Author: Lita Judge
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Grade Level: PreK-2
Book Review: Penguin believes "he was hatched to fly," but despite his enthusiastic participation in flight school his initial attempt lands him swimming in the depths of the ocean. Committed teachers find a way to let him experience his dream. They instill such confidence that he brings his friend the ostrich for a chance at experiencing flight. Flight School is a charming text with a positive message that will bring a smile to both children and adults.
Systems Thinking Connections
Habits: While Penguin may believe that he was hatched to fly, he was not built to fly. By carefully considering the issue, including Penguin's deep disappointment, the flight school teachers create a structure that allows Penguin to fulfill his dream. A straightforward lesson for young children on how changing not only your perspective, but also a system's structure can produce a very different result. Systems thinkers recognize that a system's structure generates its behavior.
Tools: The story is straightforward, and yet it offers an opportunity for students to ask some simple questions connected to the ladder of inference. For example, what was Penguin paying attention to that led him to believe he could fly? How did his experience (action) reinforce his belief that ostrich too could experience flight? How were the teachers able to change their approach in order to make Penguin successful.