Can Penguins Live in Hot Places? - Spring 1In this section...
During the Topic 'Why do I celebrate Christmas?' the children loved learning about snow. As it gets colder and there is snow, frost and ice, the world looks completely different, like Elsa and Anna had been to play. Because this is so exciting, we are keen to learn more about cold places, like the North Pole and the animals that live there. All the pictures we look at do not show any penguins so we decide to investigate...
We are learning to look closely at the natural world; discuss what we can see, talk about changes that take place over time, give reasons for why the changes happen and to write facts about what we can see.
Can a Penguin Live in a Hot Place?
Most children think that penguins can only live in cold places, but not everyone agrees:
"They might die in a hot place."
"They are only OK in the cold sun."
"Their feet might get burned in a hot place."
"They might live in the North Pole or South Pole."
"They are cold animals, they will burn down (in a hot place)."
This leads us to learn about animals in hot and cold places to find out more which starts with an Arctic walk where we use our senses to explore cold places. We find snowy owls, Arctic gulls and polar bears; these are scary so we need to growls at them to scare them away. As it is so hard to climb mountains, we use special tools and build igloos. We eat energy bars, drink hot chocolate and measure how thick the ice is which leads us to talking about the weather. We learn that there are no shops or supermarkets or toys to play with but it is so much fun being explorers. When we arrive back to our classrooms we record all our findings.
We use information books and the computer to find out more about the geography of the Arctic and Antarctica and the animals that live there. We notice that penguins do live in Antarctica (South Pole).
We make our role-play areas into Arctic lands and pretended to be explorers. We talk about what explorers need and make lists of equipment so we can explore safely.
To find out more about animals we make fact books. After reading 'Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Can you Hear?' we change it to 'Explorer, Explorer, What Can You see?' We have lots of fun being explorers, learning about animals and writing facts about them.
We watch clips about polar bears and observe them closely. We talk about their colours. They are cream, brown, white and yellow and we feel the fur of toy polar bears - soft, warm, cuddly and furry. We pretend we are polar bears and try to move like them too to help us generate word to describe their movements.
Watch the clip at home, talk about it together. What do you notice?
Now we can look closely at the natural world; discuss what we see, talk about changes that take place over time, give reasons for why changes happen (like ice melting) and write facts about what we can see.
We learn that penguins do live in cold places, but do they live in hot places too? We decide to investigate further.
Whilst we compare and contrast hot and cold places we also learn to:
Look carefully at the natural world and use our observations as a stimulus for art, design and music. We will learn to combine materials and use tools carefully. We will explore instruments, changing their sounds to make sound effects.
In our search for penguins in hot places we learn about animals that live in the African Savannah and the jungle.
We listen to the story of ‘The Animal Boogie’ and listen carefully to the music, joining in with actions as we sing the song.
We have so much fun moving like the animals in the story because they all move in different ways. Bear shakes, the monkey swings, the bird flaps, the elephant stomps, the leopard leaps and the snake slithers.
We look carefully at the animal patterns and make pictures of them. We describe the patterns:
"My pattern is a zebra pattern. It goes black, white, black, white, black, white."
"My pattern is the Tiger. A tiger is really scary and fierce. The pattern is orange, black, orange, black, orange, black."
"I am making the cheetah. He has browny blacky, spots that make that shape."
"I am making a cheetah too. The pattern is orange and black, with circle shapes."
"I am doing the zebra, he has really big brown circles on his pattern."
Next we make African animals. We look carefully at photographs of animals and decide which shapes are best to use to make the animals out of junk. We choose the best boxes to match the shapes of the animals in the photographs. We select the resources to stick the boxes together and use tools like glue spreaders, scissors and sellotape to build the model. We even make improvements to our model to make it even better. If we need help, we are confident in being able to ask for it, especially to hold our models whilst we stick them together.
We also have lots of fun pretending to be explorers in our African Savannah role-play areas. For example, "I can see a leopard, they leap and they can run really fast."
"My leopard can run fast too. He eats meat with his teeth. They are sharp!"
We learn the story of the 'Tall, Tall, Grass' and we use this story to make our own African Savannah animal stories.
As we look in fact books we find out about penguins which live in Africa. Here is an African penguin:
Can you find out more about this penguin at home and write some facts?
Do not forget to count the words in the sentence and use the sounds you know to write the words.
Finally, we answer our question, 'Yes! Penguins do live in hot countries!'
Now we can compare and contrast hot and cold places; look carefully at the natural world and use our observations as a stimulus for art, design and music. We can combine materials and use tools carefully. We can explore instruments and change their sounds to make effects.