Measurement (length): Magical Narwhals

1 - Learning Objective

Learning Objective

We are learning how to solve a natural world problem by using and applying our skills and knowledge of measuring length, number and addition.

Useful prior knowledge:

  • To measure length in any direction to the nearest centimetre
  • To add 3 or more single digit numbers

Credit: BBC One - Frozen Planet. This clip may not work on some devices; please see our Help page.

Clip Description

Narwhals are strange and beautiful creatures that can be found in the Arctic waters of Canada, Greenland, Norway and Russia. Males (and some females) have an unusual spiralled tusk that juts out of their head and can grow to 3 metres in length. They are nicknamed the ‘Unicorns of the Sea’ and can live for a very long time. The oldest narwhals are thought to be between 105 and 125 years old!

In this captivating clip, narwhals are journeying through cracks in the Arctic sea ice as they desperately need to reach new feeding grounds. The cracks (known as leads) can close at any time, cutting off their air supply. Furthermore, these narrow highways are only wide enough for one-way traffic. What do you think will happen when two pods of narwhals approach each other from opposite directions? Watch the clip to find out.

Quick Whiteboard Challenge

How much taller do you think a 3 metre-long narwhal tusk is than your teacher?