Want to hear something crazy? I am pretty sure my students might think Martin Luther King Jr. had a pet penguin. Sigh. In the midst of all the craziness of the past two weeks, we were knee deep in a penguin unit that was supposed to be finished last week. Well if you read my post from earlier this week (which – by the by – THANK YOU all for your comments – you made me feel way less alone in my journey of frustration) you know why 😉 So we are midway through penguins and then we threw a little MLK work in there and before I knew it I was writing agenda’s for my morning group that had Martin Luther King and Penguin in the same sentence. Ugh. Hope I didn’t do too much damage.

We do thematic units at Morning Group. With my students who are higher functioning we did a variety of penguin themed read alouds, a penguin poem, facts/research, and more. And don’t worry – I have tons of great ways to include your students who are lower functioning too!

IMG_2821So what fun things did we do in our penguin unit you ask?! With my higher group we started off researching (Ahhhh… I still love saying that!) penguins online with this research worksheet. We threw in a few penguin books and a penguin poem. I found two awesome freebie penguin games on TpT.

I found this Penguin Fact or Opinion freebie by Mrs. Lindsey. Love this. We really need to work on fact or opinion more. Plus – fact was one of our words on our research worksheet! Then I snagged this Penguin Quiz Card Set. This was exactly what I was looking for. The joys of TpT – no need to reinvent the wheel, right?! We used these to review facts and then we used these questions for the quiz at the end of the unit!



This freebie was a great into and I love using graphic organizers with my kids. Students with autism benefit from structure and visual cues so graphic organizers are a must! Thanks Alice Little for this free worksheet! I used this after we did our researching!




IMG_2928I took advantage of the penguin theme to squeeze in some imaginative writing from our Write About Winter Packet. Imaginative writing I find to be especially tricky for children with autism. Any opportunity we have to practice this skill – I grab on to. They did great with some of these worksheets.







Recently Updated125We did the unit for about 2 weeks (-ish) during morning group. We ended with a quiz reviewing all of our penguin facts. This is a great way to assess comprehension, memory skills, and receptive/expressive language. I made two versions of the quiz. We did a simple 10 question quiz where I read the question aloud and students answered on their paper (using the quiz cards) and then I wrote out a quiz for my kiddo with lower receptive language. Having the questions written out helps him TONS!

All of my students did a SUPER cute craft using the visual directions from my favorite art resource – Art for Children with Autism. On of my students who has a lot of significant behavior problems and is lower functioning completed this on his own! I was floored!



I love who this book breaks each step of the craft down. It’s accessible for all of my students!

Recently Updated126

Adorable, right?


Now onto my other students. I found so many (easy!) ways to include them in this penguin theme! They loved it too! I made a bunch of penguin flashcards:


… and we used these as our stimuli for counting!


We used penguins for identifying color, practicing expressive/receptive vocabulary, and the best one – we used penguins to identify body parts on the penguin and features. We worked on identifying the head of the penguin, the foot, the wing etc. This is a benchmark on the ABLLS that I often have a hard time hitting! Perfect! Thanks penguins 🙂

Sasha Long
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