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Wild Animal Watch: Dolphins

Students get a comprehensive look of one of their favorite animals — dolphins — while following the work of marine biologists.


1–2, 3–5, 6–8

Activity Type

  • Activities and Games

The Wild Animal Watch: Dolphins student activity, for grades 1–8, introduces students to the inquisitive stars of the cetacean group – dolphins! Students follow the work of marine biologists who studied these engaging animals in the wild and in captivity. The project also includes a quiz, a mapping activity, and more.

  • Students learn All About Dolphins (grades 1–8) from research biologist Dan Odell, who answers questions such as: What are dolphins? What are flippers and flukes? What do dolphins eat?
  • In Dolphin Watch (grades 3–8), students read Dan Odell's extensive reports on bottlenose dolphins that live in the wild.
  • In the Tank (grades 3–8) introduces students to senior research biologist Ann Bowles and her study on how marine mammals respond to human-made objects, touching upon ecology, preservation, and our need to be sensitive to marine life in the wild.
  • Students can play the Cetacean Relations Game (grades 3–8) to test their dolphin know-how. (Answers are based on the information provided throughout the project.)
  • The Mapping Activity (grades 3–8) teaches students to plot locations on a grid map showing longitude and latitude, just like the scientists who are studying the dolphins do.
  • Students can read the Essay Writing Contest's winning essays (grades 3–8) on whether marine animals should kept in captivity.


Learning Objectives


While participating in Wild Animal Watch: Dolphins, students will:

  • Learn about dolphins, their behavior, and their habitats
  • Understand what has led to the endangerment of dolphins and how they can help change the course to prevent extinction
  • Improve content-area reading skills, including comprehension and vocabulary
  • Analyze and practice persuasive writing to express a point of view
  • Extend their knowledge of how scientists conduct research

Susan Cheyney

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