Measurement (mass & weight): Blue Whale

1 - Learning Objective

Challenge level ⭐⭐

(designed for children with prior knowledge of the Year 3 and Year 4 programme of study)

Learning Objective

We are learning how to solve a natural world problem by using and applying our skills and knowledge of measurement, mass and weight.

Useful prior knowledge:

  • To know that the mass of an object is the amount of material that it contains and can be measured in kilograms and grams

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Credit: BBC One - The Hunt

Clip Description

With a tongue that can weigh as much as an elephant and a heart the size of a small car, the blue whale is the largest animal ever known to have lived on Earth. Something so large couldn’t possibly live on land as it would crush itself under its own weight. Despite its mind-boggling dimensions, the blue whale feeds on tiny shrimp-like animals called krill. At certain times of the year, it must consume 4,000 kg (4 tonnes) of krill each day!

In this fascinating clip, a scuba diver shares his incredible experience of how he managed to film a blue whale at close quarters. Watch the clip to see this mighty mammal. 

Quick Whiteboard Challenge

If the scuba diver in the film clip has a height of 1 m 75 cm, can you give a reasonable estimate for the length of the blue whale featured in the clip?

Teacher’s note: Pause the clip at 00:40 seconds.