How Big Is Big?
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Lucille Smith Horace Mann Elementary School
8050 South Chappel
This activity, as described, can be used effectively, in grades 2 thru 6.
This project should be used as a culminating activity, after the completion
of the unit on whales.
To reinforce the enormous size of the whale.
In this activity, students will assemble a life-size whale, outside of the
school, using a picture of a Humpback whale on a grid.
Equipment and Materials:
Humpback whale puzzle
Humpback whale grid
Whale-size comparison chart
Crayons and markers
8-9ft. X 12ft. (108 sq. ft.) heavy weight plastic drop-cloths
You will need a copy of the Humpback whale puzzle and Humpback whale grid for
each student. You will need a space at least 48 ft. X 18 ft. for the full-size
drawing. An outdoor area is best.
Introduce the project to your students by reviewing the body parts of the whale,
the Humpback whale puzzle and the Humpback whale grid, previously completed in
prior lessons. Refer to Marine Life: Whales and Anatomy of a Humpback in this
Tape together eight drop-cloths to form a rectangle measuring 18 ft. wide by
48 ft. long.
Mark off and draw squares totaling l0 squares in length and 5 squares in width.
Assign one square of the Humpback whale puzzle picture to each student.
Have the students find the box on the large grid that matches the letter/number
coordinate key of their piece.
Instruct the students to reproduce their small part of the whale into the
It will be important for you to monitor the boxes that form the outline of the
whale. Lines that start in one box and extend to the next must meet.
For maximum effect, place your entire class inside the whale!
John G. Shedd Aquarium
Field Museum of Natural History