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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Blue Whales and Whale Sharks, Oh My!

Just to remind you, our theme this year is Oceans and Islands.  We finished our time in Australia with a stint as pirates and now we are sailing off to Japan.  As we cross the open ocean we are studying the wildlife that lives there...well, not all of it, but whales and sharks for now.
We measured the actual length of the blue whale - 100 feet, and the whale shark - 60 feet.  I do believe that the blue whale is the biggest mammal and the whale shark is the biggest fish.  Did you know one of the littlest sharks is only about 6 inches long?  We had to go out in the hallway of course and it was a bit amusing to watch the other classroom doors shut as we made our way down the hall, which is only about 120 feet altogether.  We weren't being THAT loud, but we were having more fun than "regular" class.  Oh well.
We had drawn and colored 1:20 scale models of both creatures...you can read the kid conversation about my artistic ability in this post -
http://donna-retirementcountdown.blogspot.com/2011/02/overheard-conversations.html
The next step was to stuff them and get them glued shut...here we go.

Stuffed...

and glued...TEAMWORK!



They were pretty impressed with the results.



We spent time in two different groups learning many facts about sharks and whales and making a book for each group.  At the end of the day we had a little contest.  I divided them into two groups and they just had to tell a fact for their team - Sharks or Whales.  We wrote them all down and posted them in the water behind the hanging creatures.  In the short game time (20 mins.) they came up with 23 facts for each team.  I love a tie!  Everyone is a winner. 


We used the facts to write form poems for each creature as a follow up.

Next, comes some of the other creatures of the open ocean and the levels of the ocean and stuff like that,  until we reach Japan. 
ps.  I finally took down the beautiful hanging snowflakes, seen in the photo above where they are holding the whale, but I'm still hoping for some snow!  Did I tell you that the snowflakes were what we did for Christmas gift exchange?  They are. 

2 comments:

  1. That is as fine a whale as I have ever seen. I have actually seen with my own eyes those tiny six inch sharks. I can't remember where - maybe Sea World. They were in an open tank, just swimming around in this little sea scape. It was all you could do not to stick a finger tip in there to touch them - until you remembered that - I mean, they were sharks.

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  2. Seeing a whale in the wild is still on my bucket list. Sharks, not so much. Someone asked me the other day at school if I wouldn't miss getting to make things like this with kids...hmmmm. I think I will still find a way!

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