Fast forward a couple years...
My middle daughter, Maddie, has the same first grade teacher this year and she is immersed in the same penguin study! Each day in my classroom she grabs the globe and shows me places where penguins live. She has taught me about the chin strap penguin, who has a stripe that wraps around it's chin and who lives in the South Sandwich islands. She has schooled me on the difference between the macaroni penguin and the rockhopper penguin. She loves this unit and all her new penguin knowledge just like her big sister did.
Each morning, the girls ride to school with me and hang out in my classroom until it's time for school to start. Yesterday, Maddie asked if she could draw on the easel. Usually this means she is drawing a picture with a rainbow or a dog or sometimes even me! Yesterday was different though. Yesterday she chose to write and draw about penguins. It made my heart smile to know this unit is meaning so much to her. I took a couple pictures and sent them on to her teacher too.
The end result...
Chinstrap penguins live in the South Sandwich Islands.
(look on the globe to see)
The penguin in the middle is labeled "chinstrap penguin" (notice the line drawn around his chin?).
On the right: bird (that eats baby penguins)
I love that my sweetie has the opportunity to learn the content through this fun and engaging unit. She's still learning about math, reading, writing and science, but now it has meaning that she can apply to these little creatures that she's fallen in love with. It's also become a shared experience that she can enjoy with her big sister, which is a cool dynamic. While it's still a unit about penguins, there are things that are the same and things that are different about their studies so they can compare notes and also educate each other, which they love.