Whale Printables

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What Are Whales?

A humpback whale breaches off the island of Maui, Hawaii
A humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) breaches off the island of Maui, Hawaii. Jennifer Schwartz / Getty Images

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 lungs to take in oxygen and dispel carbon dioxide.

Whale Facts

Whales have some interesting characteristics, including:

  • 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 work sheets and even a coloring page.

02
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Whale Reading Comprehension

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
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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
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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
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Whale Coloring Page - 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.

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Whale Coloring Page - Whale

This simple 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.