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School District:Tea
Unit of Study Title:Whales
Grade Level:K-2
Time Frame:3 lessons
Key Words:Whales
Unit Designer:Joan Allison
Unit Designer
Date Added:6/11/2002 2:05:29 PM
Date Last Revised:6/11/2002 2:05:29 PM
Topic Area:Communications/Language Arts
Peer Reviewer:Randi Fodness
Peer Reviewer

Brief Summary of Unit: The activities in this unit are designed to stimulate interest in reading and increase the students’ knowledge of whales. This unit is to be used as a supplement to the basal story Henry’s Wrong Turn.
Students will Understand: The students will understand that whales and fish differ. Whales have live birth and breathe air through blowholes. Fish hatch from eggs and breathe through gills.
The students will understand the two different groups of whales: toothed and baleen.

Link to Standards #1

Communications/Language Arts
Students will use critical listening and viewing skills in various situations and for a variety of purposes.

Other Content Standards:Life Science 2 Describe similarities and differences of animals.
Life Science 6 Classify and analyze living things by structure and function.
Life Science 8 Identify behavioral and physical characteristics of plants and animal that help them survive in their habitat.

Other Components
Essential Questions to Guide this Unit and Focus Teaching and Learning: What are the two groups of whales?
What are the differences between whales and fish?
Key Knowledge and Skills Students will Acquire: Students will be able to tell the difference between fish and mammals.
Students will know the characteristics of toothed and baleen whales.
Assessment Plan: Daily Whale Facts booklet
On-line quiz
K-W-L chart where they fill in the L column
Learning Activities: Day One: Listen to whale sounds found at
Chart paper with K-W-L heading.
E-mail questions to
Basal series Spotlight on Literacy from Macmillan McGraw-Hill. The story
Students will read is Henry’s Wrong Turn. We will also use the story tape
and practice book of skills that go along with the series.

Day Two: Whale/fish song from Primary Mailbox June/July 1997
Whales and Fish PowerPoint presentation.
Whale Facts Booklet from Primary Mailbox June/July 1997
Toothed or Baleen? worksheet from Whales by Evan-Moor 1989
Label parts of a whale on a drawing.

Day Three: Shared reading of spotlight books from our basal series: Skipper The
Humpback Whale by Barbara Seuling and A Whale of a Show by
Robert Campbell.
On line quiz found on

Notes:In order to do this lesson, you must have the basal series Spotlight on Literacy from Macmillan McGraw Hill.
Internet Resource Link:

Adapted from the the work of Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins. Understanding by
Design. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Alexandria, VA. 1998.

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