Topic: Animals (Penguins)Week No. 3

Topic: Animals (Penguins)Week No. 3

BASICS Project

Lesson Plan

Class:P.2Date: 8/5/08

Topic: Animals (penguins)Week no. 3

Learning outcomes:

Science ( Science concepts addressed)

- Children will be introduced to what thermometers are used for and how they are used.

- Children will understand how penguins keep warm in the Polar Regions.

- Children will predict what will happen for the investigation.

Literacy ( Literacy skills addressed)

- Name the different parts of the book (front cover, author, and illustrator)

- Prediction; ask children to communicate their ideas on what the story will be about.

- Talking and listening skills developed through discussion.

The aspects of science enquiry (Planning, Obtaining and presenting evidence, Considering evidence and evaluating) addressed in this lesson are,

- Obtaining evidence (recording temperatures between two variables)

- Considering and evaluating evidence (why was one temperature of water warmer?)


- ‘Happy feet’ story

- Water bottles

- Thermometers (2)

- Pictures of thermometer (Interactive whiteboard)

- Warm water (tap)

- Investigation page (IWB)


How is the book/story used to introduce lesson

Before the book is introduced; explain WALT and WILF for the lesson. We are learning about how penguins survive in really cold places. What I’m looking for is good listening.

Discuss the different parts of the book. Ask children to predict what they think will happen in the story. Find out what children know about penguins and where they live. Read through the first 10-12 pages, discussing what’s happening and asking children questions about it. The last question should be ‘How did the father penguins keep warm?’


- Get all the children to stand up and make the formation that penguins use to keep warm. Pick one child to stand in the middle, and all of the other children can stand around him/her really close. Ask children if they know why this keeps the penguins warm, and which penguin is warmest/coldest? Move the child in middle to the outside and let a child from the outside move into the middle. Explain that the penguins take turns to be in the middle to get all the warmth from the other penguins.

- Get all children to sit down on the carpet area again. Explain that we are going to test out the idea to find out if the penguin in the middle stays warmer than the other penguins. Ask children if they have any ideas how we could do that. Then explain that we are going to fill up bottles with warm water (these will be the penguins). We will measure how warm the middle penguin and an outside penguin are at the start and record this on the board. Then we will record the temperature every one minute for approximately 10-15 minutes.

- Ask children how will we know which one is warmer? Can they suggest something that will tell us exactly how warm or cold something is? Introduce the thermometer (it measures the temperature of something; it gives us a number which tells us how warm or cold something is). Show the picture of the lab thermometer on the interactive whiteboard first to show children what it looks like. Ask them questions about the thermometer (What can it be used for, who would use it, what’s it made of etc). Explain that the red line points to a number, and that number is the temperature. As the numbers aren’t very clear on the first picture, show the next thermometer picture (close up of numbers) and explain what temperature it is. Then show the class the real thermometers but explain that they have to be very careful because they are made of glass and can break easily.

- Bring up an investigation page on the interactive whiteboard. Ask children for their predictions and write some of them on the page, along with who said it. Then move children so that they stand around the front table and start the investigation, recording the temperatures of the middle penguin and an outside penguin every minute. Temperature recordings will be written on the IWB page.

- During the investigation children will go to a table and draw a picture of a penguin while waiting to see if the temperature has changed.


- Children replicating how penguins huddle together to keep warm.

- Investigation to find out if the middle penguin actually stays warmer.

Classroom organisation

-Whole class on the carpet area for the introduction and explanation of investigation.

-Whole class around the front table for the investigation

-Whole class on the carpet for conclusion

Key Vocabularydeveloped

- Temperature- South Pole, Polar Regions, Antarctica

- Thermometer- Penguins, fur, flippers, flightless

- Warm/cold- Eggs

- Huddle

Key Questionsduring lesson

- What type of animals are penguins?

- How do you know they are birds?

- Where do penguins live?

- What’s the weather like where penguins live?

- How can they survive in such a cold place?

- Why are the penguins in the middle the warmest?

- Which penguins would be the coldest?

- How will we know which penguin is warmer?

Conclusion of lesson

How is the lesson concluded? How is the book/story used in conclusion of plenary?

Children will move back to the carpet. Ask children what we found out from the investigation; which penguin was warmer at the end? Discuss why it was warmer. Finish the lesson by reading some more of the book (it’s too long to finish). Refer back to the WALT and WILF objectives.

Additional information

Lesson Evaluation

This evaluation should reflect on how the book or story enhanced the science lesson. Please include examples from the lesson to illustrate your comments.


How did the children respond to the book or story?

Children responded well to the story as most of them had seen the ‘Happy Feet’ film. They were interested in the story and listened actively, answering any questions posed. Most of them were keen to let me know they had seen the film and knew what happened in it.

Did the story allow children to express their ideas and current understanding? Please give examples

Children expressed their current understanding of penguins when they answered questions. One pupil knew that penguins had a ‘heart song’. Pupils knew that penguins were birds (Zack), and when I prompted how they knew it’s a bird they gave reasonable responses; such as it has feathers and wings which are called flippers. Most pupils knew that penguins are flightless.

During the development of the lesson children were able to express their ideas. When questioned how we could find out which would be warmer children suggested looking it up on the computer or in books. Another child suggested we could put fur around the water bottles to keep them warm.

Sarah suggested we could unscrew the lid and put our finger in to feel the water to find out if the middle water is warmer than the outside.

Beth knew that thermometers are used to measure temperature; and when asked what you do with a thermometer, Philip replied ‘Dip it in’.

How did the story set the scene for the science activity?

The story introduced the concept of penguins huddling together to keep warm. This set the scene for the science as children actually formed a huddle and pretended to be penguins. This lead on to the development of the investigation with the filled water bottles.

Science Activity

During the activity is their any evidence of the children relating the activity to the story? ( From their talk, questions or comments)

During the investigation children suggested that the temperature of water in the bottles had increased because a lot of children had huddled around the water bottles.

Please comment on the children’s engagement during the activity

Children were engaged throughout the activities; when they huddled together like penguins they were answering any questions posed. During the investigation they were engaged as they found it exciting and wanted to see if the temperature had changed. While waiting for one minute to pass children actually were able to walk around the room like penguins, and some boys huddled together to act out keeping warm.

Conclusion of lesson

Is there any evidence of the children linking the science activity to the story during this part of the lesson. Please give examples

Children could predict that the penguin on outside was colder than the penguin in the middle because they weren’t as many penguins around him. This was demonstrated in the story as the father penguins huddled together to keep warm with their eggs.

Is there evidence of the book or story supporting children’s language? ( Are they using terms or words from the book or story?)

The children were using vocabulary from the story, such as huddled and heart song. This vocabulary was also used during the science activity when Fynn suggested that the temperature of a penguin increased because some children were huddling around the table where the investigation was set up.

Is there any evidence of children transferring understanding or knowledge from the activity to a new or different situation ( for example within another story or discussion). Please give examples

What are the key ways in which you feel the book or story supported this lesson, (please give examples), in terms of

  • Children’s motivation/engagement

The story really captured children’s attention and got them interested in the lesson from the very start. As the science activities stemmed from the story this kept the children motivated to learn throughout the entire lesson. Children were given the opportunity to walk like penguins and act like penguins during the lesson which they seemed to enjoy.

  • Supporting concept development

The story supported the concept that penguins huddle together to keep warm. I was able to build on this part of the story to introduce an investigation that would test the theory in the classroom.

  • Developing children science language and language in general

The story supported children’s general language, and most of them were using the term ‘huddled’. In terms of science language the story enabled the introduction of thermometers and temperature.

Pupils’ Comments (Please ask the pupils)

After the lesson please ask a group of pupils the following questions. Please jot down their responses and try and catch their actual quotes

What were you doing in our lesson today?

‘We were being penguins’

‘I was the penguin in the middle and I was the warmest’

‘I drew a picture of a penguin and walked like a penguin and huddled together like a penguin.’

‘We read Happy Feet and talked about it.’

‘I had to wait for a long time to see if water got cold.’

What did you enjoy in the lesson today?

Most pupils said they enjoyed a lot of the lesson, especially the story. However one pupil said they enjoyed being a penguin the most. A couple of pupils said they didn’t enjoy waiting for a long time to see what happened to the water bottles.

What did you find out in the lesson this morning?

‘The middle penguin is the warmest.’

‘You can dip in a thermometer to see how warm it is.’

‘Penguins huddle to keep warm.’

What was your favourite part of the lesson?

Most pupils said their favourite part of the lesson was the story, however numerous children enjoyed being a penguin the most and a few said their favourite part was the investigation.