Search for the Humpback Whale

Science/Language Arts Activity

Studying humpback whales provides an opportunity to learn about many areas of science. Students can explore whale adaptations, behavior, migration, habitat, communication, and interactions with humans. Have teams of students select a topic to research and a medium with which to present their findings.



  1. Introduce humpback whales by having the class take turns reading aloud a short book or article about humpback whales. (Your school library should have several books or articles to choose from.)

  2. Divide the class into teams of two or three students. Write the following topics on the board:

  3. Give the teams time to discuss topics of interest to them. Have each team select one topic to study (allow teams to pick a topic not on the list). Suggest that students search for and record many kinds of information: they may make notes about written information they find; look for photographs, drawings, and maps; find recordings of whale song (see below); and interview experts. Schedule time for students to do their research, and set deadlines for completion of steps 4 and 5.

  4. Have each team compile its findings and decide how to present it. Write the following presentation methods on the board to help focus team discussions:

  5. Have each team prepare its report or presentation. When students are finished, have each team make a presentation to the class.

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