Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Turtle Sightings on BEACON Sitemaker

Sheila Ryan
Orange County Schools

Description

Students work together in groups to create web-based reports that demonstrate structural characteristics of sea turtles and how they have adapted to live in their marine environment.

Objectives

The student uses electronic technology to create, revise, retrieve, and verify information (including but not limited to word-processing software, electronic encyclopedias).

The student knows behavioral and structural adaptations that allow plants and animals to survive in an environment.

Materials

-The trade book, [Follow the Moon] by Sarah Weeks, Suzanne Duranceau (Illustrator) Harpercollins Juvenile Books; ISBN: 0060244429;
Book and cassette edition (May 1995)
-Chart paper for group questions/responses
-Markers for group questions/responses
-Sitemaker account and class setup
-Internet accessible computer with printer
-Reference books on sea turtles

Note: If technology is not available, students can use the traditional report format on paper. As a group, they could collect print copies of pictures and hand write the report on bulletin board paper.

Preparations

1. Apply for SiteMaker account at BEACON and set up topic and class group names.
2. Secure a copy of the book, [Follow the Moon].
3. Get materials for charting responses for brainstorming (markers and paper or computer with screen and graphic organizing software).
4. Arrange to use computers for Internet research.
5. Research and create bookmark page (export favorites) with links to sea turtles.
6. Arrange to use computers with word processing software (classroom or lab).
7. Arrange to use computers to post SiteMaker reports.

Procedures

1. Read the story [Follow the Moon] about a boy who helps a baby hatchling sea turtle find his way back to the sea.

2. Explain that sea turtles are reptiles. Reptiles have scaly skin, breathe air with lungs, and have a three-chambered heart. Since humans also have lungs, tell them they will be studying about how sea turtles adapt to live in the ocean.

3. Tell the students that they will be doing a report on the information they find about sea turtles and their environment. Tell students that they will publish their report on a web site. Tell them that this project will help them understand behavioral and structural adaptations that allow animals to survive in a marine environment.

4. Brainstorm using a graphic organizer to categorize information the students already know about sea turtles. (If available, the teacher could create an Inspiration, Kidspiration, or Thinking Maps diagram or use the draw tools in MS Word on the computer and display on a large screen projector.)

5. Divide the class into groups of four. Each group picks one of the types of sea turtles that live in the ocean to research. Students should use a variety of resources from the library and Internet sites selected by the teacher. Below is a suggested list of questions the teacher might consider using:

What is the general behavior of the animal?
What is the size of the animal?
Are they solitary animals?
What is the nesting behavior?
How long do they raise their young?
How often do they have babies?
How many do they average when they are born?
What is their size when they are born?
Do they migrate?
What are the threats to your animal?

6. Have the questions on a sheet of paper for each student to use. In their groups, each student can be responsible for three questions to look up and report to the group. Students can use sticky notes to mark references and later copy the information for the credits.

7. Using the information gathered by individuals, each group will write a report about their animal in a word processing program. (They can use Appleworks, Microsoft Word, or any word processing software).

8. The teacher should provide feedback to each group for revising and editing the report.

9. After revisions, the reports will be posted on the Beacon website using SiteMaker.

10. The students will select appropriate pictures from the Beacon picture collection to include in their on-line report.

11. Assess the activity. (See Assesment.)

Assessments

Formative assessment will be performed during the brainstorming and group research process as the teacher will circulate to each group observing responses. The student reports will also be assessed to see if they have answered the questions used for research.

What is the general behavior of the animal?
What is the size of the animal?
Are they solitary animals?
What is the nesting behavior?
How long do they raise their young?
How often do they have babies?
How many do they average when they are born?
What size do they average when they are born?
Do they migrate?
What are the threats to your animal?

The SiteMaker report will be the assessment and a rubric will be the tool used to judge accuracy of information relating the sea turtles to their environment. Students will also be assessed on the length of the report, completeness, organization, and conventions.

Web Links

Web supplement for Turtle Sightings on BEACON Sitemaker
Turtle Trax

Web supplement for Turtle Sightings on BEACON Sitemaker
Information of Sea Turtles

Web supplement for Turtle Sightings on BEACON Sitemaker
Save the Sea Turtles

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