Classroom Activities

Photo taken under NOAA permit

A Few Examples

Our program includes several activities for students. All support the Early Learning Reporting System.

Fish and Chips

In this hands-on activity, students play the role of scientist who collects and analyzes fish scales left over from predation events.  Using this data, participants are able to chart and record not only the types of fish the whales are eating, but when they are eating them and where those fish are spawning from!  Follow up discussion tackles the necessity of protecting the spawning streams of the regions salmon.

Supports the following EALRs:
Communication: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.5, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3
Geography/Social Studies: 2.2, 3.1, 3.2
Mathematics: 1.1, 1.4, 1.5, 2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3
Reading: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 3.2
Science: 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 3.2

Identification of individual killer whales and mapping of critical habitat

Using photographs collected the previous summer by ourselves and our research partners, The Center for Whale Research, students will learn to identify individual whales.  Students will then have the chance to map the locations where the whales were photographed and recording the whales’ use of the Puget Sound habitat.

Supports the following EALRs:
Communication: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3
Geography/Social Studies: 1.1, 2.3
Reading: 1.2, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2
Science: 1.1, 1.2, 2.2, 3.2
Writing: 1.3
Math: 1.2,1.4, 3.1, 5.2, 5.3

Orca Behavior

In this popular activity we take a virtual field trip to the San Juan Islands.  There we use recently collected video to understand and interpret killer whale behavior and what it might mean.

Supports the following EALRs:
Communication: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3
Geography: Social Studies: 3.1
Reading: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2
Science: 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1
Writing: 1.3

Killer Whale Communication and Be Whale Wise:

In this experiential hands-on activity, students experience what it is like to communicate through sound and only sound.  We then brainstorm ways to clean up the whales’ acoustic environment.  Students are then asked to formulate ways to protect the regions whales from the negative effects of human created noise.

Supports the following EALRs:
Communication: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.4, 2.5, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3
Reading: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2
Science: 1.1, 1.2, 2.2
Writing: 1.3, 2.3, 4.3

Eco-tag: (90 minutes, 30-100 students)

Created in cooperation with Dr. David Bain from the University of Washington, “Eco-tag” examines the orca food chain and the effect toxins have upon it.  Students actively play the roles of herring, salmon, scientists and orcas in this recess-style game.  In the first round of play we encounter the cycle of life in its pristine form. In Round 2 we map and graph the amount of energy consumed, where it is going and how the balance is sustained.  Round 3 begins with a habitat-altering event – possibly a spill or a stream closure.  Who will survive and how?  What happens when we clean up an area, or if we lose a vital watershed?  Students will be challenged in this experiential activity to face the everyday concerns of the orcas themselves.  Recommended for older classrooms and in a gym sized space.

Supports the following EALRs:
Communication: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.5, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3
Geography/Social Studies: 2.2, 3.1, 3.2
Mathematics: 1.1, 1.4, 1.5, 2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3
Reading: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 3.2
Science: 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 3.2

Killer Whale Communication and Be Whale Wise:

In this experiential hands-on activity, students experience what it is like to communicate through sound and only sound.  We then brainstorm ways to clean up the whales’ acoustic environment.  Students are then asked to formulate ways to protect the regions whales from the negative effects of human created noise.

Supports the following EALR’s:
Communication: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.4, 2.5, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3
Reading: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2
Science: 1.1, 1.2, 2.2
Writing: 1.3, 2.3, 4.3

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