‘Help Tilly the Orca’ (Video)

This lesson plan is designed to help teachers present animal rights issues to their students. If you’re an educator, please feel free to adapt this material to fit your needs, and contact us if you need help incorporating this activity into your curriculum.

Suggested grade levels: Elementary and early middle school

Created by: TeachKind

Type of resource: Lesson plan and activity

Objectives: To learn about the orcas who are being held captive at SeaWorld and to understand how captive animals suffer

Issues covered: captivity, SeaWorld, animals in captivity, animals used for entertainment, whales, dolphins, orcas

Orcas at SeaWorld are denied everything that’s important to them—and the things that are important to orcas are the same things that are important to us: spending time with our families and being free. In the wild, orcas swim up to 100 miles every single day—but orcas at SeaWorld, such as Tilikum, are only able to swim around and around in small circles in their tiny barren concrete tanks. After the success of the groundbreaking documentary Blackfish, the tide finally began to turn against SeaWorld, and your students should know the truth about the lives of these intelligent, sensitive animals when they’re taken from their ocean homes.

Provide your students with these facts about orcas, and ask them to make cards for Tilly, letting him know that they’ll never go to SeaWorld and that they want him to be free! You can then mail the cards to SeaWorld to show the abusement park that your students care about the orcas and want it to release them to seaside sanctuaries.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind