Killer Whale Tales helps kids connect to natureNovember 6th, 2012 by cdunagan
I’ve been wanting to write about Jeff Hogan’s Killer Whale Tales for years now, but we’ve never managed to mesh schedules during one of his classroom visits to Kitsap County.
“Go for it,” I told Kitsap Sun reporter Chris Henry when she learned that Jeff would be at Olalla Elementary School in South Kitsap. That’s where Chris serves as our “regional reporter” and recently added education to the list of issues she covers.
Chris did a nice job explaining Jeff Hogan’s educational program, his background and his hope to use students as “citizen scientists.” Check out the story she wrote for Sunday’s Kitsap Sun.
Jeff has been encouraging students to monitor hydrophones in our local waters and report observations of orca calls through the Salish Sea Hydrophone Network and Orcasound, which has its own wonderful educational program. Young and old alike can have fun trying to identify specific calls that killer whales make. To play the game, access the practice page on the Orcasound website.
To his credit, Jeff is generous with his classroom materials, including eight work sheets teachers and parents can download from his website. Using these worksheets, kids can outline a family tree as it relates to an orca pod, puzzle over a “word search” related to killer whales, create a “blubber glove” to see how whales stay warm, track the movements of killer whales in Puget Sound and more.
The sounds of one of Hogan’s classroom visits was captured by Irene Noguchi when she worked at KUOW public radio in 2009. Check out the video posted on YouTube.