OPENING QUESTION: Whales are classified into 2 types --- what might those be?

OBJECTIVE:  Introduction to types of whales and whaling

WORK O' THE DAY: Introduction to Whales

Whale evolution


One of the most amazing whales is the killer whale. It is highly adaptable to hunting and thought to be one of the most intelligent animals on the planet.

Killer whales in New Zealand have adapted to hunt sting rays. There is a recorded incident where a killer whale killed a full grown great white shark off the coast of California and then there are the killer whales off the tip of South America (Patagonia):


"Singing" whales -- Humpback whales communicate by high pitched vocalizations sometimes called 'singing'. 19th century whalers made frequent comments in their diaries and such about hearing those haunting sorts of singing in their bunks at night.


Blue Whales can reach lengths over 100 feet and are thought to be the largest animal ever to exist on Earth. Like all "toothless" whales, they feed by opening their mouths and gulping in tremendous amounts of water and small critters like krill <shrimp like animals>.  They then expell the water through baleen in their mouths, straining the food out and then consuming that.


Whaling in the 19th and 20th centuries drove several species of whales to the brink of extinction using fairly primative methods. The purpose for that whaling was to obtain whale oil for lamps. A large amount of a whales mass is fat (called blubber). That blubber can be melted down and converted into whale oil that was used to light homes. With the advent of electricity and kerosene, whale oil became less of a comodity.

Modern day whaling as a source for food is illegal. However, Japan, Iceland and a few other countries conduct whaling nonetheless.

Sometimes those countries claim to be conducting whale research which is clearly not the case but is allowed by the International Whaling Commission.

When I was in junior high there was a huge public outcry against commercial whaling that led to a moratorium against commercial hunting and harvesting of whales.

This is a bit tough to watch -- if you feel uneasy, simply turn your head away for a moment.

There are activists who try to get between the whalers and the whales. Some people consider that an illegal activity because the whalers are legally harvesting whales. Other people consider it to be an honorable activity because the whalers seem to be circumventing the law against whaling.

Let's discuss


WORKING RUBRIC - Present-a-Whale:

Exceeds Expectations
Meets Expectations
Below Expectations
Eye Contact

Frequent (more often then not)

2 pts


1 pts

Rare or not existant 0 pts

Clearly heard at the back of the classroom

(2 pts)

Mostly heard in the back of the classroom

(1 pts)

Not heard in the back of the classroom

(0 pts)

Time of Presentation

Between 1:00 and 2:30 (Target is 1:30 - 2:00)

2 pts

More than 2:30 but less than 3:00

1 pt

More than 3:00 but or less than 1:00

0 pt

Visual Aids

At least 2 visuals (slides, pictures, etc..) Clearly visible at the back of the class and appropriate to your topic

2 pts

1 visual (slide, picture, etc..) or not clearly visible at the back of the class and appropriate to your topic 1 pts pts


0 pts


Science is a clear and integral part of your presentation

3 - 4 pts

Science is present but not integrated into your presentation

1 - 2 pts


0 pts