There once was a boy and one day a penguin arrives on his doorstep. The boy decides the penguin must be lost and tries to return him. But no one seems to be missing a penguin. So the boy decides to take the penguin home himself, and they set out in his row boat on a journey to the South Pole. But when they get there, the boy discovers that maybe home wasn’t what the penguin was looking for after all!
Teaching Ideas and Resources:
- The story doesn’t have any direct speech. Can you think of speech for the characters at each point in the story?
- Write a story which explains how the penguin got to the boy’s front door.
- Watch the film and compare it to the book.
- Create an alternative story using different characters, e.g. Zazu from the Lion King arrives on a boy’s doorstep and he has to take him back to Africa (suggested by Loui White).
- Could your children plan, act and / or film their own trailer for the book?
- The penguin looks sad when it first arrives at the boy’s house… Try to find words (synonyms) that mean the same as ‘sad’.
- The boy was delighted when they first arrived at the South Pole… Think of synonyms for ‘delighted’.
- Make a list of things that the boy and penguin might pack in their suitcase (see Resources below).
- Role-play the boy and penguin rowing to the South Pole. What stories might the boy have told?
- Make a poster to tell people that you have found a penguin, in case anyone has lost it (see Resources below).
- The waves were ‘as big as mountains’… Try to think of other similes.
- Find out about penguins… Where can you find them? How are they adapted to living in that environment? What do they eat??(see Resources below)
- Think about floating and sinking… Why does the rowboat float?
- Use an art program or publishing software to make a poster to tell people about the penguin that the boy had found.
- In the film version of the story, the boy and penguin come across an octopus. Could the children design their own sea creatures?
- Could the children compose their own soundtrack for a new animated version of the story?
- Find out about the South Pole… Try to find it on a globe. Where is in relation to where you live? How far away is it? If you wanted to go there, how would you travel?
- While they were travelling to the South Pole, the boy and penguin saw ‘good weather and bad’. Use this as a starting point for learning about different types of weather.
- Discuss how the boy might be feeling when the penguin first arrives at his door.
- Explore why the penguin follows the boy. What does he want?
- The boy made a mistake leaving the penguin at the South Pole. Discuss mistakes that the children might have made in the past. How did they resolve them?
- The penguin was lonely… Discuss what is means to be lonely and how we can help others when they ar feeling lonely. What can we do when we feel lonely ourselves?