Kringle the penguin took a ride up from Jenkinson’s Aquarium in Point Pleasant to visit with students from EJF/Aldene Elementary School last Wednesday. Although not a black tie affair, students and staff wore black & white to welcome the 21-year-old South African penguin on her trip to Roselle Park.
Principal Julianne Bello stated that Kringle’s visit was a culmination of a comprehensive learning experience for the students. Kindergarteners gathered facts to learn and write about penguins as part of their informative writing units. First graders learned the life cycle of the Emperor penguin, created books, and engaged in a hands-on activity of protecting their eggs using softballs. Grade 2 conducted penguin research to write non-fiction and research reports. Third graders viewed live webcasts, read articles, and used information from both as the subject of writing assignments. Fourth graders collected and analyzed penguin information and fifth graders used interactive maps to learn where different species live, created a ‘baseball card’ with penguin statistics, and compared similarities as well as differences in penguins.
Christy from Jenkinson’s Aquarium gave a lesson on such interesting facts, such as:
- There are 18 different types of penguins.
- Only about 4 types of penguins live where it is cold all-year long; all others live in places that have seasonal temperatures.
- Penguins live in various countries from Antarctica (the South Pole) to New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Tasmania, Argentina, Peru.
- Penguins in the wild do not live above the equator nor do they live in the North Pole.
- The largest penguin is the Emperor penguin which grows to over four feet.
- The smallest is the Fairy or Little Blue penguin which grows to an average of 13 inches.
- Penguins are birds (they have wings, beaks, feathers, and they lay eggs).
- Penguins cannot fly because their bones are dense while flying birds have hollow flight wing bones.
- Penguins do not have teeth but they do have sharp hooks in their beaks.
- Penguins are monogamous
After the informative session, it was time for the woman of the hour to make her appearance. To say she was a hit is an understatement because, as one student said while waiting for Kringle, “I’m digging this.”
Below is a collage of photographs taken by Roselle Park News and Alicia Marino.