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In this lesson students will learn about 5 common turtles that are native to the eastern United States. Students will explore each turtle’s characteristics, environment, means of protection, eating habits, and learn how they can help these turtles survive. The suggested time frame for this lesson is four to five 50 minutes class periods.
4.7.4.A – Identify differences in living things
4.7.4.B – Know that adaptations are important for survival
4.7.4.C – Define and understand extinction
4.7.7.B – Explain how species of living organisms adapt to their environment
4.7.7.C – Explain natural or human actions in relation to the loss of species
Students will know:
- The identifying features for the following turtles: Box, Painted, Snapping, Stinkpot, and Wood
- How each species of turtle protects itself
- The turtles' environments
- The turtles' eating habits
- The turtles' hibernation patterns
- What is being done to prevent the extinction of the turtles
Students will be able to:
- Identify 5 different types of turtles that are common to Pennsylvania: Box, Painted, Snapping, Stinkpot, and Wood.
- Describe the environments the turtles live in
- Describe what the turtles eat
- Describe the turtles' hibernation patterns
- Discuss the turtles' methods of protection
- Describe ways to protect the turtles
Class Reflection and student participation in class discussion
Turtle design project
Written paragraphs about turtle extinction
Materials for building a turtle:
- Multi colored construction paper
- Colored pencils
Computers with Internet access for individuals or groups
Part 1 – 50 Minutes
- Begin this lesson by having students watch the Outside 1 and 2 Videos – This will introduce students to each turtle
- Introduce students to the Turtle Facts Animation and hand out Worksheet 1.0. Tell students that they will be looking at each turtle in the Turtle Facts Animation and writing down the information that pertains to their worksheet. Inform students that once they have filled out their worksheets, they will be able to complete the Turtle Quiz Game. It may be helpful to fill out one section of the worksheet with your students so that they understand the process.
- This activity can be completed individually or in small groups.
- After students have filled in the worksheet, have them take the Turtle Quiz Game using their worksheet to see if they can answer the questions to reveal the hidden picture.
Part 2 – 100 minutes
- If students have not already done so, have them watch the two Outside videos – This will introduce students to each turtle
- If students have completed Part 1, they will use their completed worksheet 1.0 and can move to step 3. Otherwise, it is recommended that you discuss unique characteristics and survival techniques that each turtle uses. Let students go through the information that is provided on the Turtle Facts Animation.
- Let students invent their own turtles. Hand out colored construction paper, glue, colored pencils, and markers. Students can create their turtles in any way they choose.
- Have the group members present their turtle to the class and describe its characteristics, survival techniques, and the environment in which their turtle lives
Part 3 –75 Minutes
- Have a discussion about the important issues surrounding turtle extinction. Information about this topic can be viewed at:
- After the class discussion, have each student write 2-3 paragraphs about what they can do to help the turtles survive extinction
- When students have completed their paragraphs they should present their ideas to the class