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Whale Research Guide  

Last Updated: Apr 9, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
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Your assignment is to learn about a species of whale.  This research guide is your starting place. You will gather facts and then design a postage stamp in honor of your whale and write a persuasive piece on why the United States Postal Service should use your stamp design and honor that species of whale.

You and your partner/group must complete a citation sheet that tells where you got the information you are using for your letter.  This is due when you begin work on your letter.


Information Literacy Standards

Standard 1: Access information efficiently and effectively to inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge. 

Standard 2: Evaluate information critically and competently to draw conclusions, make informed decisions, acquire new knowledge, and apply knowledge to new situations.


1. Define an information need.
2. Gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
3. Analyze information appropriate to a second grade topic or subject area.
4.  Explore and use print and online resources with support.

Common Core Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.1 Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, andhow to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.2 Identify the main topic of a multiparagraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.3 Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases in a text relevant to agrade 2 topic or subject area.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.5 Know and use various text features (e.g., captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text efficiently.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.6 Identify the main purpose of a text, including what the author wants to answer, explain, or describe.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.7 Explain how specific images (e.g., a diagram showing how a machine works) contribute to and clarify a text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.8 Describe how reasons support specific points the author makes in a text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.9 Compare and contrast the most important points presented by two texts on the same topic.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.10 By the end of year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, in the grades 2–3 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.1 Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply reasons that support the opinion, use linking words (e.g.,because, and, also) to connect opinion and reasons, and provide a concluding statement or section.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.5 With guidance and support from adults and peers, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as needed by revising and editing.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.7 Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., read a number of books on a single topic to produce a report; record science observations).
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.8 Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

Online Resources

PebbleGo are databases for young researchers.  Click on PebbleGo below and put in the username and password from your teachers.  Use the PebbleGo Animals section to find information on these whales:

Beluga Whale

Blue Whale

Gray Whale

Humpback Whale

Killer Whale

Sperm Whale




Search an encyclopedia:


netTrekker Educational Websites and Images

Helpful Websites

  • Whale World
    General and detailed information on whales. This website was created by, a publishing company.
  • NOAA Fisheries Whales
    Detailed paragraphs on whales and other ocean animals

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