Penguin $25 Giveaway Is Underway!

Posted by on Jul 12, 2013 in Uncategorized | 12 comments

It’s practically impossible to look at a penguin and feel angry.
– Joe Moore

If you haven’t had a chance to enter my giveaway yet, even if you don’t love penguins, please do so! You can pick $25.oo worth of any products in my TpT store.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Where did this obsession with penguins start?

Well, it started probably about 25 years ago with my Polar Unit. At that time (before state testing took over my life) my year consisted of 9 – 10 units centered around a piece of literature. Each unit reached into every subject area and was integrated throughout the day and month. Some of the units were: Growing Up, Famous Faces, Christmas around the World, Polar, Rain Forest, Dinosaurs, Space, and Our Changing Future. By far, the favorite unit of each and every class of third graders was the Polar unit, in main part, because they loved Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins offers so many opportunities for vocabulary development, writing, map studies, higher order thinking, etc. In addition to that, we read non-fiction texts, we compared the Arctic with the Antarctic. We learned about the Inuit culture. One of my biggest goals was that no child left my room thinking that polar bears and penguins ever saw each other in their natural habitats.

Every year former students would come back and the first question they asked was, “Are you still reading Mr. Popper?” I started collecting penguin books and expanding the unit. Our class rookery started to grow, too. If there was a Beanie Baby penguin available someone would buy it for me.

I read Mr. Popper’s Penguins aloud to this year’s class. We did not do any of the companion activities – no time; testing takes precedent. They were a little confused at first by the movie version, but they quickly loved the book the same as every group.

Here is a (not very good) picture of part of my rookery.

Class Rookery


Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester has become an important component of my penguin theme. Tacky, after all, is an odd bird, but a very good bird to have around. We read  Tacky in the first week of school, usually on the first day. I talk openly about what makes me an odd bird; my prosthetic leg and so many other things. We discuss differences. This starts the year with a caring, welcoming, accepting atmosphere. Plus, of course, Tacky is, well, tacky, completely unlike their seemingly dignified teacher and the read aloud is hilarious!

Here is a fun thinking activity.

Which of the following could you use on a summer vacation to Antarctica:

A bathing suit*, an umbrella, snowshoes, a compass, an Inuit/English dictionary, a Spanish/English dictionary*, a sundial, insect repellent*, a guidebook called How to Avoid Trouble with Polar Bears, a star chart*

* These are the ones that may be helpful on your trip!


My sister-in-law painted this rock for me. I thought I’d share.

Penguin closeup


Are you an odd bird in any way?



  1. I think penguins are adorable! You & I are on the same wavelength when it comes to loving penguins. 🙂 I love your sister-in-law’s painted rock. She’s so talented! Please do tell her that she did a fabulous job! I also love the penguins on your blog. They’re so cute! As for choosing my favourite product, I’d have to say, that I’d choose More Classroom Penguins. Thank you for hosting a generous giveaway!

    • Thanks so much. I do love my rock! My SIL has moved on to more “serious” art and no longer paints rocks, so I am lucky to have it. I will keep adding to the More Classroom Penguins, so if you buy it now at this price you will get all of my updates for free.

  2. I was so excited to see your blog! i, too, am a penguin-crazy teacher! I teach second grade, and kids just wait to be in the “penguin room”. Kids also come back year after year, bringing me Penguin gifts. My room is completely “penguinized”. I have 2 very large penguins that the kids get to read with….and many beany baby sized ones that they cuddle with and read to. I love penguins!

  3. I really like your reverse addition bingo set! I love playing games to help my kiddos learn and this one is really cute!

    • Thank you for the support on the Reverse Bingo. I hope people discover it and like it, too. Thanks for participating!

  4. The penguin rock is AMAZING!

    • Thanks, I love it! Thanks for joining the fun!

  5. My favorite products are penguin related!! Wish they sold all year round! LOVE the penguin rock!! What do the students say about him?!

    • I was just looking for penguin stickers today at the teacher store and i couldn’t find ANY! Boo! The penguin rock is well loved! Thanks for joining the fun!

  6. I like the ready to go penguin themed classroom set and the reverse bingo addition set. Your penguin ideas are so cute! Helen Lester is my favorite author, and I love the Tacky books!!

  7. You have quite a collection! I love the Scavenger Hunts in your TPT store. They look like they would be a fun way to learn about anything!

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