Penguin Cool-Down Lesson

Penguin Cool-Down Lesson

    Grades 2 – 5

    Under 1 hour

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Inspire your class with this hands-on activity kit that utilizes the inquiry method to heighten your students' imaginations and engineering skills. This kit includes three engaging activities about the warming effect of sunlight on Earth's surface while having your students help their new penguin pals stay cool.

Instructional Goal

The goal of this activity is for students to practice their STEM skills to complete three different tasks to help the penguins.

Activity Steps

  •    Define the Problem – Each of the three activities centers around helping a single or a group of penguins avoid the heat of the sun.
  •    Available Tools – Introduce the groups to the pipe cleaners, foil-paper sheets, and scissors, explaining that they are to use these tools to complete the task.
  •    Make a Plan – Tell each group to discuss a plan for making the best shelter or umbrella that they can. Ask them to draw or write their plan before beginning.
  •    Conduct the Task – Instruct each group to use the materials and work on the aerial view of the penguin habitat side of the Work Mats to build their solutions.
  •    Evaluate – Direct each group to fill in the What We Designed section on the Penguin Cool-Down Reproducible with a drawing or photograph of their solution and Penguins. Ask them to evaluate their task by writing or telling what worked and what didn't work in the How Did We Do? section. For young students, have them draw a simple smiley of frowny face to evaluate.
  •    Optimize the Solution – Have each group compare and contrast their solutions with other groups.

This kit includes enough materials to divide your class into four working groups of up to four students each. The groups can work on the same Task Card at the same time, allowing them to compare and contrast their designs and models. Or, the groups can work on different Task Cards and then present their designs to the class.

About STEM-tivity™ Class Kits - Penguin Cool-Down

Explore concepts related to sunlight with this engaging kit containing everything you need to lead four cooperative groups through three hands-on engineering challenges. Students will use what they have learned about the warming effects of the sun to build a shelter for penguins, an umbrella for a group of penguins, and an umbrella for a single penguin. Reviewed and approved by certified STEM instructional coaches, the kit also includes extension activities that support all components of STEM.

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What You'll Need

Class Kits -
Penguin Cool-Down


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Supply List

Collect any supplies that can be used to build mini snow plows!

Optional classroom supplies:

  •    scissors
  •    tape
  •    poster putty
  •    glue sticks
  •    rubber bands
  •    pencils

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