods.

Let’s listen to the story Sleep Tight Farm by Eugenie Doyle and learn about how a family prepares their farm for the long winter months.

Make a chart of the things you need/have/can to do to get ready for winter.

art · story · topic

Snow Rabbit

In the winter, some animals fur change color. Not all animals with fur change color, but some do and scientist have some ideas as to why. One being that they blend better with the snow. They also believe it might be that the lack of melatonin with creates the color allows for air to be trapped in the hair creating a buffer from the elements.

Hares are one animal that changes color. Not all rabbits change but the Artic hare, mountain hare and snowshoe hare are among those who change. (other animals that change color include: artic fox, Siberian hamsters, Ptarmigans [a type of bird], collard lemmings, peary caribou, and weasels)

Let’s listen to the story Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit by Il Sung Na

Now, let’s create a picture of a snow rabbit.

story · topic

Winter Adaptation

Over the last two weeks, we have discussed how animals get ready for winter. We learned about migration and hibernation. Now lets talk about adaptation. Adaptation is when animals change or adapt to the cold of winter. This change my be a physical change such as the color of their coat or the thickness of their fur.

Let’s listen to the story: Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner. In this story we learn about how animals continue to move and live during the snows of winter. You hear about both animals that are hibernating and those that have adapted to the winter environment.

Today let’s create a chart about animals that migrate, hibernate and adapt to winter. You can either focus on a specific ecosystem of animals (a pond, the forest, your backyard etc…) or just list animals in general. I will list pond animals.

story · topic

Hibernation Station

I thought we would end our week on hibernation with a fun fiction story. Hibernation Station by Michelle Meadows tells the story of many forest creatures getting on a hibernation train.

In the story, you learn about more animals that hibernate: bats, snakes, chipmunks, groundhogs, skunks and more. There is so much more to learn about animals that hibernate. I hope you pick your favorite hibernating animal and learn a bit more.

Let’s draw a picture of the hibernation station train. Where would you put all the animals? Would it be made of logs or something else? Get creative

STEAM · story · topic

Do Bees Buzz in the Winter?

Many animals who migrate or hibernate depend on insects for food… so what happens to insects in the winter? Well we know that butterflies migrate, so do dragonflies. What about everything else? Well the best answer to this is… it depends on the insect. Check out this information from the Smithsonian. You will see that some survive as larva, pupa, eggs and even some as adults hibernating. The key they have is by being able to create their own anti-freeze.

Let’s watch some videos

Scientific America What Do Honeybees Do in the Winter?

ScienceOnline Honeybees in Winter an Amazing Sound

So what do bees do? They huddle together and move their wings to stay warm. So while they are not hibernating in the sense of lowering their body functions, they still are not doing anything but staying warm. They put all their energy in keeping the queen warm. It’s almost like the other bees are trying to be a blanket around the queen. A queen bee quilt?

So… today make your own queen bee quilt. Will you use squares, rectangles, triangles or even hexagons, just like the bee hive? Will you draw it or make it out of cut paper? Will you have one pattern or a collection of patterns? It is up to you… it is your quilt

story · topic · writing

Frogs Hibernating

When you think about animals that hibernate, I bet frogs do not come to mind. But, did you ever wonder what happens to frogs during the winter? Think about it. They live near water, they are cold blooded, the eat insects, but they can’t migrate somewhere warm… that’s a long distance to hop!

Let’s listen to a few fiction stories about frogs dealing with winter.

Frog in Winter by Max Velthuijs

Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London

Do you think that frogs really just get dressed in warmer clothes and try to stay warm in the winter? Do they snuggle down in their beds under layers of blankets? Nope…

Frogs hibernate, but when frogs hibernate it is very different from bears and other mammals that hibernate. Frogs don’t have fur. They can’t regulate their body temperature. So… frogs actually freeze. Yes, you read that right. Frogs ice over, but stay alive!

Watch this NatGeo video and learn about how frogs survive the winter.

What do you think other pond animals do for the winter? Do they migrate? Do they hibernate? Do they adapt in some other way? Draw a picture of what you think the pond looks like in the winter.

STEAM · story · topic

Whales and Manatees Migrating

Today we will focus on two sea animals who migrate… whales and manatees. I have given you info on whales and manatees separately in case you want to do one or do it on separate days.

Whales:

Following Papa’s Song by Gianna Marino

Let’s learn about the migrations!

View gray whales migrate from Alaska to Mexico and back

Whales spend their summers by the poles and the migrate to warmer waters near the equator for the winter. A large reason for this migration is to have their young in the warmer waters since babies are born with less blubber and would not survive the cold waters near the poles.

Whales do not eat during their migration and what they eat depends on the type of whale. There are two large categories of whales toothed whales, which have teeth (which include the beluga, narwhal, dolphins and other porpoise). These whales are predators and eat other animals. The other group of whales are baleen whales (including blue, humpback and gray whales). These whale eat by sifting out prey in the waters they swim.

Baleen whales are larger and most migrate long distances to protect their new calves. Such as these migration paths below:

Gray whales, which migrate between Alaska and Russia and Baja California

North Atlantic right whales, which appear to move between cold waters off the Northeastern US and Canada to waters off South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

Humpback whales, which move between northern feeding grounds and southern breeding grounds. 

Blue whales. In the Pacific, blue whales migrate from California to Mexico and Costa Rica.

facts from ThoughtCo Whale Migration

http://kids.britannica.com/comptons/art-54617/Breeding-grounds-and-migration -routes-of-the-humpback-whale | Humpback whale, Whale facts, Humpback whale  facts

Manatees:

Manatee Winter by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld

See video of manatee in their winter migration area, Blue Springs State Park in Orange City, FL.

Manatees are gentle marine mammals. They cannot survive in waters below 60F (16C) and barely tolerate temperatures below 68F (20C).

In the summers Florida Manatees, a subread of the West Indian Manatee, can be typically be found from the coast off Virginia and then around Florida and over to Texas. But in the winter months they can only be found off the coast of Florida. They need to move inland towards more natural springs to find warmer waters and food.

So why do manatees migrate? Even though they weight nearly 1/2 a ton, they do not have much body fat. So they are unable to withstand the temperature changes in the water during the winter. Manatees are herbivores who munch on sea grass and can move between fresh and salt water areas. They move slowly and spend half the day sleeping.

Migration - Save the Manatee Club