Children are fascinated with whales and will be very motivated to learn about these gentle giants.  You may want to begin your unit by reading The Whales'Song.  After the story, introduce your students to our project.  Explain how children throughout the world will be learning about whales and sharing their creative work online.  It is very possible that one day their jobs will involve using technology to collaborate with colleagues in different geographic locations.

Your students will probably be unfamiliar with the music when they visit this web site.  Use it an opportunity to learn about Jacque Cousteau.  John Denver wrote and sang Calypso to honor him and his crew in their efforts to explore the ocean.  Students can read the lyrics as they listen to the music.  Before long, they will be singing the words to the song whenever they visit this web site!

When your students begin their research, they will find out that the oceans are not safe for all whales.  In some places, minke whales are being hunted for "scientific purposes."  Students may want to know what they can do to protect these whales.  One suggestion is to write protest letters about this situation.  ReadWriteThink has a Letter Generator students will enjoy using.

We hope these elementary school lesson plans will be helpful.  Please let us know if there are any that you would like us to include.

  • Reading and Writing About Whales Using Fiction and Nonfiction Texts
    In this ReadWriteThink lesson, young children will find information on blue whales and write letters to scientists.
  • Right Whales and People
    Students will learn why how human activities affected the right whale in  this XPEDITIONS lesson plan.

  • Beluga Whales in the Ice 
    In this XPEDITIONS lesson, children in grades K-2 will study how beluga whales are able to survive in icy Arctic and  subarctic waters.  You may want to begin this lesson by singing Baby Beluga. (When you click on the Baby Beluga link you'll find the words to this song along with some neat project ideas!)
  • Pilot Whales' Place in the Ocean
    Students in grades 3-5 will learn how many whale species can survive within one area of the ocean in this XPEDITIONS lesson plan.
  • Counting on Frank
    After reading this book, print out Getting the Facts to help students explore the concept of measurement and volume.
  • A Day on A Whale Watch
    Rebecca Peryea created this detailed curriculum unit to accompany Karen Smyth's online story.  
  • WhaleNet Blubber Glove
    In this hands-on science activity students will make a blubber glove to discover how blubber keeps an animal warm.
  • Right Whales
    This unit was developed for grades 3-6 but can be adapted for younger grades.  The entire cross-curricular unit in PDF format can be printed. 
    Right Whales is a WhaleNet resource.  WhaleNet is sponsored by Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts with initial support from the National Science Foundation.

  • Online Whale Exploration
    Wendy McClellan's student teacher Mrs. Christina Mobley from the University of South Carolina-Spartanburg, created this activity for our project.
  • A Whale's Tale about Tolerance
    In this WebQuest, children read a online story that teaches tolerance and the lifecycle of whales.

S. Silverman - Whale Tales - 2004