Name the Baby Dolphin

Participating Schools

Meet SAGU, Shedd's Pacific white-sided dolphin calf!

Classrooms from five Chicago-area schools represented one of the five names, serving as student ambassadors. Classrooms wrote essays, created visual elements, such as posters and photos, and shared their own research papers to help persuade online voters to pick their name. 

Here are the potential names for Piquet's calf, and the schools the representing classrooms are from: 
Atshi (AHT-shee)                    music or singing
Willowbrook Elementary School (Glenview, IL)

Kann (kahn)                            dolphin
Joseph Gary Elementary (Chicago, IL)

Kisaani (kihs-AH-nee)              boy
John Haines Elementary (Chicago, IL)

Kusook (COO-sook)                play
South Loop Elementary (Chicago, IL)

Sagu (SAH-goo)                      joy
Holmes Elementary (Harvey, IL)

Voting took place from Sept. 24 through the morning of Oct. 12, 2012. Guests were able to vote once a day.

The names of Shedd’s Pacific white-sided dolphins come from the language of the Tlingit, a large group of indigenous people in coastal Southeast Alaska and western Canada, where Pacific white-sided dolphins are found. The name of the calf’s mom, Piquet (pee-KEHT), means “female of small structure,” and she is the smallest of the adult dolphins.

Shedd has a long tradition of giving its marine mammals names that reflect the geography or the culture of the region where those species occur in the wild. Thanks to programs to revive and preserve the Tlingit language in Alaska, at the community level and at institutions of higher learning, Tlingit dictionaries are available. For Piquet’s calf, the trainers researched a number of words that could describe him, finally selecting five that have the most meaning for this significant birth.

Take a look at what these five schools are learning from this contest!

Help Shedd Aquarium name the dolphin calf by persuading voters to choose their respective name in the “Name the Baby Dolphin” contest.

Key concepts
Communication, writing, speaking and listening, debate, understanding different cultural perspectives

Persuasion, comparing and contrasting, organizing information, collaboration, teamwork, presentation

IL Learning Standards
IL Science Standards
12.A.1a; 12.A.2a; 12.A.1b; 12.A.2b
12.B.1a; 12.B.2a; 12.B.1b; 12.B.2b
Common Core English Language Arts Standards
Writing Standards K-5: 1, 2, 3, 6, 7
Speaking and Listening Standards K-5: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6

Possible activities to connect to standards
•  Create a group or individual writing challenge to explain and help persuade why the name you are promoting should be chosen for Shedd’s Pacific white-sided dolphin calf
•  Design a digital component (poster, photos, text, etc.) to promote the name on Shedd’s website
•  Research, write or discuss the life cycle and background knowledge of dolphins (or mammals), including the observable features (both inherited and learned)
•  Use background knowledge to describe relationships among the animals/environment, and if applicable, use that information to support why the name your school is promoting is best suited for the dolphin calf

Classroom extensions (relevant activity guides, class, etc.)
Check out these programs and resources for more ways to connect your classroom to Shedd’s mammals.
•  Learning lab programs at Shedd: K-2 Icy Adaptations; 3-5 Whale Adventures
•  Teacher guides: K-2 Icy Adaptations ; 3-5 Whale Adventures 
•  Ten Fun Finds: Oceanarium Discoveries Map

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