Antarctica: 90 Degrees South Western Reserve Public Media

Lesson Plans

Procedures for Using the Science Lesson Plans


Arctic vs. Antarctic

Food Webs



Cupcake Core Sampling

Wind Chill

Ozone Hole

Plate Tectonics



Student will do research on the Internet or use other materials on the variety of penguins found in Antarctica and will write characteristics of each penguin.


Standards Addressed

Life Science
Grade 5

3-5 Benchmark

C. Compare changes in an organism’s ecosystem/habitat that affect its survival.

Diversity and Interdependence of Life / Y2003.CSC.S02.G03-05.BC.L05.I04

04. Summarize that organisms can survive only in ecosystems in which their needs can be met (e.g., food, water, shelter, air, carrying capacity and waste disposal). The world has different ecosystems and distinct ecosystems support the lives of different types of organisms.


Diversity and Interdependence of Life / Y2003.CSC.S02.G03-05.BC.L05.I05

05. Support how an organism’s patterns of behavior are related to the nature of that organism’s ecosystem, including the kinds and numbers of other organisms present, the availability of food and resources, and the changing physical characteristics of the ecosystem.






  1. Review the following information:

  2. When you think about penguins, you think about Antarctica and the area around Antarctica. There are more than 17 species of penguins and they all live in the Southern Hemisphere. All penguins are flightless birds that have adapted for life in cold water. Penguins do not fly even though they are birds. They search for food and evade predators by swimming rather than flying. Penguins have dense, solid bones and no air sacs (which reduce body weight to allow birds to fly more easily). Most penguins can be underwater for five to seven minutes.

    In Antarctica, the larger species feed primarily on squid and the smaller species feed mostly on krill and fish. All penguins nest in colonies. Most use open nests lined with rocks and pebbles and both the males and females sit on the eggs and feed the young. The young are fed by regurgitation and take their food from the inside mouth of the adults.

  3. Ask the students if they think all penguins are the same.

  4. Break the students into groups. Give the students the worksheet on penguins and have them find both a picture and identify at least two of the characteristics for each type of penguin listed.

  5. Students could use the Internet sites listed on the handout or they can use text material from the classroom or the library.

  6. If students are unable to find pictures, the teacher can use the ones below.


Find a picture of each type of penguin and at least two facts about them

Name of Penguin Picture Facts and Characteristics
Adelie Penguin  

Most common

Build their nest along coast of Antarctica

Very playful

Emperor Penguin  

Large penguins (up to 4 feet)


Female lays her eggs on the ice and males keep them warm between the top of his feet and his body

Only birds that never set foot on dry land

Female gets food for the young

King Penguin  

Large penguin

Makes no nest at all

Female lays her eggs and males keep them warm between the top of his feet and his body. All King penguin colonies are located on sub-Antarctic islands and eggs are laid in the summer.

Macaroni Penguin  

Crested penguins. Have orange, yellow and black crests

Have black chins

Rockhopper Penguin  

Smallest crested penguins

Have a thin yellow stripe that starts behind the beak and runs toward the back of the head and then develops into a drooping crest

Chinstrap Penguin  

White on front and throat and have a black back

Have a thin black stripe across the bottom of the throat — the chinstrap


If the students cannot find pictures on the Web, you can distribute the pictures below.







Pictures are from Lindblad Expeditions



To find information about penguins, go to

The Wonderful World of Penguins

Antarctic Penguins

Penguins of the Antarctic Region



Pictures are correctly placed 25 points
At least 2 facts are given for each penguin 25 points
  Total 50 points



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