• Audience
    Children and families, Primary school, Early years
  • Learning stage
    Early years, Early stage 1, Stage 1
  • Curriculum area
    English, Mathematics, Science (Investigating science)
  • Resource type
    Poster

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Introduction

Whales are the largest animals on Earth that live in all the world’s oceans. They are mammals, which means they feed their babies milk. Whales can be put into two main groups: toothed and baleen whales. Toothed whales, such as dolphins, orcas and sperm whales, have teeth to catch food such as fish and squid. Baleen whales, such as blue whales and humpback whales, eat krill by straining water through plates called baleen that hang from their upper jaw.


  • Baby whales have hair when inside the womb. Adult whales can have some hair on their head and around their mouth.
  • The Sperm Whale is the loudest animal on Earth.
  • Whale vomit is used to make perfume!
  • Tohorā means whale in Māori.

  1. Identify the toothed and baleen whales in the dot-to-dot pictures.
  2. How does each whale catch its food?
  3. What body parts help whales to live in the oceans? How do they use them?
  4. Discuss the meanings of the words in the ‘find-a-word' with the class.

Dot-to-dot and find-the-word activities to develop basic numeracy and literacy skills. The words can form the basis of a discussion about whale body parts and how they help them to live in the ocean.