For our last blog post of the year, we bring you a special guest writer. This week we are hearing from Ms. Lausten, a teacher from Virginia who is kind enough to share her experience using the Sea Turtle Exploration curriculum in her fourth grade classroom.
Last fall I was lucky enough to walk into a session at the National Science Teachers Association regional conference in Richmond where I found out about a website that changed my teaching. I had been looking for a real world connection for my classroom for years, and this one was not only enticing but also easy for my busy schedule. Here are a few of the ways I’ve implemented ideas from Sea Turtle Exploration in our fourth grade classroom and made sea turtles a focal point of our year.
First, we start by creating an environment or display in which the students can see pictures of our adopted turtle. I gather books from the library, print pictures from the website and set up a space to record data on a bar graph and line graph. The students start to bring things in – like this pumpkin that was painted to look like a turtle. We post the Sea Turtle Certificate of Adoption as well.
As the year goes on I create a different type of visual to see how our turtle is growing. This was inspired after watching the video on how to measure a sea turtle. The kids measured how long the turtle’s shell was and then added on the head, legs, and tails.
We use the curriculum from Sea Turtle Exploration for several activities including making our own sea turtles, sea turtle crawl, turtle stories and more. Each Thursday we look forward to catching up with our turtle and graphing the data as it comes in. The students begin to see sea turtles in a new light and understand what is happening to this species in the real world. We also begin to know the Aquarium staff as different members explain their roles. This is great for showcasing different jobs in the science field. We even wrote letters last spring to the staff and asked questions we were wondering throughout the year.
This incredible free resource is available to help introduce your students to sea turtles and become more aware of the world around them. You may even create some new stewards of the environment.
If you are interested in how you can incorporate the sea turtle curriculum into your classroom, consider registering for our Sea Turtle Teacher Workshop hosted by the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher on Saturday, March 5th. You can also use our Hatchling to Yearling lesson plan to track our sea turtle hatchlings growth. This week, Turtle A is now 12.5 cm long and weighs 365 grams and Turtle B is 11.6 cm long and weighs 320 grams.
Your classroom can also adopt a sea turtle hatchling! Our hatchlings continue to grow every week and we will send you updated photos throughout the year so you can see how they change. This will be our last blog post of the year as we take a break for winter vacation. If you’d like to keep up with our hatchling’s measurements, check out the table below, as we will continue to update their numbers weekly. We will return with a new blog post on January 21st in the new year.
[table id=7 /]