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Whale Lab

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Whales made their move towards living in the sea about 50 million years ago. They evolved to exploit this watery environment, developing streamlined bodies, remarkable feeding methods, and, for toothed whales, the ability to 'see' with sound.

Plunge into the world of whales. Discover how their bodies work and explore their extraordinary lifestyles - from some of the smallest dolphins to the mightiest creature on Earth.

Find out more about the whale lab.

At the exhibition

Emphasise to your students that this is a modern interpretation of the biology and science of whales. Get the students to explore this area then discuss the following questions and topics.

Questions for 5 to 10 year olds

  • What was your favourite fact that you found out about whales, and why?
  • What is your favourite part of a whale, and why?
  • What does your favourite part of a whale do, and how?
  • What kinds of things do whales eat?
  • Turn to the person next to you and, in whale-speak, tell them all about what you have found in this exhibition!

Questions for 10 years old and over

  • Find your favourite fact about whales and report back to the class.
  • What are the different ways in which whales feed?
  • Imagine you are a whale. What do you eat? How do you catch your food? How do you attract a mate? How do you look after your young? What adaptations do you have to help you survive? Which species of whale are you and why?
  • Turn to the person next to you and, in whale-speak, tell them all about what you have found in this exhibition!

Related classroom activities

Challenge for the students

To imagine that whales go to special classes or school and create a class or lesson plan for teaching whales.

Before visiting the exhibition

Investigate human classes for Sex education, antenatal and pre schooling visits.

Study the 3 different settings individually and go thought the content with the students. Discuss the content and how that may be taught. Get them to come up with ideas of how to present the information in an informative way.

Discuss how these classes or lesson plans could be applied to whales or indeed other mammals. 

During the visit to the exhibition

Go to whale lab and apply what you have learnt about the Sex education classes, the antenatal classes and the Plunket charting.

Apply this knowledge to whales and adapt to the whales needs for sex education, Antenatal and pre schooling classes. 

Discuss the similarities and the differences that may apply.

Discuss the content that could be focused upon.

Take notes on the specific information that applies to whales.

Discuss how a lesson plan is created and the content of a lesson plan.

Take notes on the lesson plans for whales.

After the visit to the exhibition

Create the classes, record and show. You may even like to dress up as a whale as to teach like whales and act like whales.

Design graphic elements to go with your classes as to show other class mates or whales how to do it! 

Create props for your classes, record and show.

Upload the information onto Youtube.

Other suggested learning experiences

  • Create posters and label of whales anatomy
  • Create a whale mural and labelling the internal organs, skeleton and external features.
  • Mixing sounds of whales into today’s music
  • Create songs in the language you speak and in whale speak.
  • Echolocation graphics could be created to show how sound moves in different mediums.
  • Create a Whale restaurant for whales to eat at, how are you going to cater for the different styles of eating and the different foods?
  • Create a whale conservation action group.
  • Create a Whale hospital design. What is required to treat whales for throat infections, sound production problems, swimming strains, reproduction problems. Invent hospital tools, drugs and machinery draw up plans and scales of the items required as compared to human hospitals.
  • Become a whale vet and prepare treatment and rehabilitation programmes from your understanding of the anatomy, skeletal structure, senses and the diversity of the different species.