Project Information

Curriculum Unit Designed by:
Hetty Roessingh

August 30,2011

Theme Title:
Keiko the Whale

High interest link to science curriculum using a well-known story

Student Profile of Target Group:

Division Three (ages 12-14)

General Proficiency

Download Resources:

Click here if you wish to download all the resources as a .zip file.

Sample units:

Core Objectives:



whale 3

seal 4

shark 4

dolphin 4


Wh- questions: which

Past tense, verb to be and to have

Passive voice and reported speech: Terry's leg was amputated by the surgeon.


stating hypothesis

justifying/presenting excuses

responding to questions

Core Objectives:



Placing new words into a context


Core Objectives:


Concepts List:

Labels/names of things



Content Specific Concepts:

Whales in captivity: yes or no? Whales in the wild: life patterns Man's relationship to wild species Releasing animals back to the wild: challenges

Material Content

Realia Information:

Photos from website, newspapers, National Geographic

Audio information:

Free Willy videos Willy's Journey Home - Discovery Video Beautiful Killers - video, ABC Kane Productions

Text Information:

Newspaper stories

Lesson Overview

1. Have you heard of Keiko? K-W-L , Story prediction, Background to Keiko 2. Learning about orcas Vocabulary and concepts for unit study 3. Intro to Keiko's story Video, listening activity 4. Keiko's life in the aquarium Characteristics of the "ideal" aquarium vs. Keiko's life in Mexico 5. Keiko the movie star Video clips6. 1,000,000 kids say "Free Willy" Letter writing/RAFT 6. Planning to return Willy to the wild Problem solving activity 7. Will he do it? Hurdles/solutions, Jigsaw activity 8. Willy swims free Newspaper readings 9. The future of whales and humans Wrap-up activity

Learning Tasks

Cloze exercises Letter writing (scaffolded) Compare/contrast: the ideal aquarium Guided reading A plan for Willy Jigsaw

Assessment Strategies

Listening comprehension questions (video), cloze, remembering content details