Winter’s Tail - Free Webcast Wednesday, October 7th at 1:00 P.M.(ET)

By Megan Power on October 1, 2009

If you haven’t heard the true story of Winter’s Tail, you are in for a real treat. Winter is a dolphin that was rescued and brought to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater, FL. At three months old her tail was trapped in a crab trap for about 36 hours. Shortly after being freed, her tail flukes fell off. Many people thought a dolphin this badly damaged would not survive. It took a lot of caring volunteers and money to help her, but this heroic dolphin is about to turn four years old! With her prosthetic tail she can swim just like other dolphins. Please join us on on Wednesday, October 7 at 1:00 - 1:45 P.M. (ET) for a live webcast with Winter from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

If you have a copy of the story, Winter’s Tail: How One Little Dolphin Learned To Swim Again, by Julianna, Isabella and Craig Hatkoff, read it to your students. I just called our local bookstore and luckily they had a copy. Even if you can’t get a copy of the book before the webcast, your students will still be able to participate. Be sure to tell your students that the book can be ordered through the Scholastic Book Store or by ordering through the October SeeSaw Scholastic Book Club.


Here's a few ideas of how I plan to incorporate this amazing virtual opportunity in my classroom:

On Monday I will start out this mini unit by showing a video clip about dolphins. Then my students and I will start a KWL chart to find out what the students know and want to know about dolphins. After this I am going to tell them about Winter's Tail and share her amazing story.

Throughout the next few days we will be learning facts and dolphin vocabulary through books and research on the computer. Students will be writing about dolphins and about Winter. We will try to draw Winter together and watch her swim with the live webcam at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

Since it will be Winter's 4th birthday on October 10th, my students will create birthday cards to send to her. This will be a fun and purposful writing activity that the students will love! Here is the mailing address for your student cards.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium
C/O Jeni Hatter
249 Windward Passage
Clearwater Beach, FL 33767

Lastly, I would like to use Winter's story to discuss the idea of never giving up with my students. Winter's story is very inspirational for students of all ages because she never gives up. When Winter's tail was stuck in the trap, she could have died. After having her tail fall off, she could have given up. I think it is important for our young students to see that there are difficult times in life where we might want to give up, but we can't. We have to keep on trying and adapting just like Winter. I know that all of my students have had difficulty with something so far in their lives - whether it is family difficulties, learning to ride a bike, or learning their letters. In my class, I love to let them my students know that even when things are difficult, they need to keep trying, and to know that I believe in them!

Suggested Teaching Resources:

  • Here is an article from January 7, 2006 shortly after the rescue of Winter.
  • The Winter's Tail website has some fun activities for students of all ages, including a live webcam of Winter swimming in her tank! There is also a story if you click, "Winter Pics," written at a lower reading level with great photos of Winter. Your students can even create a movie about Winter from this site. Enjoy!
  • Click here for some information from about the webcast including an exciting introduction video.
  • Here is the agenda for the webcast on October 7th and a great Teaching Guide for this virtual field trip.


Dolphin Resources:

I really hope to see many of you at this amazing virtual field trip! We will get to learn about dolphins and see our special friend Winter. Her story is an inspiration for all of us. Let me know if you have any other great dolphin lessons, activities, or resources. I would also love to hear your reflections about the webcast.

See you Wednesday!!


I love the Winter Tale Book alot

Love Jenn.

Hi Megan, Thank you for the information about the Winter Tail webcast! I think these types of webcasts are great instructional tools. They allow students to get a closer look at something, than books can give them, about important issues. I also love how they engage the student mind through a visual experience that is coupled with a short, but meaningful literacy component. See you at the Webcast.

Mrs. Southworth

Mrs. Southworth, I completely agree! It is such an amazing learning experience for us all.Let us know what your kids thought! Smiles, Megan


I am so excited that I can barely contain myself. What a phenomenal story!!! Every child needs to hear it. It is amazing how they attach to animals and identify withtheir trials and tribulations. I have seen young boys and girls that would never be caught crying, shed a tear for a hurt or wounded animal.

Thanks for all the great resources. you have made it so easy for anyone of us to follow your lead this week.

I will visit again soon!!!


Naomi, Thank you for your excitement. I cried at Winter's story. It really is touching. My students are so excited and talk about Winter all the time now. She has become an inspiration for my students! Thanks for your feedback too. I wanted to make it as easy as possible because it is such a great experience for kids! Please come back and visit! Smiles, Megan

Megan This sounds like fun! I will be there on this webcast. thanks for letting us know. Do you have any district issues with webcasts? Kate PS Your stuff is amazing! I can't wait for the NO David Movie

Kate, Thanks so much! I am glad you are going to participate in this. It is a great experience. We don't have any district issues with them. Let me know what you think after! Smiles, Megan

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