This week Seb has been studying whales at school – he said he wanted to do some more this weekend. What a challenge! As a family we love whales though as Aunty Nico works with humpback whales so it was easy to find some inspiration.
This blog shows some of the things we have done this weekend and also some of the resources I have made so that we can keep looking at things over the week too.
My starting point was to look for books I have related to whales – here is a list of what I have found and we have enjoyed exploring this weekend:
- The Smallest Whale – book that I use with a story box (see below)
- The Snail and the Whale – a classic Julia Donaldson book – great rhyme and story.
- More, More, More! – We love this book – its abit like the story ‘There was an old lady who swallowed a fly’ lots of play on words and repetition for young ones to join in too.
- Wish For A Fish (The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library, Book 2) – Cat in the hat makes learning fun and this book talks about life under the sea
- Ocean: A Photicular Book (Photicular Books) – beautiful moving photos.
- Big Blue Whale (Nature Storybooks) – I love these books they are very factual but tell a story too – the kids ask for them again and again.
- Discover Science Oceans Seas these books have a nice overview of animals in the ocean.
- Wonderwise: Is A Blue Whale The Biggest Thing There is?: A book about size– great book for thinking about the size of whales in comparison to other things.
- Under the Sea (Usborne Beginners) – simple text so that early readers can join in. I love non-fiction books for learning to read – so much more interesting than Biff and Chip.
- Whales and Dolphins (Kingfisher Young Knowledge) – I have a set of Kingfisher books that always have great photos and are engaging.
These are all #affiliate links to Amazon.co.uk
Montessori Whale activities
I have made Montessori Terminology/Three part cards for the Types of whales (designed to be used with the Safari Whale and Dolphin Toob #affiliate), Parts of a Humpback Whale, Humpback Whale photo fact cards, Parts of an Orca, Orca photo fact cards, Baleen Toothed whale Sort.
Seb is really into matching at the moment so he instantly wanted to look at the types of whales. He is just starting to be able to match the words using three part cards – I love how hard he is concentrating on this activity. He then looked at the models of the whales – he was able to look at the features on the models. I love the Safari models as the details are so accurate, my only complaint is that there is no scaling so all of the whales look the same size!
While Seb was sorting the whales Freya had a look at the Parts of a Humpback Whale and Parts of an Orca cards. She was interested in the difference in the way that the types of whales fed. This got me thinking as the Three part cards made it hard to see how they fed. So I found some images online that showed all of the key details about Humpback and Orca. Freya and Seb both really enjoyed looking at these photos as it gave us a real opportunity to discuss things. I guess this is similar to the culture folders in a Montessori classroom – I will definitely use more photos like this in the future. Humpback Whale photo fact cards and Orca photo fact cards,
To look at the size of the whales I have the whale cards from Trillium Montessori. We were lucky with the weather this weekend so we could get outside to lay out each string and see just how big the Whales are – WOW! So sorry I forgot my camera but here’s a photo from Trillium.
Finally after we had talked so much about the different feeding styles of the whales I made a quick sorting activity. Seb particularly enjoyed this as he loves sorting! Dow load this sorting activity Baleen Toothed whale Sort.
I made a story box to go with the book The Smallest Whale. I love this book as it has lots of themes running through it. Firstly the Whale and how man impacts on nature when a boat engine confuses a young whale so he is split up from his family. The young whale then gets stranded on a beach. Freya likes to water and was talking about the tide coming in and out. Finally the whale is rescued by a community who comes together to help.
For the story box I have used images from the internet to great the beach scene. Then the people, whale and boat I had around the house. Freya and Seb really enjoyed recreating the story.
Proud Mum moment
After doing the story box Freya (5 years old) started making a boat picture. I was busy laminating and the next thing I know she presents me with this! She just wanted some help to attach the bottom of the boat. Look how she had cut the tabs so that it could be secured!
But, what this did show is how the skills she has learnt through Montessori have now been transferred to create something so brilliant. I will be doing a blog post on how to use the Geometric solids to make nets and then create 3D shapes. Keep an eye on my blog!
Family movie time!!
As we have had such a busy weekend again it is lovely to wind down with a family film. Phones and laptops away and cuddles on the sofa. This week we watched Free Willy Box set 1 – 4. This heart warming story gave lots of opportunity to discuss the whale – but also how to keep trying which was a lovely life lesson for the kids.