Mr. Popper’s Penguins is one of those rare classic tales that students love! I’ve discovered that this book is perfect for both third and fourth graders who love the silliness of a family dealing with a house full of penguins.
The story centers around Mr. Popper, a house painter who longs for adventure. He writes to Admiral Drake, an Antarctic explorer, who ships him a penguin. Mr. Popper names the penguin Admiral Cook after the explorer. Soon Admiral Cook becomes lonely, so the zoo sends Mr. Popper a second penguin. The two have 10 young ones. The humorous tale begins in earnest as the penguins turn the Popper’s house and life upside down.
Five Activities to use with Mr. Popper’s Penguins
Activity #1 [Music]
Mr. Popper had the idea of training the penguins to perform for an audience to earn money. They moved the piano down to the cellar. Mrs. Popper played three different pieces of music. The penguins were trained to perform a certain act when each piece of music was played on the piano.
Click on the images to visit the different sites for instructions. [Note: The craft and food ideas come from various websites. The links will take you to a new window. Once you have read about the activity, you can close the window to return to this page.]
These super cut penguins are made from paper towel rolls. The website
provides step-by-step instructions with photos.
How cute is this!! The penguin is made form a toilet paper roll.
This anchor chart was created with the help of a small group of RTI students. The students wrote their facts on lined sticky notes. Students then created this simple penguin from construction paper. The anchor chart was quick and easy to make, and the students were super proud of the finished product.
Activity #5 [Sample Writing Activities from Mr. Popper’s Penguins Book Unit]
Click here to download this free sample from Mr. Popper’s Penguins Book Unit.