Grade III Thematic Study: Whales / Central Subject: Whaling

Naturally embedded in any academic curriculum are human themes. In keeping with Shady Hill traditions, in all subjects we integrate themes regarding character, values, respect for self and others, and the responsibility children have as members of the community.

Developmentally, students in third grade begin to think beyond themselves and are ready to understand their importance as members of a larger group. Daily work in the classroom supports this growth, including activities such as self-reflection work, portfolio assessment, and class meetings.
Thematic Study: Whales

During the first semester students study the characteristics of mammals and the evolution, behavior, anatomy, physiology and conservation of whales. Students learn the differences between sub-orders and species of whales. They develop their knowledge through hands-on experiments, art projects, group discussions, and research activities. We conclude our study with the Whale Assembly.

Central Subject: Whaling

In the second part of the year we focus on the whaling industry of the 19th century. Topics of study include life aboard a ship, techniques of hunting and processing whales, and the tools of the trade. The students learn about this time in history primarily through reading, writing and role-playing as they enact a semester-long whaling voyage. As they travel, they learn about the geography, customs and whaling practices of several whaling cultures. We make use of authentic 19th century journals, more recent texts, videos, Internet sources, and field trips.   

Partial Bibliography: Zoobooks, Whales; Carwardine, Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises; Smyth, Crystal, The Story of a Real Baby Whale; Lingemann, Beluga Passage; Whipple, The Whalers; McKissack, Black Hands, White Sails; Cobblestone magazine; “The Seafaring Life;” “Whaling in America;” “Blacks in Whaling”; Stansfield, The Legend of the Whale; Siberell, Whale In The Sky; Steiner, Whale Brother; Souci, Song of Sedna; Schuch, A Symphony of Whales; Carrick, Whaling Days; Demas, If I Ever Return Again; Day, John Tabor’s Ride; Stanley, The True Adventure of Daniel Hall; Hofmeyr, Do The Whales Still Sing?; Holling, Seabird; Eisner, illustrated adaptation of Moby Dick; Frederick, The Voyage of Patience Goodspeed; Rivera, Tuk and the Whale;Roop, Good-bye for Today: The Diary of a Young Girl at Sea; McGuane, The Hunted Whale
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