Since we found turtles on our nature walk last week, we have decided that we would like to learn more about turtles. This isn’t what I had planned But, the FIAR title that I had planned isn’t in at the library, though I’ve had it on reserve for almost 2 months now! Basically, I have checked out about 12 books on turtles. I will go through them and choose 1-2 to read each day next week. Then, we will do some type of coloring page, craft or activity about turtles. It’s not going to be a full-blown very detailed unit plan – which is what I’m used to, but we will see how it goes! Generally the good books we read make up the most of our unit anyway, we learn a lot from reading good books! And, I have found a few lapbook components and coloring pages to keep us busy as well.
So, we will learn about turtles next week! Here are a few things on the agenda.
Books to read:
Activities and fun ideas:
*we will practice drawing turtles with our Usborne I Can Draw Animals book!
*HERE is a great picture of a sea turtle to color!
*Learn about the 3 main types of turtles: fresh-water, salt-water and land dwelling
*Of course we will walk back down to our turtle spot and observe the turtles there, we will try to draw them in our nature journals as well.
*HERE is a turtle report form page from HSS
*We will not be doing this entire unit, as it focuses on things other than turtles, but we will read the book and look at some of the facts found here on sea turtles! Turtle Bay unit on HSS
*vocabulary for a turtle study: hatchling = a baby turtle or animal that hatches from an egg, tortoise = turtle that lives on land, egg tooth = baby turtles (hatchlings) have an sharp tooth which they use to open the soft shell of their egg as they come out, ectotherm = an animal that relies on its environment to warm and cool their body, (turtles move to the sun to warm up and find shade to cool down) carapace = the top part of the turtle shell, plastron = the underside of the turtle shell
*Here is a turtle poem, you may know how the rhyme and motions go! I hope to write this poem in our nature journals and decorate the page with turtle drawings.
The Little Turtle
by Vachel Lindsay
There was a little turtle.
He lived in a box.
He swam in a puddle.
He climbed on the rocks.
He snapped at a mosquito.
He snapped at a flea.
He snapped at a minnow.
And he snapped at me.
He caught the mosquito.
He caught the flea.
He caught the minnow.
But he didn’t catch me.
*Turtles live on every continent except Antarctica – why not there? It is too cold!
*What kind of turtle is the biggest? The leatherback sea turtle, which can grow to be 8 feet long and can weigh up to 1900 pounds! Yikes! The smallest is the speckled cape tortoise, it grows to be 3 inches long.
*Do you know what a turtle’s shell is made out of? BONE! On top of that bone is a layer of horny scales called scutes. These scutes are made of keratin, which is the same material that is in your fingernails.
*Why does the turtle have a shell? 1)the shell protects the turtle from the sun, 2)the colors on the shell provide camouflage to protect them from their predators, 3)the shell provides a place for the turtle to withdraw in times of danger
*Do turtles have teeth? No! Instead sharp edges along their inner jaws cut and tear their food.
*Do turtles have ears? Not on the outside of their heads like we do! Instead, they have an inner eardrum that picks up low sounds and vibrations from the ground and water.
*Where do turtles nest? All turtles nest on land, even sea turtles! Turtles dig a nest in the dirt or sand to lay their eggs. All turtles lay eggs. A sea turtle lays between 80 and 200 eggs at one time!
*What are predators for baby turtles? raccoons, oposums, foxes, birds and humans. Predators of sea turtles are sea birds, sharks, fish and otters.
*Turtles have long lives. Freshwater turtles may live to be 40 yearsold. Sea turtlesl live to be 80 years or more. Tortoises can live up to 150 years old!