Fur or Feathers?

29 Jan

Yesterday we had a penguin theme at preschool.  We worked on the letter “Pp”, we sang penguin songs, I read penguin stories and we talked about penguin facts.  These are simple details such as: penguin babies are called chicks, penguins hatch from eggs, penguins have beaks, penguins can swim, you get the idea.  I really thought my little charges were understanding this excellent information.  I was having some wonderful teacher confidence, I was feeling good!  When it was the next group time we made a list of what we know about penguins.  I was so proud that they remembered so much, and then…

…I made the mistake of asking if penguins have feathers or fur.  This is after we decided that penguins are birds because they hatch from eggs, have beaks, and other bird-like qualities and habits.  We even talked about the feathers at first group time, although I admit that it was a brief mention.  Quite a few children answered with a resounding “FUR.” Oh, nooooo… that stung my teacher pride.  Part of being a teacher is to revisit things that might have gotten missed, and so I tried again.  I told them simply that “penguins are birds and birds have feathers.” 

Feeling brave and determined I asked another seemingly direct question.  “What kind of animal are they?”  The answer: “Penguins.” (Umm, thanks for clarifying that kids.)  **sigh**  Being persistent I asked my next hopeful question.  “Are they birds?” I’m thrilled to say they answered with a resounding “YES!”  **phew**  That was close.  I was excited about my next inquiry.  “Do birds have feathers?”  That too was met with a thrilling response of “yes.”  I’m on a roll now, and feeling my magic teaching powers return.  (Yay for me!)  You’d think I’d stop there with all that wonderful progress, wouldn’t you?  You don’t know me very well, if you truly think that.

Feeling confident I end my group time with my final question.  “Do penguins have fur or feathers?”  The answer given by many was correct, but there was that small handful, who happened to be louder than the rest, that answered rather boldly, “FUR.”

Can you hear my ego deflating? 

My students certainly know how to keep me humble.

Mrs. V


3 Responses to “Fur or Feathers?”

  1. Julie January 29, 2008 at 9:08 pm #

    You have the cutest stories! *lol*

    I just asked my girls that questions (they are 6 and 4)… They both answered “fur”. Oops! 😉

  2. RC January 29, 2008 at 10:57 pm #

    How un-fur-tunate… 😉


  1. Smiles and Frowns « Don’t put boogers in your neighbor’s cereal… - January 28, 2009

    […] gigantic smile is when both of my classes understood that penguins have feathers, not fur. Yay […]

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