The Whales Tale

July – August 2021 

Following the children’s interest in collecting bottle caps for our Ocean Crusaders initiates, we embarked on a learning journey about the impact of plastics in the ocean.

After watching a short animation called The Whales Tales the children were concerned that so much plastic ends up in the ocean, showing their empathy for the whale each time we re-visited the video.

After several conversations, the children decided they e would like to make a big whale using recycled materials. We began our project by exploring the colour of whales. The children looked at online images to make their decisions and a mixture of blues, greys and greens were added to the colour palette.

Cardboard boxes which had been donated by the parents were painted using the colours chosen by the children and this was re-visited many times throughout the week. Through books and media, the children talked about the characteristics of whales. The children thought the whale would need a “Long mouth” (Pippa) and “Two eyes” (Emily).

Listening closely to the animation of The Whales Tale, the children decided that the whale would need a sound “Because he needs to have a voice,” said Georgia. Jack added the idea that “The fish at the bottom of the ocean have lights on their tails” therefore we would also need lights on the whale.

Over time, the children decorated the ocean using scrunched silver paper. “Sounds like the waves,” Mila explained. Mia and Mila threw the silver paper into the air and laughed as the paper swirled around, falling gently to the floor. “It’s very wavey,” Mia said, watching the movement of the paper.

Once the ocean was complete, the children worked together to construct the whale. Several configurations occurred over the space of a couple of days until the children were happy with the layout. A speaker was placed inside the whale to create the sound and fairly lights added to the ocean as the ‘fish with the lights on their tails.’

Finally, we explored the types of plastic which can pollute the ocean. A net was set up as an invitation for the children to think about the types of resources which should be placed in a recycling bin. “This goes in a recycling bin” Audrey said as she found a plastic yogurt container. The children placed the net onto our whale display, however, the children have decided that this should not be attached as plastic harms the sea life and should be put in the bin. During this project the children have grown a sense of empathy for sea life and an appreciation and care for the environment. (LO 2.4)

Completed Artwork