Dolphins: Lesson 5 Geography, Yr 10

Does the End Justify the Means? Dolphin Captivity in Australia and Asia

The learning sequence for this activity begins with sharing ideas about our experiences with dolphins, in both captive and wild settings. First, students watch a video that introduces them to the issues raised by keeping dolphins in captivity. They then listen to the Voiceless ‘APES’ Podcast Episode #1: Dolphins in Captivity. Critical analysis of the interviewees’ various positions on this important topic follows and students are encouraged to develop their own position about cetacean captivity.

Time Allocation

One to two lessons.

Voiceless Resources

Key Inquiry Questions

  • How do world views influence decisions on how to manage environmental and social changes and issues?
  • How can the spatial variation between places and changes in environments be explained when applied to dolphinariums?

Suggested Learning Activities


Hold a class discussion regarding students’ experiences of seeing dolphins in captivity, both within Australia and overseas. Then ask students to contribute their experiences seeing wild dolphins. Consider how students’ experiences were similar and different in each of these activities. As some students will never have seen dolphins in the wild or captivity, it is suggested that the class watches the video Wild vs Captive: 10 things you didn’t know about dolphins prior to the discussion.


Explain that students will be listening to a podcast and that their job will be to understand the various points of view presented on the issue of dolphin captivity. Introductory discussion may include ideas such as the various factors which help shape our world view including the role our family, friends, socio-economic background and education level plays. Sometimes, our professional lives may also lead us to develop particular views about issues. It’s also important to remember that when an employee speaks publicly on an issue, they will usually be representing the views of the organisation they work for.

As a class, listen to the Voiceless APES’ Podcast Episode #1: Dolphins in Captivity.

As students listen to the podcast, ask them to build a profile of each of the speakers by filling in the Voiceless APES’ Podcast Episode #1: Dolphins in Captivity Worksheet.


  • Divide the class into six groups.
  • Allocate each group the name of one of the Podcast speakers, including the Voiceless narrator.
  • Each group is to design a five-question Kahoot quiz on the information that was presented by their speaker. Their aim is to check the class’ understanding of the content of the program provided by their speaker.
  • Alternatively, a traditional paper quiz could be designed.


Run the Kahoot!


Write an in-class timed reflection in response to this question: ‘What do you think should be the future of dolphin captivity?’

Support your argument with quotes, evidence and examples from the podcast. 200-250 words.

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