“He cut in front of me!” Ever heard that one in a school? “No fair!” How about that one?
What are penguin problems? Minor issues, minor inconveniences, and silly concerns. Penguin problems are not even problems at all. Our kids need to take ownership. Enough penguin problems, already!
Are your students driving you crazy with petty issues and their own Penguin Problems? When 5th graders at my school found themselves all too often irritated by the most trivial or unsolvable issues, the 5th grade teachers turned to the Penguin Problems Problem-Solving lesson.
Try this social-emotional, whole-class enrichment lesson about problem-solving. In addition to critical thinking and problem-solving around social and personal issues, students learn a bit of language etymology, practice poetic writing with strong word choice, examine metaphors, and exercise critical thinking skills throughout.
Activity One: What are Penguin Problems? What is the theme of the book?
Activity Two: Penguins and Penguin Problems Metaphors
Activity Three: “Laid an Egg” Etymology
Activity Four: Our Penguin Problems and Our Solutions
Activity Five: Gratitudes—Listen to the Walrus
• one copy of “Penguin Problems” by Jory John, illustrated by Lane Smith
• ideally, a poster-maker machine at your school, or a teacher who can draw a big penguin and eggs!
Level: Penguin problems exist from ages all the way through 90, but this lesson works best for grades 3 to 5.
Time: 2-4 hours; easy to break into 30-60 minute sessions