Whale Lesson Plan

This fishy model is easy and good for beginners. Have a whale of a time!

Strand: Geometry • Spatial Sense • Patterns • Connections

Materials: Square, 6-inch or larger, white side up.

Concepts and Vocabulary:

square quadrilateral triangle scalene triangle
congruent vertical center isosceles right triangle
right left point line of symmetry

Excerpt from Math in Motion

1 Place a square sheet of paper on the table so it looks like a diamond. To learn how to make a square from a rectangle, click here.

2 Fold the right point over to meet the left point (fold in half). Unfold. Find the center crease (line of symmetry).

3 Fold the lower right and left sides to meet at the center crease (line of symmetry).

4 It looks like a kite. Now fold the apex (top point) down, to the base line to form a small triangle.

5 Fold the right side over to meet the left side.

6 Put your finger on the bottom as you turn the whale sideways.

7 Fold the end point up to make a tail.

8 Draw a happy face. Have a whale of a day! Rotate the whale to stand on her head and create a penguin instead.

Additional Activities:

1. How many ways can a square be divided into 4 equal parts?

2. Make a whale as a Father’s Day card for a “Whale of a Dad.” Use as name tags for the first day of school (a school of fish) or “Back to School.”

3. Read Whale of a Tale by B. Pearl (PreK-2),  A Thousand Pails of Water by R. Roy, (K-2), Humphrey, The Wayward Whale by E. Callenbach, (K-6) and other stories about fish-like mammals (dolphins, porpoises).

4. Did you know whales sing? Nobody knows for sure, but perhaps they are singing the blues. Listen to Paul Winter’s, “Lullaby from the Great Mother Whale for the Baby Seal Pups,” Concert for the Earth, Live at the United Nations. Younger children will enjoy singing “Baby Beluga” by Raffi in Concert.

5. Adopt a whale. Write for more information or visit their websites.

1436 U Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009
Save the Whales
1192 Waring St.
Seaside, CA 93955

From: Math in Motion: Origami in the Classroom K-8 by Barbara Pearl