Do you put together a penguin unit for your classroom during the winter months? Since they are my favorite animal, I have always loved doing a penguin unit study each year. One part of the unit that is always a hit with students is this fun penguin writing craftivity. In this post, I’m going to share everything you need to add this fun craft and writing project to your next penguin unit.
Motivating Beginning Writers with Craftivities
You’ve heard me share before that writing is the most difficult academic skill that teachers ask of kindergarten students. It requires them to apply whatever letter sound knowledge they have and put letters together to form words. Then they are tasked with getting those words onto paper with correct letter formation, spacing, and capitalization when they are still learning how to properly hold a pencil. This process can be a lot for young students, especially in a classroom with such varying levels of skill development!
So it’s not surprising that young children often lack confidence or motivation to write. That’s why I love to incorporate other engaging elements into writing practice. Craftivities are definitely one of those welcome additions! Crafts spark creativity and offer a visual support for students as they think about what they’d like to write. Plus, students are always so proud of the final product of their craft and writing side-by-side on display. The adorable penguin I’m going to share with you today is no exception!
Penguin Writing Craftivity: Step by Step
I’m sharing just one possible sequence that you could use to complete this penguin writing craftivity in your classroom. If your students need more inspiration and time to think about what they will write, you might want to have them do the craft before writing.
1. Learn About Penguins
This penguin craftivity is the perfect addition to a kindergarten penguin unit. Students are able to learn many different facts about penguins that they can use in their writing. One of my favorite ways to help students learn more about penguins is with read-alouds.
There are so many great penguin picture books out there, but here are some of my favorites:
- Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester
- Little Penguin’s Tale by Audrey Wood
- Penguins by Jill Esbaum
- Penguins Closeup by Lorna Hendry
- Little Penguin: The Emporer of Antarctica by Johnathan London
2. Create Penguin Anchor Chart
As you read about penguins, you can record what you’re learning on an anchor chart. A “can, have, are” chart is a great way to organize all of the new information that your students are learning about penguins. Plus, students could also use “can, have, are” sentence frames for the writing activity. This will help to scaffold the writing process for your students, and the anchor chart would provide helpful visual support.
3. Write About Penguins
Once students have had a chance to learn about penguins and organize their thoughts on an anchor chart, it’s time to write! This can be modified to best meet the needs of your students. Plus, you can choose from either horizontal or vertical writing paper based on how you would like to display the craft with the writing.
As I mentioned above, you could also use “can, have, are” sentence frames to scaffold this assignment for your students. They can refer to the corresponding anchor chart to help them write their own sentences.
4. Create Penguin Craft
This coordinating penguin craft will be a fun addition to this writing activity. Not only will it serve as an illustration for your students’ writing, but it will also provide important skill practice! As students follow directions to create this craft, they will also be identifying different shapes like triangle, heart, and circle. Young learners will also be using their fine motor skills to cut and assemble the different pieces for this penguin craft.
This activity can also be modified to best support your students. Instead of printing off the templates directly onto colored paper for students to cut out, the templates could be used as tracing templates instead. Your students can put the plain shape onto colored paper and trace around it before cutting for an added level of fine motor practice. On the other hand, you could pre-cut the smaller pieces for students who are still practicing scissor skills on larger and less-intricate cuts.
No matter how you decide to have students create these crafts, you’ll end up with an adorable colony of penguins! Speaking of colonies, you can even use these crafts to discuss how groups of penguins are called different things based on where they are and what they’re doing. (“If our group of penguins was swimming in the water right now, we would call it a raft of penguins.”)
Once your students have finished their penguin writing and craft, it’s time to put them on display! I love displaying writing assignments on the bulletin board because it encourages students to practice reading what their peers have written. Plus, it motivates students to do their best work when they know their penguins will be hanging up in the hallway. Seeing the final product on display in the classroom or hallway will give students a boost in confidence and motivation to continue writing!
I’m all for saving time when it comes to switching out bulletin boards, especially in the middle of the school year. That’s why I love that this penguin craft can be displayed for so much of the winter season! Since these penguins are made from heart shapes, you can easily keep these penguins on display through Valentine’s Day. That’s one less thing to think about when the holiday rolls around!
Printable Penguin Writing Craftivity
I have created an easy-to-prep printable resource with everything you need to do this penguin writing activity with your students. It includes anchor chart headers, craft templates, and a variety of writing papers to make this a truly low-prep addition to your penguin unit. If you'd like to take a closer look at everything included in this penguin writing craftivity, you can find it in the Teaching Exceptional Kinders shop or on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Save This Penguin Writing Craft
If you’d like to use this penguin writing craft in your classroom, be sure to save this post! Just add the pin below to your favorite teaching board on Pinterest. You’ll be able to quickly find this penguin craftivity whenever you’re ready to download and print it for your students.