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Whale Watchers

Create a crayon resist of your favorite kind of whale.

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Research and organize information about each whale species, including their physical characteristics. Share pictures of whales to discern coloration, shape, size, and other features.
    2. On watercolor paper, use black Crayola® Crayon to outline an imaginary whale sighting, including ocean waters and sky in the background. Draw wavy lines to indicate the water's motion. To make water bubbles, cover small circles with white crayon.
    3. Cover your work area with recycled newspaper. Using a paintbrush, wet the paper with clear water. Add drops of water to Crayola Washable Watercolors. Paint each area of the crayon drawing with a bright watercolor wash. Mix and vary colors. Dry.
    4. Hold an imaginary whale watch to identify the whales in their paintings. Post a number on each one. Identify the whale species based on structural characteristics included by the artist.
  • Standards

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

    LA: Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.

    SCI: Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.

    SCI: Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals that live there may change.

    SS: Identify and describe examples in which science and technology have changed the lives of people, such as in homemaking, childcare, work, transportation, and communication.

    SS: Show how groups and institutions work to meet individual needs and promote the common good, and identify examples of where they fail to do so.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Whales by Gail Gibbons; National Geographic Readers: Great Migrations Whales by Laura Marsh; Amos & Boris by William Steig; The Life Cycle of a Whale by Bobbie Kalman

    Research community members that have participated in a whale watch. Invite the participant to visit with the class and share his experiences on the whale watch. Discuss how whales make sounds and how their physical characteristics make whales able to leave the water habitat.

    Whale hunts were once very common in North America. Investigate this activity and why it was illegal to go on a whale hunt for a significant period of time. Have they resumed? If so, where and why?

    Encourage students to write a poem from the perspective of the whale. What does the whale see? What do they think of the people and cameras on board the whale-watching vessels?


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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