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What’s the difference between a toothed whale and a baleen whale? How big is the largest whale? Is a whale a fish or a mammal? Let your student discover the answers to these questions (and more!) with our Whales Lapbook study.

Whales Lapbook Lessons

Here are some sample lessons from the Whales Lapbook:

Toothed Whales
Toothed whales are carnivores and the top predator in the ocean. The male is slightly larger than the female. They have teeth and eat marine animals and seabirds. Some also eat other kinds of whales. Sperm, orca (killer) and beluga whales are all toothed whales. 

Like a bat, toothed whales use echolocation to navigate the waters. It sends out a series of clicks (train) that bounces off an object and returns to the whale. The train is passed through the melon (fat-filled organ in the head), bounces off an object and then echoes it back to the whale. The whale then receives the “echo” in the fatty part of its lower jaw. It then travels through the bone to the ear and brain.

Baleen Whales
Baleen whales are the largest species of whale and include the humpback, gray and bowhead whales. The female is larger than the male. They are carnivores and seasonal feeders.

This kind of whale has a structure in the upper jaw known as baleen that is similar to a sieve. It is made of long, fringed blades of keratin (the same material that makes up our fingernails and hair). Each blade overlaps the other and resembles thick, plastic hair. They use this to filter plankton (such as krill and other small fish) from the water. Before the use of plastic, whale baleen was used to make corset stays and combs.

Whale Reproduction
Whales usually breed in warm, tropical waters. The new born whale is called a calf. A female will have one calf every 1-3 years. The gestational time varies from 9-18 months. Within seconds of birth, the mother whale helps the calf, using her flippers, to swim to the surface for its first breath. The newborn calf is 25 feet long and weighs 6-8 tons. A calf drinks 50 gallons of milk from its mother each day. A calf is cared for by its mother for at least a year.

To access all of the lessons in this Whales Lapbook, subscribe to Homeschool Share’s email list using the form in this post.

Whales Lapbook Printables

In addition to the research lessons, the file includes these mini-books for your student to create a Whales Lapbook:

  • Whales Book Log
  • Whale Extremes Simple Fold Book
  • Whale Antics T-book
  • Whale Migration Map
  • A Whale of a Tale Mini-book (write your own story)
  • Baleen Whales & Toothed Whales Cards & Pockets
  • Whale Vocabulary Tab Book
  • How Do Whales Stay Warm Simple Fold Book
  • Whale Sizes Pocket and Strips
  • Toothed Whale vs. Baleen Whale Matchbook
  • The Story of Jonah and the Whale Accordion Book
  • Life Cycle of a Whale Side by Side Book
  • Anatomy of a Whale Shuttertied Book
  • All About Blubber Simple Fold Book
  • Whale Classification Petal Book

Whales Lapbook Sample

Here is a sample lapbook. It doesn’t include every mini-book in the file. Please pick and choose the mini-books according to the needs of your student.

This lapbook sample was made with one file folder and one extension (a piece of cardstock taped to the center of the file folder).

Whales Lapbook Sample
Center Extension Lifted

How to Get Started with Your Whales Lapbook

Follow these simple instructions to get started with the Whales Lapbook.

  1. If you want, go to your local library and check out books about whales.
  2. Print the Whales Lapbook.
  3. Choose and prepare the mini-books you want to use with your student.
  4. Enjoy a week of reading and learning all about these giant ocean animals.

Download Your Free Whales Lapbook

Explore More Ocean Animal Lapbooks

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