Dolphin Printables

Word Search, Vocabulary, Crossword, and More

Dolphin Printables
David Tipling / Getty Images
01
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What Is a Dolphin?

Dolphins are well known for their intellect, gregarious nature, and acrobatic abilities. Dolphins aren't fish but are aquatic mammals. Like other mammals, they are warm-blooded, give birth to live young, feed their babies milk, and breathe air with their lungs, not through gills.

Some common characteristics of dolphins include:

  • Streamlined bodies. They swim by moving their tail up and down, thus propelling themselves forward.

  • A pronounced beak. Rather than a squared-off or gradually tapering head, dolphins have an obvious beak-like rostrum.

  • One blowhole. Compare this to baleen whales, which have two.

  • Mammalian temperature. A dolphin's body temperature is very similar to ours—about 98 degrees. But dolphins have a layer of blubber to keep them warm.

Do you know what dolphin and cattle have in common? A female dolphin is called a cow, a male is a bull, and the babies are calves!

Dolphins are carnivores (meat eaters). They eat marine life such as fish and squid. 

Dolphins have great eyesight and use this along with echolocation to move about in the ocean and locate and identify objects around them.

They also communicate with clicks and whistles. Dolphins develop their own personal whistle, which is distinct from other dolphins'. Mother dolphins whistle to their babies frequently after birth so that the calves learn to recognize their mother's whistle.

02
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Dolphin Vocabulary

Print the pdf: Dolphin Vocabulary Sheet

This activity is perfect for introducing students to some of the key terms associated with dolphins. Children should match each of the 10 words from the word bank with the appropriate definition, using a dictionary or the internet as needed.

03
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Dolphin Word Search

Print the pdf: Dolphin Word Search

In this activity, students locate 10 words commonly associated with dolphins. Use the activity as a gentle review of the terms from the vocabulary page or to spark discussion about terms that may still be unclear.

04
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Dolphin Crossword Puzzle

Print the pdf: Dolphin Crossword Puzzle

Use this fun crossword puzzle to see how well your students remember dolphin terminology. Each clue describes a term that was defined on the vocabulary sheet. Students can refer to that sheet for any terms they can't remember.

05
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Dolphin Challenge

Print the pdf: Dolphin Challenge

This multiple-choice challenge tests your students' knowledge of the facts related to dolphins. Let your children or students practice their research skills by investigating at your local library or on the internet to discover the answers to questions about which they're unsure.

06
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Dolphin Alphabetizing Activity

Print the pdf: Dolphin Alphabet Activity

Elementary-age students can practice their alphabetizing skills with this activity. They'll place the words associated with dolphins in alphabetical order.

07
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Dolphin Reading Comprehension

Print the pdf: Dolphin Reading Comprehension Page

Dolphins carry their babies for about 12 months before they are born. Students learn about these and other interesting facts as they read and complete this reading comprehension page.

08
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Dolphin-Themed Paper

Print the pdf: Dolphin-Themed Paper

Have students research facts about dolphins—on the internet or in books—and then write a brief synopsis of what they learned on this dolphin-themed paper. To spark interest, show a brief documentary on dolphins before students tackle the paper.

You may also wish to use this paper to encourage students to write a story or poem about dolphins.

09
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Dolphin Door Hangers

Print the pdf: Dolphin Door Hangers

These door hangers allow students to express their feelings about dolphins, such as "I love dolphins" and "Dolphins are playful." This activity also provides an opportunity for young students to work on their fine motor skills.

Students can cut out the door hangers on the solid lines. Then cut along the dotted lines to create a hole that will allow them to hang these fun reminders on doors in their homes.

For best results, print on card stock.

10
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Dolphins Swimming Together

Print the pdf: Dolphin Coloring Page

Before students color this page showing dolphins swimming together, explain that dolphins often travel in groups called pods, and they seem to enjoy each other's company. "Dolphins are highly sociable mammals that establish close links with other individuals of the same species and even with dolphins of other species sometimes," notes Dolphins-World, adding that "they seem to show empathic, cooperative, and altruistic behaviors."

Updated by Kris Bales