Storytelling: Tales of Everyday Life Learning Center

Part II: Stories of Whaling

2. Tell students that they will now watch The Voyage of Kealoha video about a trip that 19th century Native Hawaiian whaler Charles Edward Kealoha took to Alaska. The story of his voyage was published in a newspaper after his travels.

Note: You may wish to review the Iñupiaq Whale Hunt video and Bowhead Whaling and Its Impact Flash Interactive for background information on whaling.

Show the video, then discuss the following questions:

   a. Why did Kealoha travel to the Arctic?
   b. What happened on his journey?
   c. Why was this an important story to tell and to print in a newspaper?

3. Explain that Kealoha was one of many voyagers from all over the world who traveled to the Arctic to hunt whales. Tell students that they will now work with an interactive activity that presents a series of perspectives on that journey. The activity relates three accounts of the problems encountered by the whaling ship Corinthian, which was damaged in the ice and towed many miles by another boat in hope of salvaging the whale oil and other goods onboard. These events took place in 1868. [Note: You may wish to review the background essay in advance.]

Divide students into small groups and give each group three copies of the I See-I Think-I Wonder Exercise Worksheet PDF Document. Ask students to discuss answers to three questions for all three items: the log entry, the newspaper article, and the painting presented in The Wreck of the Corinthian Flash Interactive — and to answer these questions as a group on their worksheets.

While the groups are working, post three pieces of chart paper with these questions written on them.

Chart 1: What do you see?

Chart 2: What do you think about that?

Chart 3: What does it make me wonder about?

(These questions are adapted from Harvard Project Zero's Visible and Artful Thinking curriculum. They support critical thinking about art and serve as a pre-writing activity.) Note that the intent of these questions is to widen the context of students' experience: from observation in the first question, to responses to what has been observed in the second, and then to extend to new ideas and questions in the third.

When the groups have finished their worksheets, bring the class back together and, in round-robin format, ask each group to share its responses to the three questions about the logs. Ask the first group to put its "What do you see?" responses on Chart 1; as the groups report, have them add to or refine what has been written before. Repeat this with the other two questions. Repeat this sequence for the newspaper article and the painting.