During our study of mammals, we
learned that there are some mammals that live in the ocean.
This began our investigation into the lives of whales. We began
by reading many books about whales (see our book list at the
bottom of the page). While we read about whales, we found that
there are many different kinds of whales. We decided to work in
small groups of 2-3 to learn more about the various species.
Each group was assigned one of the following whales:
Gray, Bowhead, Right, Humpback,
Narwhal, Orca, Sperm, Beluga, and Minke. The small
groups used resources such as books and Internet sites to find
information on their assigned whales. Our favorite Internet
Zoom Whales. After reading about their whales, students
drew pictures and wrote reports about their assigned whales to
share with the class.
The Humpback Whale
The Humpback whale is a baleen whale. The live in
pods. They also sing amazing songs. They live in
the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. They
spyhop. Spyhopping is when they pop their heads out
of the water and look around. They can also dive
for up to 30 minutes.
The Gray Whale
A Gray whale is a baleen whale. The gray whale can
grow up to 45-50 feet long. The gray whale weighs
about 36 tons. The female whales are larger than
the male whales. The gray whale is a bottom
feeder. They live off of their thick layer of
blubber. They do not have a dorsal fin. They have
two broad flippers. They are carnivores. They live
in small pods of three whales.
Sperm whales are toothed whales. They have one
single blowhole. The blowhole is shaped like an "s"
and is about 20 inches long! A sperm whale's brain
weighs 20 pounds!! They have the largest brains of
any type of animal!
Sperm whales produce a dark, waxy substance that may
help to protect them from the stings of giant squids
they eat. The fantasy Moby Dick was a Sperm whale.
The Right whale is near extinction because people
keep killing them for skin and meat, or pollution,
oil spills, and tangle ups kill them. Right whales
are skimmers. This means they are filter feeders
that swim slowly with their mouths open, constantly
eating. Right whales are actually baleen whales.
Baleen is a type of bristle kind of like straw.
The Belugas live in frigid Arctic and sub-Arctic
waters. They have a small beak, tiny eyes, thick
layers of blubber, and one blowhole. The Beluga
whale grows to be about 15 feet long. They can
weigh up to about 3,300 pounds. It has no dorsal
fin. Toothed whales have 34 teeth. They swim about
2-6 mph. They are very slow swimmers.
learning about the many species of whales, we learned that there
were many similarities and differences between them. This led
us to compare and contrast the different kinds of whales using
Venn Diagrams. We used Kidspiration software for our diagrams.
class decided to help make a difference in the fight to protect
endangered whales. We visited the
Adopt-A-Whale site and decided to adopt Icarus. He was
first spotted in 1982 as a young whale. He appears to have
survived an entanglement that deformed his tail. We talked
about how to raise money to adopt Icarus and decided to turn our
whale research into T-SEARCH! Our teacher put our whale
drawings and whale research onto t-shirts using transfers.
These t-shirts were available for our parents to buy for a small
cost. We love wearing our research. It lets everyone else
learn about whales too!
Text on back of shirt
Front of shirt