Mrs. Luerssen's Third Grade Class
Terryville Elementary School
Port Jefferson Station, New York

We began this unit by listening to whale literature, I Wonder if I’ll see a Whale, by Frances Ward Weller. This book is beautifully illustrated by Ted Lewin. After this we brainstormed different types of whales we knew existed. (Throughout this project we learned that there are many more types of whales than we knew.)

 We did a K-W-L chart on the information we already knew and what we wanted to know. We broke into cooperative learning groups and each group was responsible to research a particular type of whale. The students used the internet for research along with library books. They are still working on whale booklets using the research they found.

When the month of April came about, we decided to write poems on whales since it was National Poetry Month. Students either wrote with partners or individually. They then illustrated their poetry.

We concluded this unit by completed the K-W-L chart along with reading, “A Thousand Pails of Water” from a reading text in class.

Student’s Work



Killer whales are cute
Killer whales are very, very cool
Killer whales eat krill

by Casey



All whales live in sea
Some of the whales are mammoth
We like the gray whale

by Hank and Riley



Blue whales are mammals
They are very, very long
Blue whales have blubber

by Sydney, Krista, Brianna


The bowhead eats krill
The bowhead whale eats plankton
The bowhead is cool

by Rebecca, Danielle



Sperm whale
Big, large, toothed
Swimming, eating, battling
It is a mammal
Mammoth mammal

by Travis and Joey


Interesting, slippery
Swimming, jumping, eating
Humpbacks are 49 feet
Sea mammoth

by Jared, Ryan, Christian and Jake



Killer Whale
Mammal, huge
Swimming, scaring, eating
Whales are really cool

by Nick

Acrostic Poems

Belugas are so cute
Eat fish and other things
Lots of beluga whales live in pods
Usually whales swim in pods
Get krill in the water
Animals eat fish

by Jess S.

W is for whales
H is for humming
A is for animals in the sea
L is for living in the ocean
E is for eating fish
S is for seaweed

by Jessie H.


© Patricia Knox, Linda Brandon & Susan Silverman - Whale Tales 2004