At the time, these whale stamps were used for a very utilitarian purpose -- keeping track of whales seen, as well as whales taken. Today, however, they are often seen as having a folk art quality to them. The process of creating stamps and blocks for printing requires a steady hand and patience. Use this opportunity to look into the history of stamping and block printing, and then try your hand at creating your own. Some materials to consider using for your stamps can be blocks of soap, foam pieces, potatoes, or linoleum blocks. To carve the blocks, carefully use tools appropriate to the medium (for example, a chisel or gouge for linoleum blocks, a knife for soap or potatoes, or a mechanical pencil without lead, a popsicle stick, or a pen for foam). When finished, ink up the carving with paint, and stamp! You can create anything, from notecards to wrapping paper, to framed artwork!
Common Core State Standards Connections
Reading for Informational Text, Grades 3-5
Standard 1 – Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
Standard 2 – Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
Standard 3 - Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.
Standard 6 – Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.
Standard 9 – Integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgably.
Writing, Grades 3-5
Standard 7 – Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
Standard 8 – Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.
Standard 9 - Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Reading for Information, Grades 6-12
Standard 7 – Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g. visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
Writing, Grades 6-12
Standard 7 – Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.
Standard 8 – Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources; assess the credibility of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and providing basic bibliographic information for sources.
Standard 9 – Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Reading for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Grades 6-12
Standard 2 – Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
Standard 3 – Identify key steps in a text’s description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g. how a bill becomes a law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).
Standard 7 – Integrate visual information (e.g. in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
Writing for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Grades 6-12
Standard 7 – Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
Standard 8 – Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
Standard 9 – Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.