Whales and Sharks

The Butterflies have just finished a unit of study on whales, dolphins and sharks.  Originally my idea was to study the ocean in general, but when we discussed how to approach the topic, the class clearly wanted to narrow our focus to whales, dolphins and sharks.  And so we did.  We read many, many books and the children absorbed quite a bit of knowledge about these sea creatures.  We played several games with ocean themes to help develop memory, visual and auditory discrimination, manual dexterity and strategy planning.  We measured out a 98-foot piece of blue yarn and then took it out to the taxi yard to see just how big a blue whale is.  After stringing the yarn along the fence, we invited all the classes in the taxi yard at the time to help us see how many children it would take to make one blue whale.  When we ran out of children, two teachers volunteered to lie down and add to our measurement.  It took 21 children and two adults to equal the size of a blue whale.  Another experiment we did was to see how blubber keeps whales warm.  We put a layer of Crisco between two baggies and then put one hand into that and one hand into an empty baggie.  We plunged both hands into ice water and felt the difference the “blubber” made.  At the end of our studies the children chose their favorite of the animals we learned about and made one to hang in the room.  Take a look at them when you drop off.