Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
A copy of story, "A Penguin Family"
Optional: A copy of the book And Tango Makes Three
- Optional: Computer with Internet access
- Optional: “A Penguin Family” coloring sheet, and crayons
Preparation for Activity
- Review and print out the story, "A Penguin Family."
- To show the children illustrations, you may wish to obtain the book And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005). Another alternative, if your meeting space has internet access, is to show the group the online version of the book.
- Optional: Print the coloring sheet and copy for all participants. Place coloring sheets and crayons where children can use them when invited but will not be distracted beforehand.
Description of Activity
Gather the group. Invite children to sit comfortably to hear a story about Tango, her parents, and how they became a family.
Using the story, "A Penguin Family," and/or other resources you have gathered, tell the story. At the conclusion, guide a discussion to bring out or make the observation that Roy, Silo, and Tango love each other and fulfill the roles of a family (taking care of each other. You may ask:
- How do we know that Tango, Roy, and Silo are a family?
- When Tango hatched out of her shell, how did she know that Roy and Silo were her parents?
Remind children that some people come into a family by birth; some by adoption. How did Tango enter her family? Adoptive people parents, like Silo and Roy, want a little one to share their home.
You may say:
There are many ways that people make a commitment to stay together, love each other, and care for each other. Sometimes adults become a family through a civil union or marriage or by deciding to share a home together.
Ask for a show of hands by anyone who knows adults who have made a family together in one of those ways.
Say, in your own words:
Families come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Some families have one parent; some have two or more. Some families have two mommies or two daddies. Some families don't have any children. Sometimes one person is a family on their own. Sometimes a person and their pets are a family. Some families have grandparents and guardians. Some children have two homes and two families.
If you have time, you may wish to lead the group in sharing stories about different families they know. Or, invite children to make up a pretend family that has a different configuration than their own. Children may like to invent names, ages, and family roles for the people in a "pretend" family.
Including All Participants
Offer children the opportunity to color the illustration provided for “A Penguin Family” to engage different learning styles and to help children focus on or relate to the story. A coloring activity can be a "preview" of a story. It can work as a quiet activity to help children physically settle. You might use it afterward to help the group recall and respond to the story.