Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Killer Whales

Killer Whales, or Orcas, are found in oceans all around the world, but the majority of them are in the icy oceans near the Arctic and Antarctic. That's why I decided to teach about them during my Polar Animal week.
To make these adorable orcas, I cut out a circle from black paper, then cut off a little curved part from the bottom. If you cut that curved part in half, you have flippers.
Then I cut the same size circle from white paper and cut it in half. I also made a dorsal fin with a fat part at the bottom so the kids would have something on which to put glue.
It looks like a nose, I know. You probably don't need to have it bigger at the bottom. Anyway, the kids first glued the white semicircle onto the bottom half of the back side of the black circle.
They also glued on the dorsal fin to the top and the flippers to the sides. We used a glue stick for this. Then they flipped it over and used a glue bottle to add big wiggle eyes (as far apart as possible) and a mouth. For the mouth, the kids traced the curvy black line with glue,
and added red yarn.
When they were dry, I trimmed the edges of the yarn if needed. And there you have our adorable killer whales!

I sure do miss my blue walls from my old center. It made it look like they were swimming in the water. Here's a picture from last year.
And speaking of past years, many years ago my class and I made a huge stuffed killer whale to hang in dramatic play during ocean week. I cut two of them from huge black paper and the kids painted the white parts and the eye. When they were dry I stapled them together and the kids stuffed it with paper.
That lasted about 4 or 5 years. Then I just made a flat one that was stapled to the wall.
Ahhh, memories...

Fun Fact: Killer Whales are the largest dolphins. Males have a straight dorsal fin (which can be 6 feet high!) while females and immature males have a curved one.


mermaid said...

Wow, these whales look so cool!

Mariann said...

We have an orca unit with many printables. You might like it;)

Nancy said...

Wow, you sure are amazing Betsy!

Betsy said...

Thanks, Nanc! I appreciate you reading my blog!

Love and Lollipops said...

I love those orca's with the googly eyes...definitely think we need to make this one!

Georgia :)

coffeenbooks said...

I love your huge stuffed orca. That is exactly what I have been looking for except I want to make a huge octopus for my ocean themed kindergarten classroom.I haven't found much that interested me. Would you have any helpful ideas on how to make an octopus that's big and stuffed like your orca?

Betsy said...

A stuffed octopus would be very cool! I would probably try using a big garbage bag for the body. It could be stuffed with paper or tissues. And I would try using tights or colored nylons for the legs. Once stuffed, the kids could decorate it before hanging it up. If you think that would be too hard to hang, with all those legs, you could just use crepe paper streamers for the legs. That's what I used for my giant spiders.
Good luck and have fun!

Beth Lehman said...

I love that huge stuffed orca! I"m all about "going big or going home" in decorating, and that is perfect!

Betsy said...

Thanks, Beth! It was a lot of fun. I miss doing stuff like that!