Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Manatee Journey

Ronja Ashworth
Santa Rosa District Schools


After reading the book MANATEE WINTER, students will participate in a game designed to promote awareness of the dangers manatees face.


The student reads for information used in performing tasks (for example, directions, graphs, charts, signs, captions).


-MANATE WINTER by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld. Scholastic, 1994.
-Game board (see attached file)
-Game cards (see attached file)
-Game pieces (counters or erasers work nicely)
-Number cube


1. The teacher must print out the game cards and game board from the attached files. The teacher may wish to enlarge the game board and/or create multiple sets of game materials to accommodate more than one group of children at a time.
2. Write on the backs of the cards as indicated in the file.
3. Gather counters or erasers to be used as game pieces.
4. Find or create a number cube.


1. Gather children and begin a discussion about manatees. Ask questions such as -Do you know... what a manatee is/where manatees live/what manatees eat?-.
2. Read -Manatee Winter- by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld.
3. Discuss the word -endangered.- Explain that there are many threats to manatees such as boat motors, fishing lines, overpopulation of humans, etc. Ask the children to tell you what they think people could do to help save the manatees.
4. Show the children the game materials and tell them that the little manatee needs their help. It is time for him to leave his mother, and he needs to get to Manatee Springs so that he will be safe from the dangers in the ocean.
5. Explain the procedures for playing the game. In a group of 2-4 players, the children will take turns rolling the number cube. He/she will move the appropriate number of spaces according to the number that is rolled. If he/she lands on a space marked -On My Way- or -Oh, no!- he/she will pick a card from the stack marked with the same words. He/she will then need to read the card in order to proceed with the game. The card will give directions for what the child is to do next. When a child reaches -Manatee Springs- he/she has won. Encourage all children to continue playing until they reach their goal, even if someone else gets there first.


In this activity the student must read the cards to obtain directions needed to complete the game. To assess whether a child has reached this goal, simply observe whether or not the child completes the game.


This activity may be used with units covering Florida, endangered animals, ecology, etc. See -Adopt a Manatee- lesson plan, also located on the Beacon website.

Web Links

Web supplement for Manatee Journey
Save the Manatees

Attached Files

A game board and game cards to be used as part of the activity.     File Extension: pdf

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