Sail to the South Pole

Books to Share

  • Flip and Flop by Dawn Apperley.
  • I Like It When... by Mary Murphy.
  • Please Say Please! A Penguin’s Guide to Manners by Margery Cuyler.
  • Snuggle Up, Little Penguin by Ronne Randall.
  • Without You by Sarah Weeks.

Books to Show or Booktalk

  • Antarctic Antics: A Book of Penguin Poems by Judy Sierra.
  • The Little Penguin by A. J. Wood.
  • Penguins ABC by Kevin Schafer.
  • Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester.
  • And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson.

Bulletin Board

It’s Hot Outside, Cool Down and Read!

Cover the bulletin board with white paper and draw lines to create hills of snow. Have penguins sitting and sliding on the snow banks while they are reading books. Use cotton balls and first aid cotton or spray-on snow for added authenticity. Penguin patterns and iceberg illustrations can be printed from Dea’s Crafty Creations,


Penguin Triangles

Cut a large triangle out of black construction paper. Cut out white circles for eyes and glue them on, or use wiggly eyes. Glue on a small orange triangle for a nose, two small orange triangles for feet, and one white half-circle on the bottom for the penguin’s stomach. Write the child’s name on penguin’s stomach.



Display books, videos, DVDs, and musical recordings about penguins and the South Pole along with stuffed penguins, snow globes, and figurines. Set up the display on white fabric or paper. Sprinkle snow made from white confetti or cotton balls on top of the items.


Oreo™ Penguin Snack


  • Oreo™ cookies
  • Candy corn
  • Hershey’s Kisses™


Prepare the snack in advance or allow the children to assemble it themselves. Pull the Oreo™ cookie apart. Take the half that does not have the icing on it and cut or break it into two pieces. Press a Hershey’s Kiss™ into the iced half to create the penguin’s head. Press the two plain pieces into the icing with the curved sides facing in to create the penguin’s wings. Place pieces of candy corns on the bottom for the penguin’s feet.


Little Penguin

(Traditional, adapted by Debbie Brightwell Brown. Suit the actions to words as you recite the rhyme.)

I knew a little penguin,

Who swam around ice blocks.

He swam in the ocean.

He climbed on some rocks.

He snapped at a seagull.

He snapped at a seal.

He snapped at a fish.

It was a nice fat krill.

He didn’t catch the seagull.

He didn’t catch the seal.

He did catch the fish.

Wow! What a meal!


Penguins, Penguins

(By Debbie Brightwell Brown. Recite to the rhythm of “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, Turn Around.”)

Penguins, penguins, waddle around.   (Waddle back and forth)

Penguins, penguins, touch the ground.   (Touch the floor)

Penguins, penguins, look out to sea,   (Put hand on forehead)

Penguins, penguins, twirl around, whee!   (Twirl)

Penguins, penguins, swim and dive,   (Pretend to swim and dive)

Penguins, penguins, happy and alive.   (Jump up with joy)

Penguins, penguins, nod your heads,   (Nod head)

Penguins, penguins, go to bed.   (Hands against cheek with head tilted)

Audio Recordings

“Penguin Parade” on Penguin Parade by Banana Slug String Band.

Flannel Boards

Five Little Penguins

(Traditional, adapted by Debbie Brightwell Brown. Use the pattern provided to make five penguins out of felt, fun foam, or paper. Use a piece of white paper or white felt to represent the ice. Place the paper or felt ice and all five penguins on the flannel board. Remove the penguins as you recite the rhyme.)

Five little penguins as happy as could be,

Standing on the ice, looking out to sea.

Roar went the waves, making such a din!

Said the first little penguin, “Shall we all jump in?”

Said the second little penguin, “The water’s like ice!”

Said the third little penguin, “That won’t be very nice!”

Said the fourth little penguin, “Let’s just bask in the sun.”

Said the fifth little penguin, “Hey! That won’t be very fun!”

So the five little penguins took a leap and a dive,

And jumped in the ocean, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Three seconds later, out of the ocean they popped,

And stood once again on the icy white rocks.

Riddles and Jokes

Q: Why do penguins carry fish in their beaks?

A: Because they don’t have pockets.

Q. What do penguins eat for dinner?

A. Ice-burgers.

Q. Where do penguins keep their money?

A. In a snow bank.


Circle Penguins


Black, white, and orange construction paper

Glue sticks


In advance, cut three strips of black construction paper for each child. Cut the white paper into eye shapes and the orange into triangles. Show the children how to shape and form the strips into two circles. Glue the two circles together. Place the third strip through one of the circles sideways and glue it down. Glue the eyes and the orange beak onto the side of one circle.

circle penguins craft

Penguin Puppet


  • Toilet paper tubes
  • Black, white, and orange construction paper
  • Craft sticks
  • Glue sticks
  • Staples or tape


Wrap the toilet paper tubes with black construction paper and glue or tape the construction paper. Cut out a white triangle for the penguin’s stomach, white and black circles for the eyes, an orange diamond for the beak, and two strips of black paper for the wings, using the patterns provided. Glue the pieces on the toilet paper tube and staple or tape a craft stick inside the tube for a handle.

penguin puppet

Games and Activities

Hungry Penguin

(By Debbie Brightwell Brown. Cut fish from various colors of construction paper. Prepare enough so that each child will have one. Decorate a box to look like a penguin with an open mouth. Distribute the fish to the children. As you recite the rhyme, allow the children to feed their fish to the penguin through the hole in the box.  Repeat the rhyme until all of the fish are in the box.)

Penguin, penguin, munch, munch, munch.

Penguin wants a blue fish for lunch!

hungry penguins

Web Sites

Antarctic Connection

This site provides the user with information and photographs of seventeen types of penguins, as well as information and photographs on other Antarctic animals such as birds, whales, and seals. Users can also listen to the sounds that penguins make in the wild.

Monterey Bay Aquarium Splash Zone Exhibit Penguin Cam

This site provides a view of the live ‘Penguin Cam’ at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California. The site also provides facts about penguins and teacher activities.

Professional Resources

Dea’s Crafty Creations

Penguin patterns and iceberg illustrations can be printed from this site.


Texas Reading Club 2007 Programming Manual / Sail Away with Books!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011