Blog Posts

Whale Fall

Earth Day is tomorrow and undoubtedly many teachers will read books with students that spark interest in environmental stewardship. Some of my favorites are Heather Lang’s The Leaf Detective, Jen Swanson’s Footprints, and Planet Ocean by Patricia Newman and Annie Crawley.

But before April break instead of reading a book about environmental stewardship, I introduced students to an ecosystem none of them knew about, a whale fall.

As I read Whale Fall by Melissa Stewart and Rob Dunlavey, students oohed and aahed as they pointed at animals they had never heard of such as sea pigs, brittle stars and zombie worms.

Don’t take my word for it, take theirs. Here’s what a few of them had to say:

Gabriel P.: “I love the book Whale Fall because I love the ocean and I love whales too! And I don’t even like reading that much, but the book was great and I learned a lot from it. The pictures are also amazing and interesting. It’s exceptional!”

Jaiden B.: “I recommend the extraordinary book, Whale Fall, because this book has incredible detail and alliteration. It also has so, so many types of animals and she educates us on every single animal in the book and what part of the whale it eats, how it eats it and the amount of time that the animal spends eating before it leaves, and she says animals that nobody in my class really knew about until now. So if you are looking for an enjoyable, nonfiction book about the fantastic, fifty-year cycle of the phenomenal whale fall, then you should read this astonishing book. This book shows that when one life is lost, it is a hope for many more.”

Isla D.: “I recommend Whale Fall because, in the book, it shows varieties of sea creatures feasting away at the fallen whale. Another thing I noticed was that throughout the book, I spotted a vast amount of alliteration, such as: Hungry hagfish, roughscale rattails, tasty tidbits, and blanket the bones. The last thing I noticed was the outstanding illustrations. The detail that Rob Dunlavey put in the book. It takes never-ending, spectacular patience, and a magnificent artistic hand. I applaud you for making such a wonderful book.”

Happy Earth Day 2023!

Leave a Reply