Resources › For Educators Whale Printables Share Flipboard Email Print For Educators Homeschooling Spelling Geography Becoming A Teacher Assessments & Tests Elementary Education Secondary Education Special Education Teaching By Beverly Hernandez Homeschooling Expert Beverly Hernandez is a veteran homeschooler and the former administrator of a large independent study program. our editorial process Beverly Hernandez Updated July 23, 2017 Whales are surprising animals. They live in the ocean, can stay underwater for long periods of time, and have strong tails to propel themselves. But, they are mammals, not fish. Whales breathe through their blowholes, which are basically nostrils on the top of their heads, and they have to come to the surface of the water to take in air. They use their lungs to take in oxygen and dispel carbon dioxide. 01 of 11 What Are Whales? A humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) breaches off the island of Maui, Hawaii. Jennifer Schwartz / Getty Images Whales have some interesting characteristics. Here are some key facts about whales: Birthing: Whales give birth to live young. They do not lay eggs like fish.Nursing: Like other mammals, whales nurse their calves. Skin: Whales have smooth skin, while fish have scales.Body heat: Whales are warm-blooded (endothermic), while fish are cold-blooded (ectothermic). Hair: Whales aren't furry like many mammals, but they have hair follicles at some point in their development.Swimming: Whales arch their back and move their tail flukes up and down to propel themselves through the water. Fish move their tails from side to side to swim. Help your students learn about whales with the following printables, which include a word search and crossword puzzle, vocabulary worksheets, and even a coloring page. 02 of 11 Whale Wordsearch Print the PDF: Whale Word Search In this activity, students will locate 10 words commonly associated with whales. Use the activity to discover what they already know about these mammals and spark a discussion about the terms with which they're unfamiliar. 03 of 11 Whale Vocabulary Print the PDF: Whale Vocabulary Sheet In this activity, students match each of the 10 words from the word bank with the appropriate definition. It’s a perfect way for elementary-age students to learn key terms associated with whales. 04 of 11 Whale Crossword Puzzle Print the PDF: Whale Crossword Puzzle Invite your students to learn more about whales by matching the clue with the appropriate term in this fun crossword puzzle. Each of the key terms used has been provided in a word bank to make the activity accessible for younger students. 05 of 11 Whale Challenge Print the PDF: Whale Challenge Beef up your students' knowledge of the facts and terms related to whales. Let them 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 of 11 Whale Alphabetizing Activity Print the PDF: Whale Alphabet Activity Elementary-age students can practice their alphabetizing skills with this activity. They'll place the words associated with whales in alphabetical order. Extra credit: Have older students write a sentence—or even a paragraph—about each term. 07 of 11 Whale Reading Comprehension Print the PDF: Whale Reading Comprehension Page Use this printable to teach students more whale facts and test their comprehension. Students will answer questions related to whales and their babies after they read this short passage. 08 of 11 Whale Theme Paper Print the PDF: Whale Theme Paper Have students write a brief essay about whales with this theme paper printable. Give them some interesting whale facts before they tackle the paper, such as: There are more than 80 species of whales.Whales are the largest mammals on Earth.Whales rest half of their brains while sleeping. A possible topic for the theme paper might be: How do whales manage to sleep, yet stay afloat? 09 of 11 Whale Doorknob Hangers Print the PDF: Whale Door Hangers This activity provides an opportunity for early learners to hone their fine motor skills. Use age-appropriate scissors to cut out the door hangers along the solid line. Cut the dotted line and cut out the circle to create fun, whale-themed doorknob hangers. For the best results, print these on card stock. 10 of 11 Coloring Page of Whales Swimming Together Print the PDF: Coloring Page of Whales Swimming Together Kids of all ages will enjoy coloring this whale coloring page. Check out some books about whales from your local library and read them aloud as your children color. 11 of 11 Coloring Page of a Humpback Whale Print the PDF: Coloring Page of a Humpback Whale This simple humpback whale coloring page is perfect for young learners to practice their fine motor skills. Use it as a stand-alone activity or to keep your little ones quietly occupied during read-aloud time or as you work with older students.