Get ready to discuss, share, play, create, and read your way to developing and empowering a strong character.
Imagine a pod of beautiful whales making their annual migration trek by Breakers Island. The whales are dearly loved by the people who are delighted to see their return to the Sugar Sea.
Story Focus, Virtues, and Life Lessons
Teamwork accomplishes great things.
Wisdom, Respect for Elders
- Teamwork – Discuss the practice of bubble net feeding among the whales.
- Respect – Discuss the relationship between Cody and his grandfather. Grandfather was a wise old whale. Cody loved to listen to his grandfather’s stories. Grandfather tried to keep an eye on Cody.
Interactive Discussion and Activities
Reading Story Techniques
First, pre-read the story before reading it aloud with your learner. Use expressive language, gestures, motions, and sounds to make the story come alive:
- Make Cody sound young, excited, and enthusiastic.
- Make grandfather sound old and wise.
- Reenact the motions of bubble net feeding with your learner. Walk around in a circle, pretend to blow bubbles and then open your mouths to act as if you are eating lots of fish. If possible, have little goldfish to catch with an open mouth.
- Use hand gestures to imitate looking out for a whale. Wave and cheer to demonstrate how the people in the village reacted to seeing the whales return.
- End the story by lowly humming a familiar song that your learner likes.
Interject these questions to involve your learner:
- Who was Cody?
- Where were the whales going?
- Why did grandfather try to keep an eye on Cody? When did grandfather tell Cody the fishing story?
- What did the people do when they saw the old whale?
Use the answers to these questions to recall points in the story.
- Cody is a whale calf. What other young animals are also called calves?
Note: Select one or two of the following animals to discuss as examples with your learner: antelope, bison, bovine, buffalo, cow, deer, dolphin, elephant, elk, giraffe, hippopotamus, impala, manatee, moose, ox, porpoise, reindeer, rhinoceros, and yak.
- Why does Cody respect his grandfather?
Grandfather was a wise old whale. Cody liked stories about the places his grandfather had been.
- Why does his grandfather like Cody to stay close to the whales?
He said, “Cody, don’t go off on your own. You may get lost and not find your way back to us. Please stay close by.”
- Did Cody like fish?
Like most whales, Cody liked to catch and eat fish.
- Why did the people in the village look for the whales?
A happy yell went up when they saw Cody’s grandfather. Over time he had become a great legend in the Sugar Sea. People looked for him each year. The safe return of the old whale was seen as a sign of good things to come.
- Note: Close with a discussion related to the importance of what can be learned from elders, such as parents, grandparents, and teachers. Discuss the example from the story of how Cody learned about bubble net feeding (an important life skill for whales) from his grandfather.
Behavior/Social Development (All Ages):
- Discuss and celebrate your learner’s accomplishments both, big and small.
- Give specific and positive feedback about your learner’s artwork, and provide an area to display it.
- The cornerstone of respect is the Golden Rule – to treat others the way you would like to be treated. Expand upon this idea with your learner to include respect for the differences of others and respect for themselves.
- Discuss the concept of teamwork. Identify areas where teamwork is necessary to accomplish a goal, as in sports, various occupations, family projects, etc.
Language Development (Younger Learners):
- Antonyms: small – large, up – down, young – old
- Colors: black, blue, and white
- Make a list of things said by people who are respectful. Examples are “Please and thank you;” “I appreciate that;” “Excuse me, I’m sorry;” “May I please have….”
- Identify word patterns: Short O Sounds “– ong”
Bolded words, among the following, were used in Whale Tales — along, bong, gong, long, song, strong, tong, wrong
- Look up the definition of respect and have your learner describe ways they have acted respectfully or disrespectfully this past week.
Language Development (Older Learners):
- Ask for three ways your learner can show respect for their teachers.
- Ask for three ways your learner can show respect for their parents.
- Make a list of things said by people who are respectful. Examples are “Please and thank you,” “ I appreciate that,” “Excuse me,” “ I’m sorry,” “May I please have…”
- Make a list of things people do that show they are respectful. Examples are “listen without interrupting,” “ hold a door open for others who may need help,” “ don’t litter,” “ don’t talk back,” etc.
- List ways to show greater respect for our environment.
- List synonyms for “respect/respectful”.
- Describe a respectful way to answer the phone.
Discover the values covered in this story through guided activities and fun projects that ensure learner involvement.
Arts and Crafts ideas for Creatively Understanding the Virtues
Arts & Crafts Activities (Younger Learners):
- Make a family tree using construction paper and various art supplies, start with grandparents’ names and move on to parents, then siblings.
- Design a mobile using paper, string, pictures cut from magazines, and a clothes hanger. The mobile needs to show pictures of four different ways to show respect to self, others, property and the environment.
- Trace the silhouette of your learner’s whole body and cut it out. Draw or cut out pictures from a magazine of respectful acts people are doing and glue inside the silhouette. Have your learner circle ones that he or she does.
Arts & Crafts Activities (Older Learners):
- Make a word art collage of synonyms and/or specific acts that represent respect. (Materials: poster board, pencils, markers, stencils, magazines, clip art, scissors, glue.) Extension – Have your learner give details explaining their art collage. Another extension – repeat activity using antonyms for the word respect. Have your learner draw the symbol for NO over each antonym.
- Create a recipe for respect. List ingredients you would need. Introduce calligraphy writing to write the recipe ingredients.
- Make a cartoon movie using adding machine tape. Roll each of the ends around a pencil and tape the ends to the pencil. Use crayons, colored pencils or ink pens to draw scenes of what respect looks and sounds like in action. Roll up your movie and share the story.
- Family Tree Extension Activity – Make a family tree book. Each page should represent a family member with their written story of a memory.
- Create a journal of compliments. Each day, for a designated amount of time, give a sincere compliment to someone. In the journal, write the name of the person you gave the compliment to, what the compliment was, and a description of their reaction.
“Soon we will be going by Breakers Island. That is where a group of us went bubble net feeding.”
Continue with learning experiences to extend your stay.
Follow-up Activities (All Ages):
- Talk to your learner about their ancestry. Celebrate Grandparents Day with the family.
- Identify on a map or globe where their ancestors came from. Take virtual tours of these places.
- Talk about special recipes that have been in the family over the years, share/learn heritage’s music and dance.
- Read books about their family heritage.
- Watch a half-hour television show. Pinpoint and discuss who was respectful or disrespectful, and why.
Real-Life Activities (All Ages):
- Make and Give Activity: Make a Happy Grandparents Day card.
- Follow through with delivery of the card. If grandparents are far away, follow through with your learner by mailing it.
- Follow up for Grandparents Day with video chats and Face Time calls if capable.
“The safe return of the old whale was seen as a sign of good things to come.”
The news that the whales were back spread like wildfire.