Whale of a Tale

Activity Three: What is the Story from our own Biome?

All of the whale stories in this Learning Center stem directly from the environments of the people who told or wrote them. Have students watch this video of Jonathon Perry and discuss or do a fast-write on the following topics:

  • What ties you to your place on the earth?

  • Do you feel connected in any way to this place? Write a poem about that sense of connection.

  • The Moshup story is a sacred story about a supernatural being and how he created the world as we know it today. Explore the creation stories from your region. In what ways are they like the Moshup story?

  • Science answers questions that are different from those answered by religion. Look at your environment as a scientist might and explain how the landforms and waterways were formed.

Define "biome." If necessary, have students undertake research to learn what a biome is, and which biome you live in.

Leave the classroom and take a tour of a part of your biome -- either just outside the classroom or in a natural setting within your community. Help students identify key elements in the environment that affect them on a regular basis. Divide the class into small groups, each charged with making several rounds of observations about the events that affect them and the places you visit on your fieldtrip.

You may use either the natural environment or the built environment in this activity. Examples of phenomena to observe include the weather, natural places on school grounds, the classroom itself or the class pet or aquarium.

Have students work together to write a story that incorporates local natural phenomena, and then perform it in dramatic rendering to the class.