SEA TURTLES IN THE CLASSROOM: AN ACTIVITY GUIDE CORRELATED TO SOUTH CAROLINA STATE EDUCATION STANDARDS
Many different factors have contributed to the decline of sea turtle populations around
the world, but almost all of these factors have one attribute in common—they are humaninduced.
Therefore, the majority of conservation plans for sea turtles include a strategy for
public education and outreach. From a sea turtle management and conservation standpoint,
there are two main goals of public education: the first is to make people aware that they have
an impact on the survival of sea turtles, and the second is to provide people with accurate
knowledge about sea turtles. Once these two objectives have been met, people can then make
informed decisions concerning their behavior towards sea turtles, evaluate and choose among
management options, and participate meaningfully in local and national policy discussions.
The South Carolina Aquarium’s “Sea Turtle Rescue Program” sponsors outreach
activities in support of public education. With an aim to expand these activities to embrace
formal curricula designed for elementary school children, I developed a sea turtle activity guide
designed to implement the state of South Carolina education standards for children ages 9 to 12.
The guide provides students with knowledge of sea turtles, as well as the causal factors in
population declines, and seeks to cultivate an informed citizen by communicating information
to young people concerning the impact various human behaviors have on sea turtle survival.
By gaining this knowledge early in life, the hope is that students will make more
environmentally informed decisions about their own behavior(s) as they mature.
The activity guide consists of five sections: Introduction to Sea Turtles; Adaptations;
Life Cycle; Nesting; and Sea Turtle Rescue and Care. All of the activities were created using a
standard lesson plan format. Each activity features a title, focus question, activity synopsis,
time frame, key terms, objectives, standards, background, materials, procedures, and
assessment. Selected activities were classroom-tested at the aquarium during the summer of
Hard copies of the activity guide will be distributed to the aquarium, to South Carolina
educators, and, in partnership with the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network
(WIDECAST), to Caribbean educators. In addition, an on-line version will be available on both
the South Carolina Aquarium’s website and at WIDECAST’s website.
Advisor:Eckert, Karen L.
School Location:USA - North Carolina
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:education wider caribbean sea turtle conservation network widecast
Date of Publication:05/01/2007