Make A Penguin Labeling Activity



Informational Text Features: Make A Penguin Labeling Activity…..

I’ve extended our informational text feature study with maps (or should I say penguins) another week.  My little guy is intrigued with the maps we are using for locating penguins on a world map.



We’ve read a number of books with maps now.  Here is his ultimate favorite…


We’ve read it a dozen times or more.






This book has a few maps in it.  It has visuals in the GLOSSARY that include additional maps.   

The best text feature was this 4 page CHART of all 17 types of penguins from smallest to largest.  PJ  looked at the pictures of penguins for a good hour in total.



I knew we had to go over each type of penguin rather than penguins as a group of Antarctic animals.  

I started by trying out a few homemade black Playdough recipes because black is a hard color to find if not ordered on line.  

Here are a few dependable sites if you would like to try your hand at it:

My dough turned out more a brownish color but I’m not one to waste. The cans I FINALLY found at Walmart were less than 1.00 dollar a piece.  I kept my brown dough for PJ to use in a tropical penguin habitat.

What you need:

  • 5 cans of black playdough
  • 14 plastic eggs (we didn’t use eggs for the 3 smallest species of penguins just dough)
  • 2 cans of white playdough
  • Small amount of orange and yellow playdough


Using the book for reference he formed black dough completely around an egg.  The Emperor Penguin is the tallest and should have more dough than any other egg.  



He labeled body parts of  this penguin without my asking…


webbed feet and flippersimage head and bill
imageEyes and tail



He chose to use googley eyes instead of dough.



He righty put the emperor in an ocean of tissue paper and used the left over Christmas snow I had to decorate the surrounding area!  How creative!!



He made 7 species of  Penguins naming and labeling each according to the text in the book. 



It was a wonderful way to support finding information within his reading and using key text features….Not to mention stir his imagination! 

For more great hands on penguin activities visit Embark On The Journey.

Frog Snails and Puppy Dog Tails– Penguin Snow Globe

Gift of Curiosity– Penguin Printable Pack ages 2-7

Thanks for reading,


Places I Share With





Types of Text: Learning About Informational Text in First Grade

Learning Important Features of Informational Text with Reindeer…..



Most of the time moving from Narrative text to Informational text is easy.  My son read story books about the tooth fairy and was naturally interested in teeth.  An adventure of seeking information about his teeth compared to animal teeth began.


Pour teeth look like this.
Our teeth look like this.


Reindeer teeth look like this.
Reindeer teeth look like this.

JUST LIKE THAT…We were off to find out all about Arctic mammals!  


He had never watched this classic before learning about reindeer so I was excited to watch this with him!




I wanted PJ to become familiar with all the features of  Informational text.  I quickly found some printable lists for my visual learner…..

Nonfiction Text Features Bullentin Board Poster Set
Nonfiction Text Features Bullentin Board Poster Set


Primarily Speaking  Free Nonfiction Text Features   Posters

Classroom Freebies  Checklists and usage log


After I jotted down a hand written list of a few nonfiction text features, we headed to the library to practice using features. ( I ended up making my own visual board for nonfiction text features after the fact.)

Click here

Kindle book…

At the library…image

Kindle book…

Cool Facts/ Silly Jokes

Kindle book…

Click here to view book.


At the library…it’s an older edition of the first book I think.image



Reindeer (A Day in the Life:Polar Animals)

We found a nice quiet place and used this Know/Want to Know/ Learned chart – Teacher Files


Next, we looked up the books I found from above.  He began to fill in his Just The Facts worksheet also from Teacher Files.



Using my handwritten check list we found the most important features of Informational Text:

  • Table of Contents
  • Bold or Italicized words
  • Glossary
  • Headings
  • Subheadings
  • Maps

****There are more Features to cover but my goal is to cover them one by one in a series.  Stayed tuned!****


We took turns reading but I asked him to stop me when he heard a FACT so he could write it down.  There were words we looked up in the glossary along the way when he didn’t understand their meaning.  I wrote down those words to later use as vocabulary and speech practice words.


He wasn’t ready to answer why he thought the words were important yet.  I didn’t want to overload him so I saved those thinking questions for another day. 


-By that point my son was familiar with the most important Nonfiction Text Features and could look up bold words in the Glossary.  

-He was able to match and find chapter headings from the Table of Contents to within the books we read.  

He could find the map in one book and point to where Reindeer migrated.   

He also had 6 facts wrote out about Reindeer that we will use later to fill in the “What I Learned” part of  his K/W/L chart.


Here is an example of a Just The Facts sheet about teeth.


While we were at the library I took advantage of the printer privileges((: and printed off pages of FREE Reindeer learning from a few of these sights…



Royal Baloo – Reindeer Learning Pack

3 Dinosaurs- Reindeer Pack Story retell with puppets


More Fact Finding Ideas……

Royal Baloo – Reindeer Lapbook

Enchanted Learning – Label The Reindeer

Red Ted Art – Reindeer Bookmarks

Sarahs First Grade Snippets – Reindeer Fact Craft and More!

First Grade Smiles – Reindeer Facts And Fun



Web Facts About Reindeer…..Yep that’s a part of Common Core and well just a skill must have nowadays.

University of Alaska – Reindeer Caribou..What’s the Difference?

You Tube – Rudolph the Blue Eyed Reindeer

Animals Time all about animals for kids – Top 9 Reindeer Facts


I will share more about reindeer crafts and activities when my son has had his fill of  information on the subject.  Until then…

Thank you for reading!