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October 1, 2009

Winter's Tail Video and Resources

By Megan Power
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

    If you haven't heard the true story of Winter's Tail, you are in for a real treat. Winter is a dolphin that was rescued and brought to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater, FL. At 3 months old, her tail was trapped in a crab trap for about 36 hours. Shortly after being freed, her tail flukes fell off. Many people thought a dolphin this badly damaged would not survive. It took a lot of caring volunteers and money to help her, but this heroic dolphin did not give up! With her prosthetic tail she can swim just like other dolphins.

    If you have a copy of the story, Winter's Tail: How One Little Dolphin Learned To Swim Again, by Julianna, Isabella and Craig Hatkoff, read it to your students before viewing the video. Take a virtual field trip to Clearwater, Florida and meet Winter! After viewing the video, use it to spark conversation in your classroom about overcoming obstacles and commitment to a cause.


    WinterSide_headingMeetWinter

    Here's a few ideas of how I plan to incorporate this amazing virtual opportunity in my classroom:

    On Monday I will start out this mini unit by showing a video clip about dolphins. Then my students and I will start a KWL chart to find out what the students know and want to know about dolphins. After this I am going to tell them about Winter's Tail and share her amazing story.

    Throughout the next few days we will be learning facts and dolphin vocabulary through books and research on the computer. Students will be writing about dolphins and about Winter. We will try to draw Winter together and watch her swim with the live webcam at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

    Since it is Winter's birthday on October 10th, my students will create birthday cards to send to her. This will be a fun and purposful writing activity that the students will love! Here is the mailing address for your student cards.

    Clearwater Marine Aquarium
    C/O Jeni Hatter
    249 Windward Passage
    Clearwater Beach, FL 33767

    Lastly, I would like to use Winter's story to discuss the idea of never giving up with my students. Winter's story is very inspirational for students of all ages because she never gives up. When Winter's tail was stuck in the trap, she could have died. After having her tail fall off, she could have given up. I think it is important for our young students to see that there are difficult times in life where we might want to give up, but we can't. We have to keep on trying and adapting just like Winter. I know that all of my students have had difficulty with something so far in their lives — whether it is family difficulties, learning to ride a bike, or learning their letters. In my class, I love to let them my students know that even when things are difficult, they need to keep trying, and to know that I believe in them!

    Suggested Teaching Resources:

    • Here is an article from January 7, 2006 shortly after the rescue of Winter.
    • The Winter's Tail website has some fun activities for students of all ages, including a live webcam of Winter swimming in her tank! There is also a story if you click, "Winter Pics," written at a lower reading level with great photos of Winter. Your students can even create a movie about Winter from this site. Enjoy!
    • Use this Teaching Guide for Scholastic's Winter's Tail Webcast.

     

    Winter12044bf3bac_480x370

     

    Dolphin Resources:

    I really hope to see many of you at this amazing virtual field trip! We will get to learn about dolphins and see our special friend Winter. Her story is an inspiration for all of us. Let me know if you have any other great dolphin lessons, activities, or resources.

    If you haven't heard the true story of Winter's Tail, you are in for a real treat. Winter is a dolphin that was rescued and brought to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater, FL. At 3 months old, her tail was trapped in a crab trap for about 36 hours. Shortly after being freed, her tail flukes fell off. Many people thought a dolphin this badly damaged would not survive. It took a lot of caring volunteers and money to help her, but this heroic dolphin did not give up! With her prosthetic tail she can swim just like other dolphins.

    If you have a copy of the story, Winter's Tail: How One Little Dolphin Learned To Swim Again, by Julianna, Isabella and Craig Hatkoff, read it to your students before viewing the video. Take a virtual field trip to Clearwater, Florida and meet Winter! After viewing the video, use it to spark conversation in your classroom about overcoming obstacles and commitment to a cause.


    WinterSide_headingMeetWinter

    Here's a few ideas of how I plan to incorporate this amazing virtual opportunity in my classroom:

    On Monday I will start out this mini unit by showing a video clip about dolphins. Then my students and I will start a KWL chart to find out what the students know and want to know about dolphins. After this I am going to tell them about Winter's Tail and share her amazing story.

    Throughout the next few days we will be learning facts and dolphin vocabulary through books and research on the computer. Students will be writing about dolphins and about Winter. We will try to draw Winter together and watch her swim with the live webcam at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

    Since it is Winter's birthday on October 10th, my students will create birthday cards to send to her. This will be a fun and purposful writing activity that the students will love! Here is the mailing address for your student cards.

    Clearwater Marine Aquarium
    C/O Jeni Hatter
    249 Windward Passage
    Clearwater Beach, FL 33767

    Lastly, I would like to use Winter's story to discuss the idea of never giving up with my students. Winter's story is very inspirational for students of all ages because she never gives up. When Winter's tail was stuck in the trap, she could have died. After having her tail fall off, she could have given up. I think it is important for our young students to see that there are difficult times in life where we might want to give up, but we can't. We have to keep on trying and adapting just like Winter. I know that all of my students have had difficulty with something so far in their lives — whether it is family difficulties, learning to ride a bike, or learning their letters. In my class, I love to let them my students know that even when things are difficult, they need to keep trying, and to know that I believe in them!

    Suggested Teaching Resources:

    • Here is an article from January 7, 2006 shortly after the rescue of Winter.
    • The Winter's Tail website has some fun activities for students of all ages, including a live webcam of Winter swimming in her tank! There is also a story if you click, "Winter Pics," written at a lower reading level with great photos of Winter. Your students can even create a movie about Winter from this site. Enjoy!
    • Use this Teaching Guide for Scholastic's Winter's Tail Webcast.

     

    Winter12044bf3bac_480x370

     

    Dolphin Resources:

    I really hope to see many of you at this amazing virtual field trip! We will get to learn about dolphins and see our special friend Winter. Her story is an inspiration for all of us. Let me know if you have any other great dolphin lessons, activities, or resources.

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