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Ceiling Whales

These photographs are from my classroom at the Montessori School of Corona in January 1994.  The focal point of the classroom during that month was the large three-dimensional whales hanging from the ceiling.  Each whale was drawn on butcher paper at one-tenth its actual size.  The whales were painted with tempera paint.  Salt and dirt were sprinkled on the wet paint on the gray, humpback and blue whales to create a rougher texture.  The whales were stuffed with tissue paper (newspaper can be used) and stapled along the edges.  I had some trouble creating the flukes.  Unlike a fish, the whale's tail (fluke) is horizontal.  The finished figures had vertical tails.  I plan to correct this by creating another fluke that will attach perpendicular to the original tail.

To store, I removed the stuffing and rolled the whales.  The approximate sizes of the whales are:

dolphin -- 1 foot
killer whale -- 3 feet
gray whale -- 4.5 feet
humpback whale -- 5 feet
blue whale -- 10 feet

The humpback whale is surrounded by handprints in sea star colors (yellow, orange, brown).  This was an activity based on a story I read to the class.  The story was IBIS: A True Whale Story.  In the story, the whale Ibis loves to look at starfish.  One day, he is caught in a fishing net that gets stuck around his mouth.  Eventually, Ibis, close to death, is helped by humans.  When they reach into the water, their hands look like the starfish Ibis loved so much.  The net is removed and Ibis is saved.


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Last Updated:
14 August 2004

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