Welcome to the Whale Rider Project, Hello

Whale Rider is a book about a Maori girl who becomes a mythological hero for her people. Their are two stories in this book: the first story line follows the story of the hero from birth to adolescence and a the difficulties she faces in growing up; the second story line follows the path of a pod of Southern Right Whales from their birthing ground to their feeding ground. This project asks students to develop a layer in Google Earth visualizing the path of the whales and discussing their significance to Maori culture. Students can study various themes such as oceanography, right whale biology, and myth and the hero's journey. If you would like more information about our project, please contact the project coordinator, Thomas Cooper (coopert@trhewalkerschool.org).

Project Objectives
1. Read and discuss the role of the hero in literature.
2. Analyze various artifacts of the Maori culture, such as carvings, canoes, and tattoos.
3. Gain a basic knowledge of oceanography and whale biology.
4. Use modern technology to map the migration in of a pod of Southern Right Whales.
5. Evaluate the significance the Southern Right Whale had on Maori culture.
6. Raise awareness about whaling around the globe.

Calendar of Events
We have created a calendar of events to help you plan to complete this project. On the calendar we have also scheduled online conservations using Skype for teachers to get together, talk about the project, voice any questions and concerns, and to help build our community. Dates provided on the calendar are only suggestions. Schools may enter the project at any time during the year and data may be posted at any time.

* Previous project sessions are stored on the "Archives " page of The Networked Learner wiki.

Whale Rider Composite Layer
This layer contains a list of participating schools and their layers. The composite layer is continually being updated by project members as they collect data. The composite layer is compiled by the project coordinator from individual layers posted on the school layers page.

Basic Steps of Project
1. Have students join our community of learners.
2. Read the whale rider in class and have regular discussions.
3. Have students post their thoughts about what they read on the wiki every few days and respond to other members' posts to promote discussion.
4. Create a short video / VoiceThread to introduce your research topic to other participating schools.
5. Peer review each student video and suggest changes. This will be done on the discussion tab of the wiki and a conference call on Skype between student groups.
7. Research detailed information on your specific topic construct your wiki page, include your video.
8. Task Walker's graphics, film and video, and web design students to do any tech work for your wiki page.
9. Create a layer in Google Earth that shows the migration of the whales or discusses an aspect of Maori culture. Post your data on the school layers page.

Optional Steps:
11. As a class, develop an action plan for trying to mitigate whaling.
12. Post finished action plan on website and then have another peer review period (i.e. get together) on Skype or in the discussion group to review our plans.
13. Decide on one plan to focus on and try to implement it. Post comments about your progress on the wiki.
14. Post information about your charity of choice.
15. Use Google Forms to have an online vote for which charity we will raise funds for.
16. All schools donate their funds toward the charity and/or toward implementing the action plan.

Getting Started:
If you would like to join our community and have your students participate in our project, click on the directions page and follow the steps. If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact the project coordinator Thomas Cooper at coopert@thewalkerschool.org.
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