Mr. Popper’s Penguins Activities

Mr. Popper’s Penguins Teaching Activities

Are you looking for some Mr. Popper’s Penguins Activities? You’ve come to the right place.

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.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins Activities

Book Unit Samples

Mr. Popper’s Penguins Novel Study Samples

Check out Mr. Popper’s Penguins Novel Study with chapters 1-2 vocabulary, comprehension questions, and writing questions. 

Teaching Idea #1 – Penguins’ Training 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.

Have students listen to the three pieces of music and explain how the music and the movements work together.

Schubert’s “Military March”

The penguins paraded like a lot of soldiers


“Merry Widow Waltz”

Nelson and Columbus fought each other with their flippers.


“By the Brook”

The penguins climbed up the ladders and tobogganed.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins Activities

Teaching Idea #2 – Penguin Crafts

Click on the links to visit the different sites for instructions. [Note: The craft 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.]

Mr. Popper’s Penguins Activities

These super cute penguins are made from paper towel rolls. This website is no longer available, but you can figure out how they were created from the photograph.

Penguin Drawings

The website explains
How to Draw a Penguin

Penguin Craft

How cute is this!! The penguin is made from a toilet paper roll.

Penguin Craft

Teaching Idea #3 – Edible Penguins 

Frozen Banana Penguins

These editable penguins are sure to be a classroom hit. See how they are made by visiting the Reading Confetti website. 

Teaching Idea #4 – Penguin Facts Anchor Chart

Penguin Facts Anchor Chart

A small group of RTI students created his anchor chart. 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.

Penguin Anchor Chart

Teaching Idea #5 – Ten Interesting Facts about Penguins

Mr. Popper’s Penguins Activities
  1. Seventeen species of penguins are found in the Southern Hemisphere. Thirteen of these are either threatened or endangered. The most common threats are pollution, loss of habitat, and global warming.
  2. Penguins cannot fly. They like to slide on their tummies over the ice and snow.
  3. The penguin’s colors help camouflage it. The black blends in with the ocean from above and their white bellies blend in with the sunshine when underwater looking up.
  4. Penguins lose and replace all their feathers at once. The molting process takes about 2 to 3 weeks. During this time, penguins stay on land.


Get the printable version to use with your students here.

  1. Many species of penguins mate for life. Most species go to the same nesting site year after year. Both male and female penguins look after their young.
  2. The male Emperor Penguin incubates a single egg under a loose fold of skin on the top of his feet. This takes approximately 64-67 days. During this time, the male can lose around 26 pounds.
  3. Larger species live in the colder regions.
  4. Penguins have excellent hearing. This helps them find their mates.
  5. Penguins have no land predators in the Southern Hemisphere. Because they are not used to predators, penguins do not fear humans.
  6. Penguins spend several hours each day preening and caring for their feathers. They must take good care of their feathers to keep them waterproof. Penguins also use their feathers as insulation. They trap a layer of air next to their skin under their feathers for warmth.

See the product that inspired this post.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins Novel Study

Mr. Popper’s Penguins Novel Study includes vocabulary practice, comprehension questions, constructed response writing, and skill practice.  . 

Gay Miller

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