Mr. Popper’s Penguins was written decades ago, but the story still captures the hearts of readers today. If you aren’t familiar, Mr. Popper’s Penguins is about a house painter who reads and daydreams about the polar regions in his spare time. One day he receives a penguin at his home. What follows is an adventure with a group of very talented penguins! Whether I’m reading the story aloud to my class or reading it with a small group, I use many of the same activities from year to year. Today I want to share some of those activities and resources with you.
For my small groups, I put together reading packets. These contain all of the comprehension questions and vocabulary pages for the book. Then I pick and choose the graphic organizers and extras that my particular reading group needs to focus on. We work on these extra pages, as needed.
When reading the story aloud, we will complete the graphic organizers together either on chart paper or under the document camera. Questions are completed orally, rather than in writing.
Vocabulary is also key with this text because there are a lot of new and unfamiliar words. For my small reading groups, I have limited their vocabulary to 4 words per chapter. After reading and completing the comprehension questions, students will find a vocabulary match-up activity.
When reading the story aloud, I stop and discuss the meaning of words as needed. When we finish the story, I let each student choose one word from a vocabulary list. They write down the word, definition, and draw a picture demonstrating understanding of the vocabulary word. These make a great addition to the penguin craft included: