365 Penguins by Jean-Luc Fromental
The family in this book receives a penguin in the mail each day and these penguins quickly add up to take over the house and their lives. The book already contains measurement calculations, but the book also lends itself to some problem solving possibilities. After enjoying the book, continue with some of these problem solving activities:
- Students will apply calendar skills to solve the Penguin Delivery problem.
- Dad dreams up another crazy arrangement for the penguins in Penguin Formation.
- See more Penguin Problems including Penguin Parade and Penguin Puzzler which also feature patterns that would have intrigued Dad.
- Try Pascal's Penguins, based on a famous triangular number pattern.
Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester
This book is a great literature jump-off for a lesson on measurement. Check out these internet ideas to see how creative teachers have used a penguin theme to present measurement activities:
- Read the book Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester as an introduction to penguin math activities.
- Measuring Penguins describes activity in which kindergarten students use linking cubes to measure life-size penguin cutouts.
- Where in the World Is Tacky the Penguin? encourages students to measure distances in penguin feet.
- Sizing Up Penguins Webquest
- Sing All the Penguins Song to introduce penguin measuring activities.
The Fattest, Tallest, Biggest Snowman Ever
The Fattest, Tallest, Biggest Snowman Ever by Bettina Ling is a Level 2 Hello Math Reader (Gr. 1-2) that introduces students to the concept of measuring objects using nonstandard units and instruments.   When neither child's arms are long enough to measure around the snowmen to see whose snowman is biggest, they decide to use a string of paper clips to measure.
- The book also provides suggestions for follow-up measurement activities such as the String-a-Long Game in which students look at (but don't touch) ordinary, everyday objects, then cut a piece of string they think is the same length as the object.   Students compare their strings to the object to see whose string is closest to the length.   Consider using the "String-a-Long Game" as a great measurement center activity.
- Paper-clip chains:   Have students measure classroom objects using paper-clip chains.   Be sure to ask students to estimate first, then measure.   Students will begin to develop an "eye for distances."