One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo features a very proper young man named Elliot who decides to take a penguin home as a pet during his visit to the local aquarium. Elliot researches everything he needs to know to make his home a perfect new habitat for his penguin Magellan.
His father, who is almost always consumed with researching the natural world, doesn’t even realize he has a live penguin living in his home until one evening when he finds Magellan in the bath tub.
Elliot is an adorably polite role model who can inspire your students to act on their natural curiosity and explore the world through research.
During the months of January and February, my second graders participate in one of our largest project based learning units: The Penguin Conference. This unit is all about nonfiction reading, expository writing, and research skills. Based on my Pinterest research, it seems that many primary teachers use penguins as their focus topic for nonfiction units during this time of year, so I couldn’t resist sharing a perfect read aloud to boost students excitement about researching this popular topic.