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Multimedia Bibliography – Dolphins

By Harry Ostlund

The purpose of this multimedia bibliography is to provide fourth through sixth grade students with an opportunity to explore the undersea world of dolphins through the use of books, eBooks, digital resources, the internet and community resources such as libraries, aquariums, and educational institutions. When I was growing up I was extremely lucky to live within walking distance of the Brooklyn Aquarium. On the weekends I attended programs such as Breakfast with the Dolphins, where we literally had breakfast with the dolphins, though we had to clean their fish first. These interactive and innovate programs provided us with enrichment experiences and firsthand knowledge of the behind the scene operations that we could never have obtained in any other setting. The aquarium, library and the public schools were committed to working together to provide city youngsters with authentic interdisciplinary learning experiences. Educational programs offered by these three educational institutions such as the yearlong Marine Teen Program provided middle school students with access to the unlimited resources. Middle school students who were selected to participate in these programs interviewed the staff of the aquarium and experienced the behind the scenes procedures, routines and protocols. They participated in ongoing research and worked alongside marine biologists and veterinarians. Working alongside the IT department they contributed their input by assisting with the designing an educational computer game. These authentic experiences inspired many of the students to pursue careers in the sciences. Students who participated in the Marine Teen Program had the opportunity to process, analyze, synthesize and learn about dolphins and marine life in a unique environment. The students gained a sensible understanding of the dolphins and of marine life that they could not have obtained in another setting. Though the local library provides many multimedia resources that could initiate a desire to learn more about dolphins and marine life this unique experience was enhanced by our visits to the aquarium. By reading and researching various publications, watching podcasts, videos, and live feeds, and engaging in authentic hands- on lessons the students were actively engaged in learning about dolphins and other subject matter. The materials presented in this multimedia bibliography will assist students become active learners by analyzing, questioning and narrating their individual learning experiences. Until they can visit the aquarium the internet provides students with opportunities to observe dolphin interactions through love webcams, and through online courses.

Books:

Carney, Elizabeth. (2012). National Geographic Kids Everything Dolphins, Dolphin Facts,Photos, and Fun that Will Make You Flip. National Geographic Children’s Books.

Dolphins are as bright and as curious as humans. Perhaps that is why we are fascinated by them. Inside this informative chapter book youngsters discover how dolphins live in family groups called pods, give birth to live babies, tail first and breathe air. The amazing photographs and bold text teach young children how dolphins are not fish but are mammals, how they were meant to live on land but were forced into the sea. This educational book is packed with scientific facts and photographs that will captivate your child. A must have for all beginning marine biologists.

George, Twig. C. (1998). A Dolphin Named Bob. HarperCollins.

After a storm a bottlenose dolphin washed up on the beach. Rescued by Mrs. Lee and taken to the Baltimore Aquarium the aquarium staff saved her and named her Aster. She thrived at the aquarium for several years and then at age eleven she gave birth to a dolphin calf named Bob. Born with an unusual comet shaped birth mark on his drooping dorsal fin, Bob was weak and tiny compared to other calves. The aquariums staff did not expect him to survive. But Bob surprised them, just like his mother Aster did when she first arrived. Bob gets well and soon he was performing tricks alongside his mother. Bob becomes the star of the aquarium. This amazing true story with its happy ending will delight youngsters and encourage them to never give up.

Grover, Wayne. (1990). Dolphin Adventure A True Story, HarperCollins.

Based on a true event, a professional deep sea diver Wayne Grover recalls how a pod of dolphins, two adults and a baby swim around him until he notices the baby of the pod was bleeding and had a fishing hook embedded in its back and fishing line wrapped around its tail. Mr. Grover describes a remarkable and poignant tale with the untamed dolphin family. Using his diving knife Grover carefully performs underwater surgery. He cut away the line and removed the hook but the baby dolphin’s bleeding attracted two hungry sharks. The large male dolphin attacked the sharks saving the baby dolphin and Mr. Grover. Two weeks later Grover is out on his boat and recognized the scar on the tail of the young dolphin swimming by in a pod of dolphins. The story ends happily for the baby dolphin and teaches readers about the dangers hooks and lines can bring to dolphins.

Orr, Katherine. (1993). Story of a Dolphin. Carolrhoda Books.

Based on a true event that occurred near the Caribbean island of Providenciales, a young girl recalls how a bottlenose dolphin and her father became friendly. Everyday her father would take a group of tourists out to sea on his boat to dive in the ocean. One day a stray dolphin appeared and swam around them. Over the next several months the dolphin and the girl’s father begin to swim together. Then one day their playfulness almost turned into a tragedy. This true story teaches us dolphins are unpredictable and aggressive with each other and with humans, so we need to be careful when we enter the water with a dolphin. Illustrated with full-color, full-spread paintings of island vegetation and ocean life in the blues, greens, and pinks that are present on the Caribbean islands.

Schaefer, Patricia. P. (2012). Dolphins from A to Z . Shaefer.

A superbly photographed book simultaneously teaches young children their ABC’s and presents them with scientific facts about bottlenose dolphins. The dolphins are alone, in pods, under the water, and as close to the shore as they could possible come. Photographed playfully swimming, catching fish and leaping from the water these amazing sea creatures present young children with powerful inspirational images that are unforgettable. Every child will want to reach out and touch the pages of this truly impressive book.

Wlodarski, Loran. (2007). If a Dolphin Were a Fish . Sylvan Dell Publishing.

Delfina is a young bottlenose dolphin who imagines she becomes her underwater sea friends. She imagines what it would be like to be a manatee, a fish, an octopus, a turtle, and even a bird. Young readers will learn that fish have gills and breathe underwater and bottlenose dolphins have a blowhole and must swim to the surface for air. As children turn the pages and encounter a new sea creature they learn a new scientific fact. The imaginative story is filled with soft colored pencil illustrations that complement the text of this educational underwater adventure. Read more…

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