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april fools day science lesson

An April Fools Day science lesson: Amazing Flying Penguins

  |   Daily Lesson Plans, Holidays, Teaching Science   |   No comment

Happy April Fools Day!

How about the perfect April Fools Day science lesson? (Who says homeschooling can’t be fun?!) 😉

This is a quick little science lesson that starts out like a different kind of science lesson….

First, set the stage….

To set the stage, try to watch the film, March of the Penguins the week before you want to do this April Fools Day science lesson.

If you haven’t watched it, this academy award winning documentary shows the struggle for survival for Emperor penguins in the harsh Antarctic.

For more information about the movie, see the full review from Commonsense Media. They rate it excellent for age six and up.


On April Fools Day, tell your kids…

Remember the movie about the penguins we watched this week? Well guess what?

I watched this amazing BBC video this morning about a newly discovered colony  of penguins who can fly! These penguins don’t have to huddle together every winter, like we saw in March of the Penguins. They can go somewhere warmer!

You have to see this!

Then watch this video:

Wasn’t that an amazing discovery?  

It will be interesting to see how they react, especially if you have older kids. This was done a few years ago, perhaps long ago enough for them not to have seen or heard about it.

Then, when you get them worked up about this amazing discovery…

…it’s a good time for the “April Fools!” announcement!

Then, watch how those special effects were created (the real lesson)

Watching how those special effects were created is the real lesson.

It’s still a science lesson, but it’s about technology instead of natural science! (Although if you watched March of the Penguins, you still got in quite a bit of natural science as well.)

To show you how they made the penguins fly with computer animation, the BBC created a fascinating second video.

So watch this video next:


The Lesson

Once your kids have watched the second video, talk about the technology they just viewed. This will be a simple discussion if your children are younger, but if they are late elementary or above, ask them to take turns telling you something they learned about the process of making the April Fools Day penguin video.  (This is basic narration– now you got in language arts.)

If you want to extend the lesson, assign them to research, write a report or create an oral presentation about computer animation, or CGI (computer generated imagery.)

There are some other simple videos on YouTube that discuss computer animation that might be helpful to watch.

Who knows…. this up and coming field might end up appealing to one of your children as a career someday!  All because of an April Fool’s day science lesson.


Enjoy your day!

april fools science lesson dana



PS  Credit to Robin Sampson who gave me the idea to post this.

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