Elementary English Language Arts, Professional Learning, Social Studies
Material Type:
Assessment, Lesson Plan
Lower Elementary
  • Elementary School
  • First Grade
  • Informational Text
  • Informational Writing
  • Key Details
  • Lesson Plan
  • Main Topic
  • Penguins
  • Research
  • Writing
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Media Formats:

    Education Standards

    Penguin Report

    Penguin Report


    This is a lesson plan to help students learn how to gather information from videos or books about penguins and then take notes and write sentences from their notes. 


    This is a lesson to help students learn about Penguins and learn to take notes about penguins and be able to write those facts into sentences. 

    Time frame for this lesson will be 3 days about 20-30 mins each day.

    This lesson would be taught best face to face. 


    Background for Teachers

    To teach this lesson, you will need an understanding of Penguins and a few facts about them. You can use the web or books about Penguins.

    The following resources can help you teach this topic

     Insider Penguin link

    World Book

    Step 1 - Goals and Outcomes


    Learning Intentions:

    • Students will be able to take notes about Penguins with the instructor's help and transfer those notes into 4 sentences. 

    Success Criteria:

    • Students will have a writing assignment with 4 sentences including a capital at the beginning and punctuation at the end.


    Step 2 - Planning Instruction

    Student Background Knowledge

    Students don't need any background knowledge of penguins.

    Strategies for Diverse Learners

    Based on some of the responses it will be good to gauge what the students know about penguins and if some students don't know what they are at all or know very little about them. 

    Step 3 - Instruction

    Day 1 Background knowledge and intro to penguins

    But before the teaching begins the students will be shown a picture of a penguin and asked "Give me a thumbs up if you know what animal this is." "What animal is this?" "What do you know about it?"

    Then the instructure will say that today we are going to start learning about penguins. 

    After Assessing background knowledge about penguins then the instructor will show one or both of the Youtube videos about penguins. The students can be on the floor at the front of the room for this. This is just to give them an overview of penguins. No notetaking will be done at this time. After the movies the instructor will ask students "What did you learn about penguins?" Let students share things they learned from the videos. 

    Day 2 Note taking

    Note taking will happen today. The attached are various note taking pages that can be used to make a copy for each student. The information for the notes can come from a variety of places. The videos can be watched or a book read. Or the articles linked in the background knowledge section can also be used. While watching or reading help the students pick out facts they can write on their paper. Take notes all together.

    Some examples of notes about penguins can be:

    are birds, can't fly, eat fish, can swim, have feathers, lay eggs, etc. 

    Day 3 Writing and final assessment.

    Writing will happen today. Using their notes the students will write their 4 sentences. As the instructor model the first sentence for them. Example: Penguins are birds. Then let students write the other sentences on their own. For students that struggle with writing pull them back to your table and you can model the other sentences for them as well as needed. Students will turn in their work so it can be assessed. Attached is a sample of a writing sheet that can be used. or just any lined paper will work. Students can draw a picture at the top to showcase one of their facts. If regular lined paper is used students can draw a picture on a seperate piece of paper. 

    Throughout the lesson questions can be asked of students what they are learning and students can help pick which notes should be written down. Note pages can be turned in at the end of day 2 to be assessed and checked if students followed along. 

    Step 4 - Assessments

    The assessment page attached  can be used to do the writing assessment. Or just plain writing paper can be used with a blank sheet for a picture. The writing assessment can be graded by the following criteria.

    Based on the standards based 1-4 scale

    4 - Student has upper case at the beginning of each of the 4 sentences and punctuation at the end. Each sentence is from their notes about penguins.

    3 - Sentences are missing 1-2 upper case at the beginning or punctuation. Or student only has 3 of 4 sentences.

    2 - Student only has 2 sentences or sentences are missing most of the upper case letters or punctuation. 

    1 - Missing upper case letters and punctuation or only has 1-2 incomplete sentences.