Project Description

Goals: Kindergarten students will understand the life cycle of the native terrapin turtle living in Sandy Neck marsh. They will understand the importance of raising these turtles in our aquarium at school so that the turtles will grow big enough to survive in the wild, safe from predators. Students will learn the characteristics of the wild life of Cape Cod and will develop an appreciation of these animals and their/our environment.

Students observe terrapin turtles rescued from Sandy Neck marsh grow throughout the school year in a tank in the kindergarten wing of the building
Students describe the habitat of the terrapin turtle; both while in our building and when released in the wild
Students define the terms “endangered species”, “marsh”, “habitat”, and “terrapin turtle”, and “predator”
Students list indigenous animal life on Cape Cod (birds, animals, amphibians, and fish)

Activities: the students will learn about the life cycle and endangerment of the terrapin turtles on Cape Cod, specifically those rescued from Sandy Neck via a guest speaker (2 visits), literature, observation of the turtles in our school aquarium, and culminating with a trip to Sandy Neck to release the turtles back to their native habitat.

How will the project be evaluated (e.g. how will you gauge its success)

The project will be evaluated through student conversations, ability to answer comprehension questions based on the books read to them, description of native animals, and their explanation as to why we are going to Sandy Neck with the turtles. Each student will create a journal with seasonal entries documenting the food eaten, turtle size, and other observable characteristics using drawings and written words as the year progresses.

Benefit to the students and the school

This is a year long curriculum unit for our kindergarten students. They vote on the name of the turtle(s), they observe them grow through the school year, they learn the importance of protecting endangered animals, and they get to feel pride in their ability to help the terrapin turtle. Through 2 guest lectures, they learn about the wild animals of Cape Cod and how to protect them.

Timeline of Project (when will you do the project, if applicable)

The turtles arrive in October and grow through the entire school year. We release them back to Sandy Neck in June.

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