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BISD K5 Orca Curriculum

Bainbridge Island School District K-5 Orca Science Curriculum (.pdf files)

This Grade 4 Life Science Unit, Southern Resident Orcas, was created by the Bainbridge Island School District in order to provide a Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)-aligned curriculum which teaches students about an important, placed-based issue here in Puget Sound: Why are Southern Resident Orcas endangered animals? Teachers or districts interested in using this unit will find all the relevant files below. Begin with the Unit Overview, which describes the essential question, NGSS Performance Expectations, and a summary of each of the 10 lessons and the major learning goals of each lesson. Subsequent to the Overview, there are links to pdfs of files for each lesson, and any supporting files including student worksheets. A slide show is also provided which is organized by lesson and provides important visuals and embedded links to additional resources for teaching the unit. A file listing materials is also provided as an example of how Bainbridge Island builds the physical kit that is sent to every teacher to support this online curriculum.
Southern Resident Orcas unit overview

1. Presenting the Essential Question lesson plan
2. Identifying the Pods lesson plan
3. Killer Whale Anatomy lesson plan
    Killer whale anatomy student sheet
4. Identifying Individual Whales lesson plan

5. The Southern Resident Population lesson plan
    What has Happened to the SRKW Population student sheet
    Southern Resident Orca Population line graphs
6. More Salmon Please lesson plan
    More Salmon Please student sheet
    Nat. Geographic blog-SRKW population is running out of salmon
    condensed Seattle Times news article - Orca quandary
7. Listening to Orcas lesson plan
    Listening to Orcas student sheet
    ORCA Call Catalog

8. Toxins Accumulate lesson plan
    Food chain game data charts
9. Tell Me Why lesson plan
10. What Can YOU Do Lesson plan
    What Can YOU Do student sheet

    Packing list for K5 Orca Curriculum

    Orca slides for the unit
These files may be downloaded and used for educational purposes only. Note that Lesson 6 includes a Seattle Times graphic “Who is Catching the Most Chinook Salmon?” for which our district obtained permission for educational use; if you wish to use this graphic in teaching the curriculum, you should obtain a copyright permission from the Seattle Times for classroom use (information for obtaining copyright is at:

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