The American Whaling Industry

This The American Whaling Industry activity & project also includes:

When thinking about the American whaling industry most imagine Moby Dick and Nantucket sleigh rides, harpoons and scrimshaw, whale-oil lamps and baleen in women's corsets. But it may come as a surprise that the industry was also responsible for the ethnic diversity of great whaling ports like Fall River, New Bedford, and Salem, Massachusetts. Primary sources document how the whaling industry impacted the population of New England cities.

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Instructional Ideas

  • Use the resource to acquaint readers of Moby Dick with the whaling industry
  • Have groups research and make presentations about the various types of whales, the reasons they were hunted, the types of products produced from their carcasses, and their current status
Classroom Considerations

  • Prior to the activity, queue up the primary source materials on your computer so they're ready to present to the class

  • Includes a detailed teaching guide and links to a variety of primary source materials

  • None