Thursday, 1 September 2011

Having a Whale of a Time!

Eve is always very interested in Oceans and their wildlife and prompted by a trio of recent BBC programmes about Whales and dolphins, we embarked on some whale activities to explore them a little more.

We listened to Whale Song on YouTube.

We read the books 'Journey of a Humpback Whale' which is a DK level 2 reader that I hope Eve will tackle bu herself a little, and 'Big Blue Whale' by Nicola Davies. This last one is such a lovely book, with factual information described in beautiful language and pitched just right - I am begged to read this over and over again!

From the book 'Awesome Ocean Science' by Cindy Littlefield we did a couple of experiments. (thanks to The Homeschool Den for that recommendation! - check out the brilliant Ocean activities they have been doing - scroll down to find the posts!) 

Here we made a baleen whale by cutting a mouth in the end of a milk carton, and then slits along the side to make the baleen. In the washing up bowl is a generous sprinkling of dried herbs to represent krill. The girls scooped up a mouthful of 'sea water' then emptied it out through the 'baleen' and it left a coating of krill behind for the milk carton whale to lick off and eat! 

The girls remembered from the book that the krill make the whales put on layers of blubber ready for the winter, and that blubber keeps them warm so next we explored that by putting ice cubes in the washing up bowl ocean to see how cold polar seas can be. We then spread lard over the glove and bagged it for the girls to put their hand in again and see the effect of blubber on how much cold they could feel!

Good fun for the girls and simple and effective ways to demonstrate these things - the milk carton baleen whale ended up in the bath tub after a rinse out to be played with at bath time!!!

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