Our Penguin Mascot
- K-12: Language Arts
- Behavioral Studies
- K-12: Technology
This lesson was created for third and / or fourth graders to provide them with a productive research experience. After researching one of 17 different penguin species of their choice, students will use what they have discovered and try to convince their classmates to vote for their penguin as the "Class Mascot!" They will work with a partner to create an advertisement highlighting their ideas. They will then give an oral presentation of their completed advertisement along with a "campaign" speech.
Goals & Objectives:
- Students will be able to access resources needed to successfully complete their assignments.
- Students will gain a better understanding of the variety of species of penguins.
- Using information located during their search, students will focus on the similarity and differences of the different species of penguins.
- Students will present information.
- Students will determine whether specific websites are comprehensive enough to be used in their research.
- Students will list /record the variety of the species – or differences
- Students will create an advertisement that will encourage their fellow classmates to choose their penguin for a mascot.
- Generate interest in the research process.
- Build student’s confidence in their ability to use resources effectively.
- Promote student’s satisfaction in their research accomplishments.
- Gain confidence in processing information to fill an information need.
- Motivate students to continue to use information skills after the lesson.
Whiteboard, Computer, Projector, Student notebooks,
List of partner names, large chart tablet, Handout [see Supporting Files]
Advertisement sample [not included], Poster board
Laptops or computers, Internet access with Web browser
Print resources and online resources about penguins
Art materials-paper, crayons, markers, paint
Computer art software-Kidpix, HyperStudio, Paint, or Draw programs
- As students enter the library, there will be several penguins projected on the whiteboard titled: Which will be our Mascot?
- Give each student an information organizer, a KWHL chart. This chart is used for planning and gathering of initial information to aid students in research projects.
- K - Stands for helping students recall what they KNOW about the subject.
- W - Stands for helping students determine what they WANT to learn.
- L - Stands for helpin students identify what they LEARN as they read.
- H - Stands for HOW we can learn more (other sources where additional information on the topic can be found).
- Students will be prompted to complete this sentence in their notebook: A mascot is…
- After several students share their sentence, a clear definition will be elicited, written, and read out loud.
- Concepts that students have been learning in science class about animal behaviors will be discussed briefly.
- It will be explained to students that they will work with a partner to learn more about a species of their choice. They will research their chosen species to find out the following:
- Students will list /record the variety of the species – noting their similarities and/or differences
- Each student will receive a handout. They will write their name and their partner’s name in the space provided, from a prearranged partner list.
- Once students have done this planning they will begin to do their research. Students should be hunting for information that will answer the questions they want to know. Students could be directed to use Index of Penguins. They could use the information to begin their research.
- Encourage students to use as many different resources as possible, including online resources. It is important that students create a bibliography stating where the information was located.
- A picture gallery of penguin species from ChannelOne.com will be shown to students to pique their curiosity.
- Students will also be shown several bookmarked websites that they will use to gain access to the information they are seeking. They will be taken through the process of looking at each website, determining if it is useful for their information purposes, and then choosing a species to represent.
- It will be explained to students that once they have completed their worksheet with the required information, they will use that information to create a “campaign” advertisement: My Penguin for Class Mascot!
- A completed sample advertisement will be displayed and discussed briefly.
- Students will be told that they are now ready to begin their research. A recap of the directions will be given.
- Students will move to a computer with their partner and begin their research.
- Teacher and LMS will circulate, giving assistance and encouragement when needed.
- Students will have the remainder of the 90 minute block to complete this assignment – or rather the equivalent of two full library periods (if “open-access” is an option).
- Students will need to have their worksheet completely filled out and their advertisement [Question and answer competed when time is up.]
- An opportunity will be given for students to share experiences they had while workingon this assignment. They may ask questions, share difficulties, share feelings, etc.
- Each pair of students will present their “campaign” advertisement to the class.
Follow up Activity for Older Students: [See attachment for younger students]
Penguins are the only birds that migrate by swimming. Trace the migration routes of these Magellanic penguins on a chart of the globe. They may migrate to the west coast of South America to Tetas Point in northern Chile or up the east coast of South America, past Argentina as far north as Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Draw their routes on a map of South America and estimate the distance they have traveled.
Using satellite images, match their routes with the location of cold water currents.
Research the route by which other species of penguins migrate. Use satellite images of the Southern Hemisphere and references on penquin migration to trace the migration routes of various species.
Discuss assumptions students can make about migration routes by looking at infrared imagery (penguins follow water currents).
LMS and Science teacher will circulate to observe each student's ability to follow directions.
Completed handouts will demonstrate students' ability to extract accurate information from the websites.
Completed projects will be used to show students' ability to choose websites appropriate to complete assignment.
Presentation of completed projects (advertising campaign) will show students' understanding of lesson content.
Observations will be made to observe students' ability to work with a partner.
Students' participation and excitement will demonstrate their confidence in learning of research skills.
- Database worksheet (Penguins).doc
Directions on how to search the Searchasaurus database.
- Fact Cart_Database worksheet_penguins.doc
Worksheet to help students choose needed information and teaches students how to cite properly.
- Searching assignment practice _handout.doc
Worksheet for students to record their research process. [Optional]
Website links which provide additional information on penguins.
Suggestions for activities and books to use with younger students.
National Information Literacy Standards (K-12)
Accesses information efficiently and effectively.
Identifies a variety of potential sources of information.
Develops and uses successful strategies for locating information.
Uses information accurately and creatively
Organizes information for practical application.
Integrates new information into one's own knowledge.
Produces and communicates information and ideas in appropriate formats
Strives for excellence in information seeking and knowledge generation.
Devises strategies for revising, improving, and updating self-generated knowledge.
Participates effectively in groups to pursue and generate information.
Shares knowledge and information with others.
Respects others' ideas and backgrounds and acknowledges their contributions.
Collaborates with others, both in person and through technologies, to identify information problems and to seek their solutions.
Information Skills and Subskills (K-16)
Identifies requirements of research task
Determines amount/type of information needed to complete research task
Narrows topic to be explored
Specifies subtopics or related keywords
Formulates a search strategy
Identifies potential information sources
Creates a general framework for organizing information found
Locates and accesses information resources
Explores range of information resources
Rethinks research topic
Finalizes formulation of research topic
Selects most appropriate information sources
Locates relevant information within selected sources
Identifies and extracts relevant information from selected sources
Uses highlighting and/or notetaking skills
Evaluates quality of information and information source
Filters out irrelevant information
Summarizes/synthesizes/classifies final information
Organizes final information for presentation
Evaluates end product
Assesses the efficiency of the research process
- Subject: Behavioral Studies
National Content Standards (K-12)
Understands that group and cultural influences contribute to human development, identity, and behavior
- Subject: K-12: Language Arts
Uses the general skills and strategies of the writing process
Uses the stylistic and rhetorical aspects of writing
Uses grammatical and mechanical conventions in written compositions
Gathers and uses information for research purposes
Uses the general skills and strategies of the reading process
Listening and Speaking
Uses listening and speaking strategies for different purposes
- Subject: K-12: Technology
What is Government and What Should it Do?
Understands the nature and uses of different forms of technology
- Subject: Geography
Understands the characteristics of ecosystems on Earth's surface