Monday, 17 March 2008

Joshua's Whale Book

Killer whales have white spots behind their eyes and at the bottom of the tail and the face. The rest of their body is black. They have fins so they can swim and the funniest thing is they are smaller than other whales. They are smaller than a bus, especially they are not as long as the blue whale. The killer whale’s song sounds like high noises like whistles. Killer whales are also called Orcas.
The Humpback whale is a different whale. I think when it dives it has a hump on its back because it bends over. When it sings, its back is straight. It goes “ooooh”, called a Haunting song. They are about as big as a bus. It has very big flippers and they get crusty things growing on their skin. Humpback whales are a very strange animal; it is hard to describe them with the Blue whale because they are both blue.
The Blue whale opens its mouth wide when it gulps up sea water and krill. It pushes the water through its baleen plates and the krill stays on its plates to eat. They are humongous, longer than a bus. They are the biggest whale. Killer whales can kill little Blue whale calves. The Blue whales have to swim fast to get away or they could dive deep underwater. “Rumble, rumble” goes the Blue whale’s song, like a rumbly tummy. Some people hunt and eat Blue whales. One whale can feed lots and lots of people.The Sperm whale’s song sounds like this: “rat-a-tat-tat” and “click, click, click”. There is a book about a Sperm whale called Moby Dick. Another Sperm whale got caught around her mouth on some yellow fishing string and it broke her jaw and she died and her body floated to shore. That’s very sad. Sperm whales look different because of their mouths. The bottom jaw is very thin.
Joshua did all of this in one afternoon! I drew the basic shapes of the whales for him, but he then traced the shape and did the colouring and captions. It all started with a non-fiction book on Blue whales from the library which I read to the kids last week. Joshua decided to copy a picture of a Blue whale and he asked for help. Pretty soon we were looking for whale websites to find photos and whale song recordings, looking at the cover of my copy of Moby Dick, comparing one of his toy whales to each of the web photos to identify it (a Sperm whale, it turns out), and I was showing him how to write the names, drawing whale outlines for him and typing up his description of each of the whales... and then he tells me he thinks he'll write a book about pandas tomorrow and he might just start a bookstore to sell all his wonderful animal books to his friends. Such energy and enthusiasm!

Websites we liked included:
~ National Geographic pages on Killer whales, Humpback whales, Blue whales and Sperm whales. Each of these has a hyperlink to a recording of the whale's song. The Sperm whale song is bizarre and Orca song really freaked Joshua out until I turned the volume down. But they are all fascinating.
~ Cetacean Society International photo gallery index. For the image and story of the whale that got caught in "fishing string", see this page.
~ Songs of the whale.


Nicole said...

Sounds like our boys are alike. Jacob has been obsessed with whales (and sharks) for a while now and has made quite a few similar books (with various 'whale facts' he's learned). He would enjoy looking at Joshua's book.

mom24 said...

His drawing and penmanship are quite good! Jefferson loved all his pictures and the photos from the aquarium too! We will head to the zoo and the aquarium for our end of the year fun and post some pics for Joshua to see later!

ps Jefferson still is amazed at how far away Joshua lives! I think I need to get him a globe so he can see how far AROUND it is!

Sharon said...

Hi Andrea,

Yes, we just looked at Joshua's globe and found Pennsylvania, USA. Joshua said, "I think we could get a big ship like a pirate ship and sail all the way around the world to get there!" which pretty much sums it up!

~ Sharon