Gray Whales Surprise Scientists


Thanks to Doug O'Harra at Far North Science for alerting us to this exciting story!
BEFORE READING

Activate Prior Knowledge: Where would you find gray whales at each season of the year? Create a timeline that describes where the whales are in spring, summer, fall, winter. Invite students to share what the gray whales are doing in each of their seasonal habitats.

Make Predictions: Look at the cover. Read the title. Help students make predictions using the Clue Collector activity. Words to use: Arctic, Baja, astonishing, shrinking, thinning, trapped, calls, sound recorder.

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DURING READING

Page-by-Page Paraphrase: After each page encourage students to summarize main ideas. Highlight words from the Clue Collector activity (above) as you read.

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AFTER READING: EXTENDING LEARNING

Clue Collector Revisit: Invite students to use the Clue Collector words to retell and summarize the main ideas of the slide show.

Invitation to Research: Post the unanswered question: How might climate change affect gray whales food, habitat, and migration? Invite students to collect news updates and other resource articles that help shed light on possible answers.

Connections to Self: How do weather and climate affect your activities, clothing, food choices, travel, recreation)? What things do you do differently in each season where you live?

At-home Connection: Suggest that students print out the slide show, staple the pages, and read the booklet with families to share the "astonishing event."

Digging Deeper: Citation for the original study:ARCTIC VOL. 60, NO. 2 (JUNE 2007) P. 167– 172 Gray Whale Calls Recorded near Barrow, Alaska, throughout the Winter of 2003–04
K.M. STAFFORD, S.E. MOORE, M. SPILLANE and S. WIGGINS

Encourage students to find out more about how sound recorders are used in research.

Related Journey North Lessons
Listening to Gray Whales: Acoustic Monitoring
Annual Cycle of the Gray Whale
Sheyna Wisdom Listens to Whales
Exploring What Scientists Do
Climate Connections
"Tagging" Gray Whales for Research
Q. and A. with Lisa Munger, Marine Ecologist

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