Orcas, also known as killer whales, are majestic creatures that live in the ocean. They are often called the apex predator of the sea because they are at the top of the food chain. This means that no other animal preys on them. Orcas are known to be highly intelligent and social animals, and they live in pods or groups. Teaching your elementary students about these amazing creatures can be a fun and educational experience to introduce the concepts of apex predators and food chains.

Let's get started!

Printable & Activity Objectives

Age: 7 to 9 year olds, Activity Time: 1-2 hours, Items Needed: Colouring pencils

In this activity, you will help to introduce the concept of apex predators through the highly intelligent orca.

It will help your child or student:

  1. Understand the concept of an apex predator and how orcas fit into this category.
  2. Gain knowledge of orcas' habitat, their distribution around the world and diet.
  3. Understand the food chain and how orcas rely on other animals for survival.
  4. Develop an appreciation for the complexity and importance of ocean ecosystems.
  5. Work on their artistic and creative skills through art projects.

How to Get Started

  1. Introduce Orcas: Start by introducing your students to the world of orcas. Show them pictures and videos of these majestic creatures. Talk about which oceans they are found in, what they eat, and how they behave. You can also share interesting facts about orcas, such as how they use echolocation to navigate and communicate.
  2. Discuss Apex Predators: Explain to your students what an apex predator is and how orcas fit into this category. You can use examples from other ecosystems, such as lions in the savannah or wolves in the forest, to help them understand the concept.
  3. Explore the Food Chain: Discuss the food chain and how it works in the ocean. Show your students where orcas fit into the food chain and how they rely on other animals for survival.
  4. Compare Orcas to Other Animals: Compare orcas to other animals in the ocean. Discuss their similarities and differences and why orcas are considered the apex predator. You can also talk about other apex predators in the sea, such as sharks and whales.
  5. Create Art Projects: Get creative and have your students make their own orca art projects. This can be a great way to engage their artistic and creative skills while reinforcing what they have learned.

Here are some videos to get you started:

  • Here's an interesting introduction to orcas:
  • Here's a fascinating video about the social structure of the a group of orca near Washington State and British Columbia:
  • Get started on the printable worksheets!

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What's in the Printable Worksheet Pack

This printable activity pack consists of 3 creative printable worksheets to integrate art into your lesson plan. Here's what it consists of:

  • 1 Orca Distribution Map Sheet
  • 1 Orca Body Markings Colouring and Design Sheet
  • 1 Orca Food Chain Chart Sheet

Click on the download link below to get started. Please note that this printable pack is only for paid members.

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