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COOL SWIMWEAR: ANTARCTIC PENGUINS
Grades K - 5

Overview

When the penguins of Antarctica dive into the sea, they swim in waters that would kill a human within a few minutes. Penguins swim comfortably in this water because they have a thick layer of blubber, a thick undercoat of downy feathers that help to trap the body heat, and finally a thick waterproof coat of overlapping feathers. Temperatures in Antarctica can reach to 74 degrees below zero Celsius (figure that out in Fahrenheit!), which makes it the most inhospitable place on earth. Penguins are adapted to live in this climate because of their feathers, their layer of fat, and their temperature control--penguin feet just can t be beat!

Students will travel with field scientists to Antarctica and will learn how to identify an Emperor penguin as well as see other Antarctic animals in action. They will watch as penguins communicate with each other. During the Previewing Activities, students will get to role-play being field scientists observing penguins in action. As part of the Post-Viewing hands-on activities, students will figure out just how densely those penguin feathers are packed. The lesson will take about an hour including the follow-up activity.
ITV Series
3-2-1 Classroom Contact, #10: Antarctic Animals: Living on the Edge
Learning Objectives
After viewing the video and completing the follow-up activity, students will be able to:
Materials
Pre-Viewing Activities
Students are asked to pretend that they are field scientists going to Antarctica to study the behavior of the Emperor Penguin. Explain to students that although there are 17 or 18 different species of penguins that live south of the equator, only three species make Antarctica their year- round home--the Emperor, the Adelie, and the Chinstrap. Penguins are marine birds and marine scientists investigate the place of birds among other vertebrates (including man) in marine food webs. Much information can be gathered about penguins from observing them in captivity in controlled situations, but many scientists find that studying penguins in their natural habitat is more accurate. Observing penguins in Antarctica isn t easy, but many field researchers travel by plane or ship (icebreakers) to reach the frozen continent. Once there, they must identify individual birds by putting numbered bands or rings on the penguins flippers. This can be done in about 20 seconds and is harmless to the penguins, but it is hard to hold on to a penguin!

Before starting the video, distribute strips of construction paper to be made into flipper ID bands, and assign a number for each band. Ask the students to make some penguin sounds like braying, squawking, quacking, babbling, honking, and peeping. Model for the children some penguin actions such as waddling, shuffling, hopping, flipper-tapping (used in courtship), pecking (used in defense), and head-bowing (used in greeting). Let the students practice their penguin sounds and actions. Next, assign field scientist pairs for the upcoming research mission. One member of the pair will role-play being a field biologist while the other member pretends to be a penguin. While the penguins act out the actions and sounds of penguins, the field biologists will observe and fill in a data chart to record their observations. Students do this by entering the identification number of the penguin performing the action in a square, starting from the bottom and working up. After five minutes, have the partners switch roles. When all students have completed the Penguin Field Study data chart, have them get ready for their trip to Antarctica. The data sheets can be collected and used later to total the observations and form bar graphs. See the Penguin Field Study worksheets.
Focus Viewing
Penguins live in Antarctica, but what other animals also make this icy continent their home? Are there any plants in Antarctica or is it too cold? Brainstorm a list of plants and animals that students think might make Antarctica their home. Write the responses on chart paper and display during this video lesson. To give the students a specific responsibility while watching the video, ask them to mentally check off plants and animals they see while in Antarctica that are on their list. Tell them to remember any plants or animals that they do see that are not on the list so they can be added later.

Explain to students that they will be traveling to Antarctica with field scientists and will be observing Emperor penguins in their natural habitat. Tell them to watch carefully for those penguin actions, especially the different ways of communicating and moving on land and in water. As an added responsibility for viewing, ask students to watch for the one thing that makes this bird different from any other bird on earth. Tell them that they will be asked to give their answers to this question at the end of the video lesson.

Viewing Activities
Cast member Z will introduce us to Antarctica and cast member Debra takes us to Antarctica so that we can observe penguins in their natural habitat. As Z introduces us to Antarctica and explains that penguins live on the edge of the continent, not in the center, give students a specific responsibility for viewing by asking them to listen and watch for the answer to this question: Why are penguins always living on the edge?

START VIDEO after the opening credits as cast member Z introduces us to Antarctica--the largest seafood restaurant on the earth. He will say, Imagine an ice cube surrounded by water-- one that s just a little bit bigger than this one--say the size of the United States.

PAUSE just after Z says, That's why penguins are always living on the edge. Ask the question again: Why are penguins always living on the edge? After students are able to answer this question and understand that even though the water is very, very cold, it is still warmer than the frozen land, explain to the students that they will now hear a song, Livin on the Edge. They will see lots of different animals that live in Antarctica. To give them a specific responsibility for viewing, have them mentally check off any animals they see that are on their list. Also, ask them to watch and see if they can figure out another reason that the Antarctic animals live on the edge of the continent.

RESUME video. SONG--Livin on the Edge:
Where the ocean meets the snow; that s the place you call home--
(Video: Adelie penguins playing in the water, a skua, and whales)
You re livin --livin on the edge.
(Video: Adelie penguins popping out of the water and hopping from iceberg to iceberg)
Where the water meets the ice; that s the place you spend your life--
(Video: seal in the water and on land)
You re livin --livin on the edge.
(Video: whale)
Antarctica, it s hard to survive in;
(Video: Gentoo penguins and a seal)
But the ocean s a place to stay alive in--just dive in.
(Video: a whale and penguins diving)
MUSIC with no words: penguins swimming, a whale, and seals diving and swimming
Lots of seals and penguins who--live on land, in water, too . . .
(Video: seal coming out of an ice hole, a penguin tobogganing and standing, a penguin getting out of the water)
Are livin --livin on the edge.
(Video: penguin flapping its wings, penguins sliding on ice and diving)
They re livin --livin on edge.
(Video: seals, penguins sliding into the water, penguins tobogganing)
Livin on the edge . . . !
(Video: penguins popping out of the water, a Gentoo waddling, penguins diving)

PAUSE the video at the end of the song. Ask students if they could figure out another reason that Antarctic penguins live on the edge of the continent instead of in its center. Those Antarctic waters are teaming with life and provide the biggest seafood restaurant on earth. Refer back to the list made by students as one of the Previewing Activities. Check-off any animals they observed in the video and add animals they hadn t thought of to the list.

FAST FORWARD past the next segment which is all about seals. Students will be curious about the video in fast motion, so use this opportunity to turn the volume all the way down and explain that cast member Debra is working with biologists to tag some newborn Weddell seals. The scientists hope to learn more about the behavior and life cycle of the seal by tagging and tracking the movement of individual seals just as the student field scientists tagged and recorded the movements of penguins during the Previewing Activities. Tell students that as soon as they see penguins you will stop fast forwarding and they are to listen carefully to see if they can find out what particular kind of penguin we will be observing.

RESUME video as soon as you see penguins. The narrator will say, Watching close by are Emperor penguins--the largest of all penguins that live in Antarctica.

PAUSE when the narrator says, It s 11 o'clock at night and the penguins are still active. Have students speculate as to why it might be daylight at eleven o'clock at night. Have a globe handy to use in the explanation. Ask students if they know what particular kind of penguin we will be observing and check to see if they were super observers by asking about the size of this penguin.

To give students a specific responsibility for viewing during the next segment, ask them to listen for the answer to this question: Are penguins afraid of humans? Why or why not?

RESUME video. The narrator will say, I m sitting here on the ice edge surrounded by penguins and they re not afraid to come right up to me.

PAUSE when you hear the narrator say, On the ice, they are safe. Ask students to respond to the question: Are penguins afraid of humans? Why or why not? Ask students to list dangers that they think might be in the water. Keep the list so they can check it during their study of penguins. Tell students that in the next segment they will see penguins communicating. Make sure they understand that you will stop the video and ask them to share what they think the penguins might be saying to each other.

RESUME video. There will be no narration at first. Then the narrator continues, Penguins are birds whose wings are adapted for swimming, not flying.

PAUSE after Debra says, When penguins aren t in the water fishing, they are on land spending a lot of time--well, I m not sure what they are doing, but it seems like communication. Let students share their thoughts about what the penguins might be communicating. Tell students to watch as the penguins continue to communicate, but to also listen for EMPEROR FAST FACTS: How tall is the Emperor penguin? How much does the Emperor weigh according to this source? What is the distinctive marking of the Emperor?

RESUME video. Debra will say, With densely packed feathers and a thick layer of blubber to keep them warm, penguins are well suited to the harsh Antarctic climate.

PAUSE when Debra says, Other kinds of penguins have different markings. Check the FAST FACTS and record them. Tell students that when you resume play, they will see more penguin communication as the music plays. They are to listen for the answers to these FAST FACT questions: How do a penguin s feet stay warm on the ice? Why do the Emperors huddle at the ice edge?

RESUME video. There is no narration, but you will see penguins communicating. Then the narrator says, Penguins are graceful underwater but seem awkward walking on ice.

PAUSE when Debra says, The Emperor penguin--one of the few animals that has adapted well to living in Antarctica. Check the answers to the FAST FACTS questions and record them.

RESUME video. At this point we are taken back to the studio where the cast member Z summarizes. Brrrrr . . .I m glad I don t have to live in Antarctica.

STOP video when Z says, And they live at the edge of the continent--near the water, because in Antarctica the land is so cold that water is the warmest place to be.
Post-Viewing Activities
Ask students if they now know what makes this bird different from all other birds on earth. Discuss the fantastic swimming talents of the penguin. Explain that there are many water birds, but none are as graceful and fast underwater as the penguin. Ask the students to try to imagine just how cold it would be swimming in the waters around Antarctica. What keeps the penguins from freezing to death? The secret is in the fat and the feathers.

The basic idea of the math follow-up for this lesson is to show students how the overlapping, densely packed feathers of the penguin help it to keep warm in the icy Antarctic waters. You will need round toothpicks and a 6-inch X 6-inch piece of Styrofoam with 1-inch blocks drawn on it. Students should first estimate how many toothpicks will fit into a 1-square-inch block. Write down the estimates. Then put the toothpicks in as the students watch. Seventy (70) toothpicks should fit into the 1-square-inch block.

Now give each student, or assign teams and give each team a 6-inch X 6-inch piece of 1-inch graph paper. Tell them that one unifix cube stands for 10 toothpicks or penguin feathers. Have them count out seven unifix cubes and snap them together. This represents the feathers in 1- square inch. Have them cross out 1-square inch on the graph paper. Challenge them to continue to use the unifix cubes and to cross out the squares one at a time to see how many feathers there are in a 6-inch X 6-inch area on a penguin s body. The first child with the correct answer gets to be Emperor of the Day!

This same activity can be done in square centimeters instead of square inches. Twelve round toothpicks will fit into a square centimeter.
Action Plan
Ask students if they now know what makes this bird different from all other birds on earth. Discuss the fantastic swimming talents of the penguin. Explain that there are many water birds, but none are as graceful and fast underwater as the penguin. Ask the students to try to imagine just how cold it would be swimming in the waters around Antarctica. What keeps the penguins from freezing to death? The secret is in the fat and the feathers.

The basic idea of the math follow-up for this lesson is to show students how the overlapping, densely packed feathers of the penguin help it to keep warm in the icy Antarctic waters. You will need round toothpicks and a 6-inch X 6-inch piece of Styrofoam with 1-inch blocks drawn on it. Students should first estimate how many toothpicks will fit into a 1-square-inch block. Write down the estimates. Then put the toothpicks in as the students watch. Seventy (70) toothpicks should fit into the 1-square-inch block.

Now give each student, or assign teams and give each team a 6-inch X 6-inch piece of 1-inch graph paper. Tell them that one unifix cube stands for 10 toothpicks or penguin feathers. Have them count out seven unifix cubes and snap them together. This represents the feathers in 1- square inch. Have them cross out 1-square inch on the graph paper. Challenge them to continue to use the unifix cubes and to cross out the squares one at a time to see how many feathers there are in a 6-inch X 6-inch area on a penguin s body. The first child with the correct answer gets to be Emperor of the Day!

This same activity can be done in square centimeters instead of square inches. Twelve round toothpicks will fit into a square centimeter.
Extensions
Science: Cozy in the Cold This experiment shows how the downy layer of feathers right against their skin helps the penguin stay warm. These downy feathers trap air between the sleek top feathers and the penguin s skin. The air keeps the body heat in and the cold out. You will need three small zip-lock plastic bags, cold water, and ice. Fill one bag about half way with cold water and ice cubes. Close completely. Zip a second bag most of the way, blow air into it, and zip it quickly. It should be a little air pillow. Leave the third bag empty. Have a student hold both hands out, palms up. Put the air bag on one hand and the empty bag on the other. Place the ice bag on top of the air bag and leave it there for a minute. Now put the ice bag on top of the empty bag. Which bag kept the cold out better? This can be done as a demonstration or better yet, set up the experiment for pairs of students and let everyone try it.



Science: Emperor for a Day Not all penguins build a nest for their eggs because in parts of Antarctica there is nothing to build them with! Since eggs have to be kept warm in order to hatch, the Emperor penguins use their Daddy s feet as nests! The egg is carefully rolled onto the Daddy s feet and he tucks it under a warm flap of skin on his belly called an egg flap or brood patch. He shuffles around with the egg on his feet for the next two months while the mother penguin goes out to sea to feed. When the egg hatches the mother returns and she takes over the parenting duties while the father goes to sea.

In this activity, students try to do what Emperor penguins do. Form an egg shape using one can of Play-Doh or a school-made substitute for each egg. All students can share the one egg, or you can make one egg for each pair of Emperors. Have students remove their shoes but leave their socks on. Balance the egg on the top of one student s feet. Explain to the student that to keep it there they will have to curl their toes up. If you have enough eggs for each pair to have one, the students can role-play. The mother penguin can go out to sea while the father penguin shuffle- walks across the room and back without letting the egg roll off his or her feet. When the father penguin has tried to incubate the egg, the mother penguin can return from the sea and the partners can switch roles.

Science: Ice Plants Plant seeds in two identical containers. Water both containers, but place one on a window sill and one in the freezer. Measure the amount of water you add to the window sill plant and give that same amount of water to the planted seeds in the freezer. Observe for a month and then ask the students why they think the plant in the freezer did not grow. Help them to understand that seedlings need water to sprout. In the freezer, the water freezes and cannot feed the seeds. Therefore, the seeds cannot sprout.

Language Arts: Antarctica by Helen Cowcher This book is available in hard back or soft cover, big book, and audio-taped version. Acquire a copy of the book and read it to the children. The Emperor penguins, Adelie penguins, Weddell seals, and skuas are the animal families depicted that live in Antarctica. Intruding helicopters cause a problem and the penguins cannot tell whether the arrival of human beings will be a good or a bad thing for their 40-million-year-old home. After reading the book, ask the children to imagine that they are Antarctic penguins. What would they say to the new human arrivals? Have each child design a poster with a message for the people. Display the posters.

Language Arts: Mr. Popper s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater Read this chapter book aloud to students. After reading the book, explain that explorers from many countries have traveled to Antarctica during the past 200 years. Many parts of the continent have been named for these explorers. Help the children to learn more about Antarctic explorers and develop a chart similar to the one here.


Antarctic Explorers
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Name Year Country
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
James Cook 1773 England
James Weddell 1821 England
Charles Wilkes 1839 United States
James Ross 1841 England
Roald Amundsen 1911 Norway
Robert Scott 1911 England
Richard Byrd 1929 United States

Math: Life-size Penguins Provide life-size patterns of five or six different penguins for children to trace and cut out. The Emperor (45 inches), the King (36 inches), the Gentoo (32 inches), the Adelie or the Chinstrap (28 inches), the Rockhopper (22 inches), and the Little Blue (15 inches) work nicely. If the students cut out two patterns, the pieces can be stapled and stuffed to make life-size replicas.

Students should use tempera paints to paint in the black, orange, pink, and gray parts. After the penguins are completed, a classroom graph can be made showing the height of the penguins.

Math: Sizing Up Penguins Write the names of the same five or six penguins used in Life-size Penguins above on tagboard strips that are the length of that particular penguin. Divide the students into groups matching the number of penguins you decide to use. Assign each group a different penguin name and give them the matching strip. Ask each group to measure and display its strip on a wall. The strips will show the actual height of each penguin. Invite students to find out the heights of other penguins and make strips to add to the display.

Social Studies: Penguin Colonies Copy a world map for each student. Use three different colors to code the map.
1. Use color #1 to highlight the equator.
2. Use color #2 to highlight everything on the map north of the equator. This is where penguins DO NOT live.
3. Use color #3 to highlight the areas where penguins DO live: Falkland Islands Australia (southern coast) South Georgia New Zealand (southern coast) Antarctica (shorelines) South America (western coast) Africa (southern coast) Galapagos Islands

RESOURCES
Bernard, Robin. Penguins: Theme Unit Developed in Cooperation with P.R.B.O.
International Biological Research. New York: Scholastic, 1994.

Breathed, Berkeley. A Wish for Wings that Work. Little, Brown, and Co., 1991.

Byles, Monica. Life in the Polar Lands. New York: Scholastic, 1990.

Cowcher, Helen. Antarctica. New York: Scholastic, 1993.

Fontanel, Beatrice. The Penguin: A Funny Bird. Watertown, Massachusetts: Charlesbridge
Publishing, 1992.

Glimmerveen, Ulco. A Tale of Antarctica. New York: Scholastic, 1989.

Hackwell, John. Desert of Ice: Life and Work in Antarctica. New York: Scribner s, 1991.

Lepthien, Emilie U. A New True Book of Penguins. Chicago: Childrens Press, 1983.

Lester, Helen. Tacky the Penguin. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1988.

Lye, Keith. Take a Trip to Antarctica. New York: Franklin Watts, 1984.

McGovern, Ann. Playing with Penguins and Other Adventures in Antarctica. New York:
Scholastic, 1994.

Perlman, Janet. Cinderella Penguin. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1982.

Pringle, Lawrence. Antarctica. New York: Simon & Shuster, 1992.

Sabin, Francene. Arctic and Antarctic Regions. New Jersey: Troll, 1985.

Sandak, Cass. The Arctic and the Antarctic. New York: Franklin Watts, 1987.

Swan, Robert. Destination: Antarctica. New York: Scholastic, 1989.

Willrich, Lola. Penguins Thematic Unit. Huntington Beach, CA: Teacher Created
Materials, Inc., 1991.

Winckler, Suzanne and Mary Rodgers. Our Endangered Planet: Antarctica. Minneapolis:
Lerner Publications, 1991.



ADDITIONAL VIDEO RESOURCES
3-2-1 Contact--Antarctica: Getting to the South Pole
Reading Rainbow, #84: Rechenka s Egg

Master Teacher: Judy Handley
Beaver Meadow School, Concord, NH

Worksheet
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