Whale Rider

Whale Rider (2003)


Concept featured in film: Animal Behavior: Beached Whales

Location of clip: DVD: Chapter 21


Play Flickclip Here

Summary of clip: The members of the tribe find a number of whales beached. They cover them with towels and sheets and keep pouring water over them.

Connection of flick to concept: An engaging clip to begin a discussion of animal social behaviors.

Suggestions to teachers:
1. Suggested questions for students when viewing the clip:

a. There are many whales that apparently become beached at the same time. Does this suggest anything about whale social behaviors? Why might whales become beached together?

b. Whales are mammals and breath air. Why can't they survive for long outside of water?

c. In this case, social behaviors may have a negative affect on the individuals who are beached. Why would a behavior that is potentially harmful exist? What are potential benefits of social behavior?

2. Have students research the theories behind why whales become beached. What is the evidence supporting these different hypothesis? Which of these theories probably apply to the whales in this clip? Could different explanations apply to different species of whales?