This lesson on whales is part of the series of Life Under the Sea for kindergarten through third grade. The focus on whales is incorporated with lessons in math, phonics, music and center activities.
Discuss how whales live in the water, but they are mammals and not fish. Introduce new words mammals, migrate and blubber. Open a discussion describing the types of familiar whales, such as the Humpback, Blue and Killer whales. Talk about the "blowholes" used to breathe and how some whales migrate. For this lesson on whales, in the series "Life Under the Sea," read the book, Going on a Whale Watch by Bruce McMillan.
Whole Group Activity
Print out scuba masks for the children to color and cut out. Laminating the project will not only reinforce the goggles, but will also allow the lens to appear real. As the children wear their scuba masks, teach them to sing this song to the tune of "The Wheels on the Bus".
"The whales in the ocean go squirt, squirt, squirt.
Squirt, squirt, squirt....Squirt, squirt, squirt.
The whales in the ocean go squirt, squirt, squirt
All day long."
Using a water table, fill with water and float a variety of objects for a science observation on what floats and what does not float. Prepare and hand out the graphs with a picture of each object in the "center observation". Allow small groups to observe and record their conclusions in graph form. This encourages thinking skills, problem solving and social development.
Pre-cut five whale patterns and print the vowels A, E, I, O and U on each. Have pictures of short vowel sounds for the children to match each whale with the correct vowel. To add interest, the scuba masks may be worn by the children as they work on this activity.
Baby Beluga by Raffi
Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor by Joana Cole
Moby Dick by Allan Drummond and Herman Melville
Baby Whales Drink Milk by Barbara Juster Esbensen