One of the reasons we find dolphins (and their cousins, whales and porpoises) so delightful is their playful behavior at the ocean’s surface. Breaching, spy hopping, and spouting are just three of the many dolphin antics that scientists have named. More dolphin fun and learning can be found at these five sites.

Dolphins Resource Handout for Classroom or Homeschool: Just $2.00

David's Whale and Dolphin Watch4 stars

David Hoffman of Germany "just loves dolphins and whales and loves to take photos." And his passion clearly shows in his online photo gallery ("one of the largest collection of dolphin and whale pictures on the Web!") The exhibition is organized by species into eight galleries. Need a picture for a school report? You may use any of these photos for your printed school report, but you may not post them on a Web page nor use them commercially. Another great click is David's collection of dolphin and whale vocalizations in MP3 format. Dolphins: Close Encounters4 stars

"Each year, millions of fans pay to watch -- and even swim with -- [dolphins] their favorite animal. But the dolphin's popularity also raises a troubling question: are these captive performers our willing partners -- or our prisoners?" Visit this PBS site to explore this controversy with experts from both sides of the argument, and to learn how dolphins use sonar to hunt and communicate. Best clicks are the two QuickTime movies, one in At Home in the Sea, and the other in Partners or Prisoners?

Scholastic: Dolphins5 stars

This fabulous site from Scholastic is my pick of the day because it has something for everyone, whether you are a teacher or a student in grades one through eight. Begin with All About Dolphins, where your host, research biologist Dan Odell, introduces the topic by answering some basic dolphin questions. Next try your hand at the Cetacean Relations Game. Cetaceans are the order of marine mammals that includes all whales, dolphins and porpoises. With all this under your belt, now you are ready to join the virtual field trip (Dolphin Watch) to study bottlenose dolphins in the Indian River Lagoon in Florida.

Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises5 stars

This site from the National Marine Mammal Laboratory in Seattle, WA is a terrific place to start for elementary and middle school reports. Begin with an explanation of taxonomy, the scientific classification system started 1757 by Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeaus and the pages devoted to cetaceans. My favorite page is the grammar tips for writing reports about marine mammals ("You should not capitalize, italicize or underline common names. Example: blue whale.") You'll find this link near the bottom of About Marine Mammals.

Dolphins Resource Handout for Classroom or Homeschool: Just $2.00

Honorable Mentions

The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!

Aqua Facts: Dolphins and Porpoises

Wild Dolphins

Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "Dolphins." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 25 Aug. 2004. Web. 1 Mar. 2015. < >.

About This Page

By . Originally published August 25, 2004. Last modified August 25, 2004.

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