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The Beluga Whale: Something I Have Learned Lesson Plan

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Lesson Plan #:AELP-WLG000
Submitted By: Connie O’Malley
(Adapted from a lesson plan by Michael Reynolds) Date: June 1998

Objective: The students will identify beluga whales. The students will speak about an experience they have learned. Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3


  • Language Arts/Whole Language


  • The book Beluga Passage
  • Audio tape Beluga Passage and cassette player
  • Whale puppet
  • 8 x 11 white construction paper
  • Crayons and washable markers

Set Initiation:
Remind students that we will be going on a field trip to the Mystic Aquarium. We have been learning about marine animals. The children will name some of the marine animals that we have already learned about. The teacher will announce that today we will be reading a story about beluga whales. We will see beluga whales at the aquarium. The book is held up and shown to the students along with the whale puppet. We will also listen to the book tape after we read the story. The audiotape will allow us to hear the sounds/noises that beluga whales make! Procedures:
Read the story Beluga Passage by Linda Lingermann, illustrated by JonWeiman. This book is part of the Smithsonian Oceanic Collection and blends factual information with an entertaining story. After the book is read and the students listen to the tape they will be asked to participate in two oral activities and one written or drawing activity.

Oral Activity #1 – Animal Sounds
Remember the sounds we heard on the tape? Click click, singing, etc. I would like all of you to think of an animal, any animal (birds, farm animals, animals we’ve recently learned about, animals you’ve seen in the zoo). You will each get a chance to make an animal sound and we’ll guess what animal it is! And if you want to – you can even act it out!

Oral Activity #2 – Something We Have Been Taught

(The teacher needs to know her students’ family situations.  If they all have mothers then the lesson can be called Thank you Mom for teaching me If this is not appropriate then change it to reflect that someone has taught them to do something.)

In our story today, the Mother Beluga was teaching her calf how to catch food. Name one thing that your Mom/someone has taught you. Think of something that you thought was special. Later we will write a Thank you note to our Moms!

Written or Illustrating Activity #3

Depending on the written skills of the children, the teacher can choose to have the students write a Thank you note or illustrate one. Each student will be given a white piece of construction paper 8 x 11 – folded in half. On the blackboard the teacher will print Thank you Mom for teaching me The students will be asked to model this on the front of their cards. On the inside, the children can write or draw one thing that they remember as being something special that their Mom or someone has taught them.

Additional Oral Activity (if time permits)

On their trip to their summer place, the baby beluga saw a polar bear for the very first time!
Can you share a story with us about something you’ve seen on a trip for the first time?
Children will be asked to verbally share one thing they have seen on a trip.

Raise your hand if you would like to share one thing about Beluga Whales that you learned today.
The child who shares will use the whale puppet as a prop while he/she speaks.

Evaluation: Student participation and verbalization will provide evidence that the stated objective has been achieved. Also oral and written activities will measure mastery of the objective.