Where are the Whales?

A Lesson from the 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan

About this Lesson

During the 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan, Dr. Lisa Gilbert led shipboard science projects, gathering information on the weather, water, birds, mammals and even trash encountered along the way. Dr. Gilbert and her assistants, the 38th Voyagers used modern instruments like GPS to determine location and a microscope to analyze plankton.  They recorded observations in a log much like the ones used by generations of seafarers before them.

Inspired by the 38th Voyage, graduate student Alexandra McInturf and Dr. Gilbert created a new science unit for middle school teachers.  The six lessons in the unit merge history with science to encourage an enduring interdisciplinary connection between modern marine science and the experience of the nineteenth-century whaler. 

This lesson, "Where are the Whales" is the fourth of six lessons in the unit "Science on the 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan," funded in part by Williams College.

Learning Objectives for this Lesson:

- Students possess basic understanding of whale species and how they are classified

- Students can visualize whale migratory patterns, and are able to infer the environmental and bathymetric features that drive these migrations

- Students understand the connection between bathymetric features, upwelling and the food web

- Students are able to use their understanding of whale migration to design a method for monitoring and minimizing human impact on the natural environment

Next Generation Science Standards:

1. MS-LS2-1.Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.

2. MS-ESS3-3. Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.

 

Details

Created By
Lisa Gilbert, Alexandra McInturf
Grade Level
3-5, 6-8
Subjects
General Interest, Science

Links to Lesson PDFs

The Lesson

Where are the Whales? : A Lesson from the 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan

Supplements to the Lesson