We enjoyed the beautifully illustrated book "Penguin Chick" by Betty Tatham, illustrated by Helen Davie, in the Let's-Read-And-Find-Out Science series. Its focus is Emperor Penguins, and it details how the father lovingly cares for his egg while the mother is away. It also has a nice illustration of a chick's growth month by month, and this was a good chance to explain to my child that the seasons in Anarctica are opposite our own. This has been our favorite book so far for the penguin unit.
At the back of the book are several illustrations of some other types of penguins and a couple of activity suggestions. We enjoyed the first activity, "walk like a penguin." The book suggested that the child place a potato on his or her feet and try to walk (shuffle slowly along) without dropping the potato "egg." This was frustrating for Gail at first as she kept losing her egg (which of course subequently froze) but then she remembered that the male penguins rock back on their heels and point their toes upward to help hold the egg... this helped immensely and she was able to carry her egg to the designated finish line. She also enjoyed watching Momma attempt it.
The next activity was "toboggan like a penguin" and suggested that a child lay on a smooth floor and slide along as a penguin does on ice. Not quite as much of a challenge, but cute. I did not attempt this.
We also read some other books about different varieties of penguins, and her favorite is the Rockhopper, but we both agreed that the Emperor Penguin best fits the theme for the Penguin unit... "I show love to everyone, especially my family." The father's sacrificial love is beautiful!
We did watch the film, "March of the Penguins," which is a lovely movie but harsh at times. My girl was able to handle the scenes of chick death pretty well (we raise chickens and other animals and she is knows it can happen), but this could be too much for children sensitive to such things. Also, be warned that at the beginning of the film are a couple of references to "millions of years." There is also some artsy language peppered throughout in the narration that might confuse a child....stuff like "the hungry ice devours the chick," and "despite the winter's best effort" and such as that which might make it seem as if the cold and/or the winter is a living entity. Not a big deal to some, but we paused the movie and discussed these phrases because I do not want Gail to think of seasons and weather, which are in God's control, as living things with their own will. Just a heads up to others who may wish to watch the film. Otherwise, gorgeously filmed and very sweet to see the penguin familes!
... a forgiven child of God since 1994 (age 16)
... happily wed to William since 1996
... mother of our long-awaited Gail (3/15/2006)
... missing 5 little ones (3 miscarriages, 2 ectopics)
... starting Adventures in summer of 2013!