Penguin on the Ice Triarama

Penguin on the Ice Triarama lesson plan

Antarctica’s changing climate is making life more fragile for one of the continent’s most important inhabitants, penguins. Find out what’s happening in the Southern Hemisphere and exhibit your findings.

  • 1.

    As the ice of Antarctica melts, there are fewer places for penguins to set up rookeries to raise their young. With more open water, penguins have fewer places to hide from predators such as the leopard seal. Even the krill that penguins eat is disturbed because of global warming. Can you imagine the impact of these changes on the penguin population? Pull facts together from your research to show how the environment is changing for penguins on the most isolated continent on Earth.

  • 2.

    From Crayola Black Color Explosion™ paper, cut an Emperor Penguin using Crayola Scissors. Cut a tab between the penguin’s feet to attach it to your triarama. Detail the penguin’s colorful features using the Black Color Explosion Marker. Cut out the penguin’s belly so the white background of the triarama shows through and gives the penguin its characteristic white front.

  • 3.

    To add more realism, cut out the head of a hungry leopard seal from Black Color Explosion™ Paper. Leave a tab at the bottom. Draw features including eyes, teeth, and whiskers for this predator using the fine line marker.

  • 4.

    Crumple a small White Color Explosion Paper rectangle to form an ice floe for the penguin to stand on. Cut a hole in top of the ice. Insert the penguin’s tab. Secure tab with glue. Air-dry.

  • 5.

    To make the triarama for your exhibit, fold over a corner of a sheet of White Color Explosion Paper to create a square. Cut off excess strip. Lightly fold the square into half both ways to create four triangles. Unfold and cut along one fold into the cent

  • 6.

    Scrunch up more rectangles of White Color Explosion™ to form larger ice shelves. Run the White Color Explosion Marker over the folds to look like cracks in the ice. Attach the ice to the sides of the triarama with glue dots for a realistic 3-D effect. Glu


  • Students raise their awareness of the consequences of global warning for specific animals as well as for the Earth as a whole.
  • Students explore the lives of penguins living in the Antarctic.
  • Students fabricate a 3-dimensional exhibit that realistically portrays their findings.


  • Look into how global warming has affected different species of penguins, such as the abandoned colonies of the Adelie Penguin or the decline in Emperor Penguins by half in the last 50 years.
  • Research the effects of global warming on each of the continents. In what ways is Antarctica changing? How does this compare with the other continents?
  • Invite a presenter from The Climate Project ( to speak at your school as a kick-off to an energy assessment and conservation initiative within your school.
  • Assessment: Did students gain an understanding of the carefully balanced life in the harsh climate of Antarctica? Were Black and White Color Explosion™ used to their creative potential? Were students able to extrapolate from the fate of Antarctic wildlife outward to larger global repercussions?