Dolphin Lesson Plans for Kindergarten through Third Grade

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In the series “Life Under the Sea”, the children will enjoy learning about this remarkable creature of the sea, the dolphin. Discuss how the fun loving dolphin always seems to be smiling, communicates with sound and whistles and can actually teach us how to interact socially. This friendly mammal is not a fish, but actually is from the whale family. Dolphins are warm blooded and have live babies and breathe through a “blow hole” like the whale.

Read the book, Amazing Dolphins, written by Sarah L. Thomson.


This collage may take a while to dry before it can be completed. Hand out to each child a white sheet of construction paper. Each will paint on the “sea” or “ocean”, using pale blue paint and shaving foam for the waves. As the paint is drying, have available magazines with ocean life pictures, especially whales, jellyfish, sea turtles, and dolphins. The children will cut out pictures and glue them to the “ocean”. Always praise and display each work of art. The classroom should now seem like an aquarium, with displayed projects made throughout the week.

While working on their art, the children may enjoy listening to Johnette Downing’s “Most Fish Swim” cd.


Have pre-cut dolphin shapes of various sizes. Today’s lesson will require 12" rulers. Explain how some real dolphins are longer than others. The White-sided dolphin is 8 feet long, while the Bottlenose dolphin is 12 feet long. Divide the class into groups as they measure and record the length of each dolphin shape. Each child in the group will record their measurement on a graph. This activity provides social interaction and problem solving.

Suggested books to read

A Day Under Water by D. Kovacs

Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises by Mark Carwardine

The Playful Dolphins by Linda McCarter Bridge

Amazing Dolphins by Sarah L. Thomson

Selected sources:

Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus Whales and Dolphins

This post is part of the series: Life Under the Sea

The lessons in this series is on the study of ocean life for kindergarten through third grade incorporating activities in art, math, phonics and music.

  1. Life Under the Sea Unit: Caring For Our Oceans
  2. A Lesson on Whales for Kindergarten
  3. Life Under the Sea: Sea Turtles
  4. Life Under the Sea: Dolphins