Sunday, January 13, 2008

Emperor Pengiuns

Today's posting is compiled from another one of those lessons I teach to students that seek a private tutor and come to me for my services. Not all the kids that come are behind in school. Many come because their parents simply want their kids to learn far beyond what America's classrooms are teaching. This particular posting is a lesson plan I used for two brothers aged 8 and 6. Read the text and then try to imagine a 6 year old mastering it enough to get a perfect score on a quiz, one of several that always comes after these little bits of info:

Emperor Penguins are black and white diving birds that live in large colonies among the pack ice of Antarctica. They have a narrow downward-curving beak and webbed feet with long toenails.
They call with a yapping sound.

Emperor Penguins search the waters beneath the pack ice and dive into cracks and holes in the ice to look for crustaceans, fish and squid. They search for crustaceans and small fish on shallow dives and bigger fish and squid on deeper dives. They catch their prey in their beak and swallow it whole underwater or they go to the surface to swallow it.

Emperor Penguins do not make nests. The female lays her single egg on the ice and the male places it on his feet and covers it with his stomach fat and feathers to keep it warm. The male keeps the egg warm for nine weeks until the female returns from feeding at sea and the egg is transferred to her feet. The male goes to sea and feeds, having eaten nothing for nine weeks while keeping the egg warm. The egg soon hatches and the female gives the chick its first meal. Both parents then take turns looking after the chick.

All of the chicks in a colony stay on shore together, while their parents go out and hunt for their food. The chicks begin to swim and feed themselves when they are four months old.

Cool Facts: Emperor Penguins are the largest of all penguins. Males can grow over 1 m (5ft) in height. They are also the deepest divers of any birds, reaching depths of 565 m (about 1000ft), and can stay underwater for 22 minutes. They live on the open sea and only go on land to have their chicks in Antarctica. They are predators of fish, squid, and shellfish. Their main predator is leopard seals which hunt in the same waters as the penguins.

Ready for your quiz?

Research info gathered at:

Now, a poem that knows how to reproduce:

The Facts About "Modern Sex"

What is modern sex?

Well, for the record,
it's bull dung heroically
sprayed over a mock-up
image of fork in the pork or
one finger pie licking good. It's
a whole night of lap soup at $300
a plate dinner organized in defiance
of the Labor Standards Act down lover's
lane. It's a varied assortment of girls attracted
to other pearls to lace your riddle. It's a pair of firm
mitts easily converted into foreign currency. It is not a
union between the body & mind stolen by cattle rustlers.
Nor is it less than 70 hours of mandatory community
service originally designed to be ornamental.

And for heaven sakes, stop spreading the rumor that
it's some kind of cross-gendered blood-sucking bat.

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Copyright 2008 by Maurice Oliver. All Rights Reserved.

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