where are the whales?

Where Are the Whales?

Where Are the Whales?
Target text


Read and write words with the wh digraph and associate the wh with /w/ sound.

See Standards

Lesson Plan

Target Words:

  • why
  • what
  • when
  • whale
  • white
  • where
  • which


  • The White Whale target text*

*Item included below.

State and Model the Objective
Tell the children that they will read, write, and play with words that begin with the letters wh, such as whale, white, which, and why

Literacy Activities
Ask wh questions about whales

  • Write the wh digraph and associate it with the /w/ sound. 
  • Write the wh question words on the board (where, when, why, what, which) and read them with the children. 
  • Ask and answer wh questions about whales.
    • Where do whales live? (In the ocean.)
    • What do whales do? (Swim.)
    • Why do whales come to the top of the water? (To breath.)
    • When do whales sleep?  (At night.)
    • Which whale is blue: a blue whale, or a gray whale? (The blue whale!)
    • Which whale is not common: a white whale or a gray whale? (A white whale.)

More Practice
Read target words

  • Read the White Whale target text (found below) with the children.
  • Display the text and ask the children to identify words that begin with the letters wh.

Make a list of words with wh

  • Have the children help you make a list on the board of lots of wh words.
  • Compare a word that begins with the letter w (e.g., wave) with a word that begins with the letters wh (e.g., whale).

Write about the activity using target words

  • Have the children write a few sentences using the /wh/ words on the board. 
  • Ask the children to write a when, what, where, or why question about the displayed words that begin with wh.
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SEEL Target Texts

The White Whale

Where waves whirl, a white whale swam with other whales.
The whirling waves looked white and a whirlpool opened up!
The white whale was whisked away by the whirling, white whirlpool.
The white whale didn’t know where it was.  
So it swam and swam.
The whale swam past white pelicans that whizzed through the air.
The whale swam near a wharf.
The white whale swam through whirling white waves and near white cliffs.
The white whale kept swimming until it saw whirling, white waves!
The white whale had found the other whales again!
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SEEL lessons align with Common Core Standards. Please see the standards page for the code(s) associated with this lesson.