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Tortoise Teacher Resources
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Here is a good game that will determine which team knows the most about the Sonoran Desert tortoise. There are 16 questions posed, and the answers are printed in bold for the benefit of the teacher. Question # 16 reads, "Desert tortoise are not able to make any sounds." The answer is, "False!" They can make hisses, pops, and other sounds! Your kids should like this game.
The heartfelt true story of Owen the hippopotamus and Mzee the 133-year-old tortoise will have budding readers engaged as they practice vocabulary in the context of Isabella Hatkoff's nonfiction story. Although you could include more, there is detailed instruction here for nine new words: anxious, bond, commotion, endure, fend, inseparable, intruder, sanctuary, and secure. After introducing these, challenge listeners to raise a hand when they hear one and encourage them to pay attention to context clues. Each word has a set of comprehension questions to elicit connections to familiar concepts, and there are graphic organizer options linked.
In need of a lesson to use on your next trip to the computer lab? Students use Microsoft Word to compose a paper comparing the the main characters from the fable, The Tortoise and The Hair. They need to write an introduction, one paragraph explaining similarities, one explaining differences, and a conclusion. All writing will be based off of the Venn Diagram completed prior to the main lesson.
Pupils observe the Desert Tortoise in its natural surroundings. In this adaptations lesson, students study and take pictures of an animal in its habitat, then design a PowerPoint which addresses adaptations, biodiversity, and threats to the animal. Access to a camera for documentation and record keeping is required. Lesson can be easily adapted for use with other subject areas and animals.
Fifth graders read opening pargraphs in their books and discuss with their peers the meaning of personification. They then identify three instances in the poem "Desert Tortoise" of similarities between humans and animals citing references in the poem and changing some of the words to complete with personification.
Students trap, collect and identify arthropods in a newly created desert tortoise preserve area over a period of one school year. They determine the rate at which various arthropods take up residence in the newly landscaped area. Data is displayed through the use of graphs, charts and other appropriate methods.