1st Grade Whale Watching (by Mrs. Stoltzner)
Yo-ho, Yo-ho whale watching we will go! For over 30 years St. Paul’s has gone whale watching. We have had thousands of students and parents on our trips to find God’s mighty ocean mammals. Whale watching is a field trip where both students and parents can observe the beautiful ocean habitat and God’s amazing creatures that call it home.
Over the years, we have had a variety of weather. We have spent glorious days in the wonderful sunshine! We have had cold days, rainy days, and windy days, but every day that we have spent on the water has been wonderful. We have been engaged with nature and the fellowship with our fellow classmates and parents. There is a camaraderie that takes place on the boat that can’t happen anywhere else. While we have had some rough seas and some tummy aches, overall we have been blown away by everything we have experienced. We have seen Gray whales, Fin whales and Minke whales! We are guaranteed to see a whale and since dolphins are in the cetacea family, we also have seen many species of dolphins over the years. We have observed Common, Bottlenose, White Sided, and Risso’s dolphins. Dolphins put on quite the show for our students and parents and students usually find them the most exciting part of our trip! In addition to whales, we see California sea lions and a variety of seabirds. Along with the animals we observe, the ocean itself is majestic.
In preparation for our trips students learn about all the different types of behaviors that whales do. They spout, spyhop, breach, lobtail, flipper, and sail. Overall students feel seeing whale breach in real life would be the best behavior to observe in person. We learn how God created them to survive in the cold waters and names of their body parts along with what they do. After our trip, the students revisit their day as whale watchers by writing personal narratives, making Google slide shows, creating whale art projects, and whale cinquains (poetry). This year we are adding a project that involves them creating a 3d replica of whale flukes with our new 3d printer. It is going to be exciting project!
If you ever have the chance to go whale watching with us, it is an amazing opportunity to witness God’s creation along with spending a great day with fellow students and parents.