Mrs. McGowan's Second Grade Class
H. W. Mountz School
Spring Lake, New Jersey

Last year our class was involved in a school-wide ocean study as part of our annual MARE program. Marine Activities Resources & Education . The students learned about life on rocky shores as first graders and are looking forward to learning more about sandy beaches this spring. But ... who can resist the mysteries of the deep ocean? My class was very excited to study whales by participating in this project.

We began by sharing many whale-related books and Internet sites.  Zoom Whales and Whale Times were the most useful sites for us. The class seemed to appreciate whale fiction as much as the wonderful books loaded with information about whales. Favorites were Humphrey the Lost Whale, Dear Mr. Blueberry, A Whales' Song, and A Garden of Whales.

whale fluke

This is Colt's tail fluke. He's the whale we adopted in 2003. The Whale Center of New England  is a non-profit organization dedicated to whale and marine research, conservation, and education in eastern Massachusetts. See their Adopt-A-Whale Program. We're adopting Tornado this year.

Diamante poem

Whales Are
by Mrs. McGowan's Class

Mysterious, fantastic
Splashing, breaching, diving
They breathe air through a blowhole.
Singing, playing, protecting
Enormous, endangered

Dreaming about riding through the ocean with a whale became the topic most of us chose to use in our writing response.  We combined a fictional piece with whale facts, illustrations, and Microsoft's Word Art  (learning how to use this technology was fun) in our Whale Tales Newsletters.
Please click HERE to see our Newsletters.

Samples of Student Work

The Traveling Dolphin by Lia

    I've always wanted to travel to Italy. Guess what I did? I rode on a dolphin. It was called a Pink Dolphin. I named her Lovely. I went through the ocean with her. On the way to Italy, I saw sea animals like octopus, jelly fish, seals, sharks and whales. While we were there, we went to Rome and by accident, we scared people on a boat by a bridge. We saw the Roman Coliseum and Lovely bought me an Italian flag. It was so cool! I was so sad because I had to go home. I wanted to stay there longer, but I got back on Lovely and we went back home. All the way home I was talking about it and I said "thank you' to Lovely.

Pink Dolphins

* They live in the Amazon River.
 * They have been found more than 1600 kilometers (1000 miles) up the river.
 * They are also known as boto.
* They have leaf-shaped teeth and eat squid and fish.
* They are born gray and then turn to pink.

Riding With A Narwhal
by Tiffany

     I've always wanted to travel through the Atlantic ocean. One night there was a knocking on the door. It was a narwhal! He wanted to see if I wanted a ride through the ocean. I never thought this would happen.
     We went through a secret path to get to the water. When we got there, we flipped through the air. It was scary when we went upside down, but it was fun too.
After a while we had to go home. It felt great to ride with a whale. We had to go home. Even though I felt sad, I had to say goodbye and then I went home to bed.

Here are two online activities that will help review what you have learned about whales. 

  1. Name that Whale: Make a Match

  2. All About Whales: Drag & Drop Cloze

We hope you enjoyed this presentation.  Once again, please visit our Whale Web Site.

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