Tapestry of Faith: Faithful Journeys: A Program about Pilgrimages of Faith in Action for Grades 2-3

Activity 2: Move It! Penguins and Icebergs

Activity time: 8 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Large sheets of newsprint, one per participant
  • Music and appropriate player

Preparation for Activity

  • Choose music to play and pause to play the game.
  • Create a wide open space. Place sheets of newsprint on the floor with space between them.

Description of Activity

Tell the children they are penguins and the sheets of newsprint on the floor are icebergs. Explain that penguins go fishing in the ocean and can swim for long distances, but they need the icebergs to stay safe from orca whales and to rest when they are tired. Also, some of the fish they eat live beneath icebergs. With the Earth's climate getting warmer, icebergs are melting. This is causing problems for the penguins.

Explain that this game is like musical chairs. When the music is on, the penguins can swim in the ocean and look for fish to eat. When the music stops, the penguins have to get on an iceberg. But as the icebergs melt, there will be fewer and fewer for the penguins. Tell the group that instead of having some children become "out," this is a cooperative game. The goal is to work together to keep all the penguins alive.

For the first round, leave one sheet of newsprint on the floor for each participant. Start the music. Then, turn the music off. Remind the penguins to find safety on the icebergs.

Start the music again. This time, remove a sheet of newsprint before stopping the music.

Repeat this process until only one sheet of newsprint remains for all the penguins to share. End the game and briefly ask the children what they did in order to save everybody.

To conclude, say:

In this game, the penguins could work together to survive. Sadly, real penguins may run out of icebergs completely. Humans have learned that we have to work together, too, to help keep planet Earth safe for all the animals and plants that are part of the web of all existence, including humans ... and penguins. Working together, we might be able to help the real penguins.