We wanted to add a post about some animals from Connecticut, but couldn’t decide on which local animals to talk about (there are so many!) So we decided to share information about our state mammal, the sperm whale, even though we don’t really see them here in Connecticut.
Some sperm whale numbers
Sperm whales are amazing animals. They aren’t the biggest whales in the world (the blue whale is much bigger), but they are the largest of the toothed whales.
Sperm whales do hold some other “records” though;
They have the heaviest brain of any animal (five times heavier than a human brain),
They produce the loudest sounds of any animal, and
They can dive deeper than any other mammal.
We made a VoiceThread about sperm whales and the incredible number facts that help to explain them. We tried to compare some of these numbers to a typical 3rd grade student (8-9 years old). We hope you enjoy the VoiceThread!
What was the most interesting fact you learned about sperm whales?
If a blue whale weighs over 200 tons, how much heavier than a sperm whale are they? About how many sperm whales would it take to equal that weight? About how many African elephants would it take to equal that weight?
A blue whale can be 100 feet long. How many sperm whales would it take to equal that length?
Do you know any other interesting information about whales?
We have been learning a lot about nonfiction texts. These type of texts are written to explain things and share real information. Nonfiction texts have special features to help the reader understand the information.
Here is a VoiceThread we made explaining nonfiction features and how to use them:
Last year, Sheriff Salsich and Sheriff Yollis made a video on the Reading Round-Up blog that also explains some nonfiction features.You can watch the video here.
What are some of your favorite nonfiction features?
Which features do you find most useful?
What interesting facts have you learned from a nonfiction text recently? Leave a comment and tell us about it!
Today we made our first class Voicethread. A Voicethread is a slideshow that you can record your voice onto.
Since we are learning about habitats and adaptations, we made a Voicethread about some of the adaptations of the mighty osprey. These birds live near water in almost all parts of the world. We have a lot of them where we live because we are right on the coast.
We also used the Voicehread to learn about reading with fluency. This means to read like you talk – smoothly and with expression. Check out our VoiceThread to see how we did!
Be sure to check out Mr. Lies’ official website for more information on these and other books. The site also has cool information about bats, pictures of his “BATSmobile”, and tips for pronouncing his name (“Lees”).
“Practice Makes Better.”
We got to talk with Mr. Lies for an hour and it was AWESOME! He shared a lot of information about what it takes to write and illustrate a book (a year and a half!), how he gets his ideas, and why revising writing is so important.
Talking with a best selling author!
He also said it is important to get your head out of video games and into the real world, and that “practice makes better – not practice makes perfect.”
Below is a VoiceThread with our thoughts on some of his advice and also what we love about his books:
Thank you for visiting us Mr. Lies!
(And a special thank you to Ms. Lance for organizing the visit.)
Have you read any of the Bat books? Which is your favorite?
Why is it important to revise your writing?
Do have any ideas for another Bat book? Where could they go next?
Here is another voicethread about the Native Americans of this area. Alison and Maggie did a great job learning about how the Pequot, Niantic, and Narragansett tribes made clothing from animal hides.
This voicethread was written and recorded by Alison with technical support from Emmett.
To get an idea of what it was like to sew clothing out of tanned leather, Alison, Maggie and Alexandrastitched together a Native American style pouch.
Sewing a buckskin pouch
Here is the finished product, decorated with markers instead of dyes from berries:
Of course, the native Americans would have had to skin the animal, tan the hide, cut the leather, poke holes for the bone needle, and make dyes from plants and berries – all without the help of any metal tools!
What was something interesting you learned?
Do you think it would be hard to make clothing the way the local tribes did?
Is there anything else you would like to know about the topic?