In this program, the book The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler will be used to explore fact and fiction about whales. Students use microscopes to look at plankton and krill as they explore the diets of marine mammals, sort mammal and non-mammal artifacts, listen to the sounds of whales, and look at fascinating whale "hitchhikers." Students will learn the characteristics of a mammal. They will have the opportunity to observe, identify and then sort a variety of animal artifacts and replicas into mammal and non-mammal categories. The mammals will then be sorted further into land (terrestrial) and marine mammal categories. Students will learn about life cycles, discovering that some of the animal plankton are larval forms of animals they know, including sea stars, lobsters and snails. Students will learn about communication and echolocation abilities of whales after examining a dolphin skull, using tuning forks and hydrophones to experiment with sound waves and sound production, and viewing video/sound clips of whales.