Aug 20: Make a silhouette painting

Read some stuff, make some stuff, watch some stuff…

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Below are some talking points and activities to pass the time, all relating to today’s story.

Talking points

Discuss the ideas presented in the story with your family—at home or over video conferencing. Find ways to involve as many people as possible, especially those who you know are isolated by the lock-down.

  • Bill Morris describes how the truck-sized whale comes down to the level of the divers to look at them and later, returns for a second look. What might the whale be thinking? What might you be feeling if you were one of the divers?
  • Would you like to do a job like Emma Carroll’s or Rochelle Constantine’s, going out in research boats to track whales? What kind of challenges or rewards might their jobs involve? What does the photo of Emma Carroll suggest the work is like?
  • Are you surprised that it only took two generations for right whales to be virtually wiped out? To what extent do you think they will be able to recover? What actions have humans already taken to help?
  • What do you think of the special role of a tohunga tororā or whale rider, someone like Ramari Oliphant-Stewart who is especially close to nature? What might be some of the neat things about being a whale rider? What might be challenging?
  • Did you know about the story of a whale that accompanied the Tainui waka? How do you think the presence of this whale might have affected those on their long journey from Hawaiki to Aotearoa?

Activity: Silhouettes

Right whales are as unique as humans – each one has their own patterning and personality. Make your own portrait on wood with this silhouette craft. Use a photo of someone in your house, or download a photo of a right whale and paint this instead, for a beautiful celebration of our oceans.

You will need:

  • Photos of your kids, yourself, pets, etc
  • Wood
  • Paint in your choice of colour
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Small craft paint brushes

Step 1: Take profile photos of your kids (or yourself, partner, family members, pets etc) standing side-on against a plain wall/background. Measure your pieces of wood and using a computer, re-size your photos so that they will fit on to your wood.

Step 2: Print out your photos or trace them off a screen and carefully cut them out. Using double-sided tape, stick them to your wood. Using a pencil, draw around your head cut-outs on to the wood.

Step 3: Using a small, fine craft paint brush, paint the outline of the head using your chosen colour. With a bigger paint brush, fill in the interior of the head. Repeat until all the silhouettes are complete.

Step 4: Send us a picture of your silhouettes!

Top tip: Consider painted each silhouette in that person’s favourite colour.