Whale Rider

Whale Rider (2003)


Concept featured in film:Animal Behavior: Beached Whales

Location of clip: DVD: Chapter 21-23


Play Flickclip Here

Summary of clip: Many whales have become beached outside of Paikea's village. All of the villagers attempt to save the whales including Paikea's family.

Connection of flick to concept: Whales become beached due to many different possible cuases. The two most likely causes for multiple strandings is the fact that whales respond to another's stress calls, causing each whale to become beached in due to concern for others, and hunting practices that can sometimes lead them too close to the land. In the clip of Whale Ride it is theorized that the larger of the beached whales has caused all of the others to become beache due to its distress.

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

a. What has cused these whales to become stranded on land?

b. Why are the villagers carrying buckets of water to each whale?

c. Why can whales survive longer on the land than fish?

2. Students can learn about the theory of the evolution of whales and discuss why whales are mammals but cannont live on land like most mammals. Follow this link http://www.indiana.edu/~ensiweb/lessons/whale.ev.html to a lesson from Indiana University called "Becoming Whales". This lesson describes how a fossil discovery led scientists to realize that whales came from land-dwelling animals.

3. Due to the possibility of beaching due to hunting practices, this clip can begin a lesson on the ocean food chain.

4. Get a life sized inflatable whale that can be set up in your school at: http://whale.wheelock.edu/whalenet-stuff/LucyPage.html As difficult as it is for students to imagine something as large as a whale this inflatable model is a good tool to use. The possibilities are endless. Think interdisciplinary unit with math, or literature using Moby Dick...