First of all – please know that the concept of “Penguin Day” or “Black and White Day” was not my idea. Sometime between the time I attended first grade and the time I returned to the school to teach first grade, Penguin Day was implemented as a first grade tradition. I added some little twists here and there, but I can’t take credit for the idea. My teaching friend shared all the details with me and helped me implement it in my classroom. Thanks, Tina!
Penguin Day in the Classroom
We’ve been studying penguins and everything ccean for the last four weeks. My students “earned” Penguin Day just like they earned the Hot Chocolate Party. Once “they spelled it out” I assigned homework.
Why? We need supplies to make an ICE CASTLE of course!! Students were asked to freeze ice in fun shapes using jello molds, cupcake trays, etc. They put their ice shapes in plastic bags and labeled them with their names on it. I had the ice chest outside my door this morning when they arrived. They brought in some FUN molds! We had bundt cake molds, rectangular pieces of ice, long poles/columns, flowers, bunnies (yes!), hearts, butterflies, moons, stars cylinders… You name it, we had it!
They were also asked to dress in all black and white (like penguins).
I wish I could show you our class photo because it is soooooo stinkin’ adorable. They all wore black and white and we all waddled in line and it was so cute I almost couldn’t stand it.
I knew I wanted to give students an opportunity to write since they would be “inspired.”
I let the students decide if they wanted to sit on the carpet or sit at their desks while they “observed” and waited patiently for their turn. Most of them started on the carpet and realized it was a better view from their desk. One day they will believe me… 😉 They filled out the “during” portion of the Ice Castle Observation page after they added ice to the castle.
We finally finished our castle and we “ooohed” and “awwed” and then went to recess. When we returned, we noticed all the colors running together at the base of the castle. As it was melting and all the colors were running together, the base was turning black!