How Big is a Whale?



How big is a whale

We finished up the chapter on whales and dolphins, but I didn’t think they were quite grasping how big these animals were.  If I read to you a whale is 100 feet long would you know how long that is?  So we started to investigate, how big is a whale?

How big is a whale, our baseline measurement


First we measured the kids to get a baseline of how far a distance is.


We also tried to measure Mac, but he wasn’t so cooperative.


How big is a whale?  A killer whale is about 30 feet


Then we measured out the different whales and dolphins using 10 feet measurements with our tape.  This picture is the length of a Killer Whale, 30 feet.


The kids were fairly impressed, but then we measured  the Sperm Whale.

How big is a whale?  A sperm whale is about 110 feet, that's how far away the kids are

That is a distance of 110 feet.  The kids were very impressed that I was almost all the way across the street to be that far away.


I did this for about 8 different whales and dolphins, but you get the idea, and some of these just aren’t as impressive.  I mean being 8 feet away when you take a picture is just a normal picture.


But, they do now remember, how big is a whale?  Answer: Very big.


* photo by Tony Hisgett, used as part of creative commons


11 responses to “How Big is a Whale?”

  1. Joyful Learner Avatar
    Joyful Learner

    I need to do this activity with K who says she can't believe a whale is larger than the dinosaurs!

  2. That sure makes for one memorable lesson.

  3. Beloved's Bride Avatar
    Beloved’s Bride

    This is a wonderful idea! We need to get some of our books out and do ths!

  4. I love the way you taught this lesson!
    Little Wonders' Days

  5. Susan @ learning ALL the time!! Avatar
    Susan @ learning ALL the time!!

    Great idea to illustrate the point! Kids need a concrete way to conceptualize that huge size…I could even benefit from that kind of concrete demonstration 🙂

  6. This is a great visual help. Need to do something like this here to get the point across.

  7. MaryAnne Avatar

    What a great way to visualize the different sizes!

  8. Michelle Avatar

    That is awesome…what a great way for them to really see how big something is. I can't wait to join in this year. I think the girls are going to have so much fun with it!!

  9. Rachel@I Heart Crafty Things Avatar
    Rachel@I Heart Crafty Things

    What a great idea! We are always talking about the size of things like dinosaurs but I've never actually measured it out for them. We will definitely have to try this.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm following now and can't wait to read more of your blog. I will have to start doing more science stuff so I can link up.

  10. re: Salmon burgers…I'm not a fish eater, and I thought they were alright… lol

  11. Kim @ The Learning Hypothesis Avatar
    Kim @ The Learning Hypothesis

    Love this idea. Kids really struggle with size without some REAL frame of reference. I will definitely be using this one.

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