Beluga Whales in Concert

 by

 Christine Scott




Grade Level - Pre-Kindergarten

Introduction

Since young children view the world concretely, they need hands on experiences.  As they mature and develop their views changes.  They spontaneously engage in activities and  answer questions sporadically.   I asked a group of my four and five year olds some questions about whales.  I asked them, "Have you ever seen a whale ?",   Randolph said," yes, I saw a whale in the water".  I asked, "what did the whale do?"

"He swim",  What do they eat? " They eat fish food.  They all were eager to give spontaneous answers.

This unit can be presented throughout the year,   I would introduce it by showing pictures and asking questions about whales.

Objective:

    The children will learn about different species of whales

    They will learn about size, strength and the behavior of whales

Concepts to Learn

The Wonder of Whales

    In this book there are some great pictures for primary  children.  It explains that whales are mammals, but looks like fish.  Whales don't have ears, they have tiny openings at the sides of their head.  They breath through their lungs,  They travel in large groups called pods.  Whales protect their calves with their strength.

There are  75 kinds of whales.  Before winter they migrate to a warmer climate.  They live in every ocean.

The Beluga Whale

    The Beluga is light brown or pinkish gray when young and white when grown up.  It lives in the open water during the winter season and moves into the north for the summer.

    Belugas often travel in huge pods, more than 10,000 maybe together at one time.  In Russian waters, belugas may reach 21 feet in length.

In other areas they are smaller, sometimes no bigger than 13 feet.

    Unlike humans, most whales do not communicate by changing the expressions on their face.  But the beluga does.  The beluga's neck bends, and his lips can change shapes.  Belugas also communicate by clapping their jaws together.  This makes a loud noise.    This is how I arrived at the title for this lesson," Belugas in concert".  There is another whale called the humpback that sing songs.

    Whales uses sound more than other ways as communicating.  Scientist think these sound carry message.  The beluga whales are so noisy they are called "sea canaries".  They make hundreds of different sounds, including trills, whistles, squeaks  and grunts.  They are belugas in concept.  They can sound like  screaming woman or a rusty hinge.  They may whinny like a horse or cry like a baby.

Kinds of Whales

Humpback Whales Facts

 

 Humpback Songs

    The most famous sounds are songs of humpback whales.  In many ways, these complex  songs are like our human songs.  They have themes that repeat, with beginning and endings.  They are sing the same song the same way over and over again and last about a half-hour.  Each whale in one area sings the same song, but with some differences.  From year to year the, next year the song can change.  It appears that only male humpbacks  sing.  They do it during breeding season.

Vocabulary

  1. mammal -- give birth to their young

  2. humpback -- has a humpback on his back and on his head

  3. beluga -- the truly white whale

  4. blowhole -- a single or double nostril located on top of a cetacean's 

  5. blubber -- the insulating layer of fat found directly under the skin of cetaceans

  6. cetaceans (see-TAY-shuns) -- the animal belonging to the scientific order cetacean -the whales, dolphins and the porpoises

  7. pods-- a group of whales

 

Oral questions

Activities

Conclusion

    The children will become more knowledge about whales.  In the past, whalers killed thousands of whales, and many species became endangered, or are becoming extinct.  The children will become aware that there laws that protect  animals as well as humans.  They will learn that whales can communicate with each other in a unique way.  Their communicating skills are valuable in understanding order, harmony and unity in establishing good learning habits.

 

Books

  1. Whale - -  Vassili Papastavrou
  2. The Wonder of Whales  --  Valerie Weber
  3. Whales - -  Henry Pluckrose
  4. Whales - -  Tom Wolpert
  5. Whales --Helen Hoke and Valerie Pit
  6. What is a Whale -- Susan Harris
  7. In the Wild Whales -Carrie Robinson
  8. All About Whales-- Dorothy Hinshaw Patent
  9. Nature's Children  --   Frank Puccio

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