Google+

Monday, June 17, 2013

Fairy Tales in Different Cultures--Cinderella Penguin or Antarctica


So a few days late, but this week our Cinderella story is not really a multicultural one, but it is called Penguin Cinderella or The Little Glass Flipper by Janet Perlman. It is really just the traditional Cinderella story written with penguins as its characters. I thought it would be a fun time to share some facts about Antarctica and the penguins we have seen at Sea World Orlando and New England Aquarium. I will also be using Penguins by Gail Gibbons (Virtual Book Club for Kids author of the month) as a source!

Antarctica is the southernmost continent and contains the South Pole. It is the coldest, driest and windiest continent in the world. It also has the highest elevation. It is considered a desert due to the minimal amount of precipitation. The temperature has reached −129 °F. There are no permanent human residents, but many people reside there throughout the year at research stations. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by a sheet of ice averaging 1 mile thick.
Source
Antarctica is home to many species of penguins as well as blue whales, orcas, colossal squids and fur seals. We will focus on the penguins due to the book being based on penguins. The Emperor Penguin is the only penguin that mates in the winter in Antarctica. The Adelie Penguin breeds farther south than any other penguin. The Rockhopper Penguin has distinctive feathers around the eyes. (Source)
Rockhopper Penguin at Sea World
There are seventeen different kinds of penguins. The smallest is the Little Blue Penguin (also called the Fairy Penguin) and the largest is the Emperor Penguin. All penguins have black or bluish-gray backs and white bellies. They all have the same basic body shape and characteristics.
Little Blue Penguins at New England Aquarium
The Adelie and Emperor Penguins never leave Antarctica. Others live in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, South America, and the Galapagos and other islands. 
King Penguins at Sea World
All penguins are birds, but they cannot fly. Over time their wings changed into flippers to aid in swimming and hunting for their food. They are excellent swimmers and divers. Larger penguins can swim faster than 25 miles an hour. Groups of penguins may stay in the water for weeks at a time. Their natural enemies are fur and leopard seals, sea lions, sharks and orcas (killer whales). 
Swimming Penguin at Sea World
Once a year many penguins come together and form colonies called rookeries. This is the time they mate and raise their young. At this time the penguins make loud noises, but most of the time they are quiet. The mating process is different for the different species. I think the most the commonly known mating process is the Emperor Penguin's. The Emperor (and King) Penguins only lay one egg. The female quickly passes it over to the male and he carries it at the top of his feet . The egg is kept warm by a flap on his belly called the brood pouch. During the incubation time the female swims out to sea to feed. The male Emperor Penguins gather together to stay warm. They rotate constantly to the inside and outside of the group so all are able to stay warm. During this time the males do not eat and can lose up to 45 percent of their body weight. It takes 65 days for the egg to hatch. The female returns around this time and she tucks the chick under her brood pouch. The male then goes out to sea to feed. The chick is grey and covered with soft down. The mother feeds the chick by regurgitating food for it. When the father returns, both parents take turns feeding and keeping the chick warm. When the chicks are large enough, they gather in groups called creches. They huddle together to stay warm. When the chicks are three to ten months old they begin to lose their gray down and grow their adult feathers. At this stage they are called fledglings. (Source: Penguins by Gail Gibbons)
Penguins at both Sea World and New England Aquarium
Before going into the book, I want to share our experience on the Antarctica ride at Sea World. Now the first day we went to Sea World, this new exhibit had a two hour wait. With a four-year-old and twin five-year-olds with us, we did not wait two hours. Hazel and I went back for a second day in the rain and the wait was only fifteen minutes. We did wait this time and it was worth the fifteen minutes. I am not sure I feel it would be worth a two hour wait. When you get in the first room you see a short film about a penguin hatching from the egg. You then follow this penguin chick through his life as he grows up a bit. The next room is where you decide which ride you want. There is a mild ride and a wilder ride. We went on the mild one. From what I could tell, the wilder one turned more and bumped around a bit more. The ride is suppose to give you the sense of what life is like in Antarctica. There is even a cold spot supposedly, but the only place we felt cold was when we were in the penguin exhibits.
Pictures from the ride including wet Hazel on it
During the ride you see more short films about the life of the penguin including a blizzard hitting. Then when the ride is over you are literally only a couple of feet away from live penguins. There are places to see them underwater and places to seem them above. Sometimes there was a glass wall between you and other times it was a plastic fencing that did not go all the way to the top. It was so neat. This to me was the best part of the whole ride.
Pictures from Sea World


Now onto our story. So in this story Cinderella is a penguin. She is a good penguin. In the book she has gold hair. Her stepmother and stepsisters are also penguins. The stepsisters get to wear beautiful clothes and sleep in luxurious beds. Cinderella is given rags and sleeps in the cold cellar on a shelf next to some tin plates. Cinderella does all the housework including picking up after her stepsisters.
Our Penguin Puppet Show

One day an invitation arrives to the Penguin Prince's Costume Ball. The stepsisters have new costumes made and spend much time looking at themselves in the mirror. Cinderella would like to go, but her stepfamily just laughs at her saying the prince would never want to meet someone like her. The day of the ball Cinderella helps the stepsisters get ready and then without a thank you or goodbye their carriage leaves and Cinderella is left alone. She begins to cry and the little blue fairy penguin comes and asks Cinderella why she is crying. She tells her to go get a pumpkin so she can go to the ball. (Ok, first spot that we know this story does not take place in Antarctica since pumpkins cannot grow there.) The fairy turns it into a beautiful coach. Then she finds six mice carrying a hunk of cheese (we only had three). She turns the mice into horses and the cheese into the coachman. Then she turns Cinderella's clothes into a beautiful gown and glass flippers. (We used our Sea World Animal Rescue Barbie doll flippers.) Cinderella goes to the ball with the warning that she must leave by midnight. She dances all night with the Prince Penguin and all of a sudden it is almost midnight. She runs off and leaves behind one of the glass flippers. The prince will only marry the penguin whose flipper fits in the glass flipper. Everyone tries it on, but the glass flipper is too small. Then Cinderella gets her turn and of course it fits. She marries the prince and they live happily ever after.

We made the penguin puppets and acted out the story with some props. The puppets are just construction paper and googly eyes glued to popsicle sticks. We did not dress them or give them hair, but kept them more natural or how we saw them at Sea World.






6 comments:

  1. What adorable little penguin puppets! Thanks for sharing as part of Virtual Book Club for kids! You definitely have great Gail Gibbons posts!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love the perguins. Thanks for sharing at Mom's Library. I am featuring it on iGameMom. http://igamemom.com/2013/06/26/summer-reading-fun-moms-library/

    ReplyDelete
  3. Fun penguin activities; thanks for sharing! Featured you on Mom's Library!

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a fun unit! I love your little penguin puppets! I am pinning.

    Thanks for linking up at TGIF! I always look forward to seeing what you've come up with!! I hope you like up again later today =)

    Have a great weekend,
    Beth

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your daughter must enjoy all of your crafts, outings, and the fun that you have together! Great post! Thank you for linking up that the Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop #5!

    ReplyDelete
  6. It is so nice to think about penguins and Antarctica this time of year! And I love the idea of a penguin Cinderella. Thanks for sharing at the Creative Kids Culture Hop!

    ReplyDelete

I love to hear your comments and ideas. Please share!