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Creator: Megan Dorris                              Grade Level intended for: 4th grade

Curriculum area: Science                          Topic: Sea Turtles


This interactive WebQuest explores the life of a sea turtle along with their physical characteristics that makes them unique.  Students will learn why they are endangered and how society can help save and protect sea turtles.

This lesson was developed for my Technology for Teachers class at Millikin University, Decatur, IL.  © 2010


            This lesson is intended for 4th graders and is anchored in science and language arts building.  The purpose of this lesson is to get student’s minds thinking about animals that are being harmed in nature and what we can do to help them.

            Prior to the lesson, learners will need to understand how to use internet resources and gather information to construct a three-panel display and give a small presentation.  

Curriculum Standards:


STATE GOAL 11:  Understand the processes of scientific inquiry and technological design to investigate questions, conduct experiments and solve problems.

     11A.  Know and apply the concepts, principles and processes of scien­tific inquiry.


STATE GOAL 12:  Understand the fundamental concepts, principles and interconnections of the life, physical and earth/space sciences.

     12 A.  Know and apply concepts that explain how living things func­tion, adapt and change.

12 B.  Know and apply concepts that describe how living things interact with each other and with their environ­ment.


Language Arts:

STATE GOAL 5:  Use the language arts to acquire, assess and communicate information.

5A.  Locate, organize, and use infor­ma­tion from various sources to answer questions, solve problems and communicate ideas.

     5B.  Analyze and evaluate information acquired from various sources.

5C.  Apply acquired information, concepts and ideas to communicate in a variety of formats.




2.  Communication & Collaboration: Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. Students:

a. interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.

b. communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.

          d. contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.

3. Research and Information Fluency: Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information. Students:

b. locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.

c. evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks.

d. process data and report results.

4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making: Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources. Students:

b. plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.

c. collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.

d. use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.

5. Digital Citizenship: Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior. Students:

a. advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology.

b. exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity.

c. demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning.



Conclusion: I believe that this lesson is beneficial to students in many different ways. Not only does this WebQuest cover two main core subjects, but it also allows students to work together as a team to create the final product.  This WebQuest allows students to research and use their findings to create a visual aide for the class and closely work with technology.  I believe this lesson is very appealing to 3rd graders because they have the opportunity to argue why it is so important to keep our environment clean for the animals that live in it.  

Student Page:


ATTENTION ALL STUDENTS: Save the Sea Turtles Organization © needs your help!  In the past few months, sea turtle’s habitats have been destroyed and have caused the population to decline rapidly.  Your job is to help convince the youth of the world that something needs to be done.  The group who has the best argument in the class will have the privilege to give their presentation to the Save the Sea Turtles Organization ©.      


The Task:

Each of you will be assigned a team that will research the characteristics, habitat, and life cycle of a sea turtle to understand why they are such magnificent creatures.  Each team will work together to create a 3 panel display and give a short 15 minute presentation explaining that these animals are quickly becoming endangered.  The goal of this assignment is to try and convince the class that society needs to take a stand and save these precious animals. Each person in the group has 5 main questions that they need to explore.

There will be 3 essential members of your team:

1.    Marine biologist- You will be in charge of finding out specific characteristics about the sea turtles.  Here is a list of things you are responsible for researching:

1)    Do they have any specific physical traits that make them unique? (ex: shell, special teeth, claws, fins, etc)

2)    What do they eat?

3)    How long do they live?

4)    Explain their life cycle including how they reproduce.

5)    Explain basic senses.

2.    Geographer- You will be in charge of exploring the sea turtles’ habitat.  Here is a list of things to research:

1)    Where are sea turtles located geographically?

2)    Where do they nests?

3)    What kind of environment do they prefer?

4)    Explain their migration process.

5)    What is the sea turtle population and how do we know?

3.    Wildlife Conservationist- You will be in charge of figuring out what is happening to these creatures and what society needs to do to save them.  Here is a list of topics to help explore what is happening:

1)    What are the sea turtles’ predators?

2)    Why should society care that we save them?

3)    How do they fit into out eco system?

4)    Are there any legal protections for sea turtles?

5)    What is the human impact on sea turtles?  Are we helping or mostly hurting them?

 (Please each pick who you would like to be from the above options)


 The Process & Resources:

1.    The class will be assigned to a team of 3 students.

2.    In your group of 3, you need to pick who is going to be each team member.  Again, your options are Marine Biologist, Geographer, and Wildlife Conservationist.  If you are not sure who you would like to be, go back to TASK and re-read the responsibilities for each.

3.    Watch this video titled: Sea Turtle Documentary to get a good overview on these animals by visiting:

4.    Visit National Geographic and look through the pictures of Sea Turtles that are being hurt in the environment.

5.    Each team member will now start researching!  Listed in the document section are worksheets that each one of you needs to print out.  Follow the questions and answer each one carefully with detail.



Below are links to many websites that will help you find the information that is needed to answer the questions on the worksheets. 


·         National Geographic –Great site to get basic facts and view many pictures.  Explore the many links

·         Wikipedia –Gives a lot of basic facts.  Website is very easy to follow.

·         Sea World –Follow the contents to obtain many interesting and basic facts on sea turtles

·         Caribbean Conservation corporation- Focuses on sea turtle conservation

·         Defenders of Wildlife –Sea turtle facts and videos. You can even adopt a sea turtle here!

·         Sea turtle Restoration Project- View different campaigns that help protect the sea turtles. Great interactive site for kids!

·         Office of Protected Resources- Contains a great list of the different species of sea turtles

·         Sea Turtle Inc. – Adopt a hatchling!

·         Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute – Good website that explains the importance of saving sea turtles

·         Turtle Time –Good video of baby sea turtles along with basic facts and conservation information


6.    After each team member has gathered all the information everyone needs to meet and talk about what you all learned

7.    Next you will be creating a 3 panel poster with all the information that you collected earlier.  Below is what the poster should look like when you are done:


8.    The middle panel should be worked on by the Marine Biologist, the right panel should be made by the Geographer, and the left panel should be done by the Wildlife Conservationist.  Take your time and make your poster display neat and easy to read.

9.    Now you and your team members need to compose a 15 minute speech.  Each member needs to talk for 5 minutes.  The whole goal of the speech is to convince your classmates that we need to save the sea turtles! Here are some guidelines:

A.   Each member must speak for 5 minutes

B.   You may use note cards

C.   You need to use and show your 3 panel poster display during the presentation

D.   Each person needs to discuss what they researched

E.   You may use other visual aids such as videos, pictures, etc…

F.    Keep in your roles during the presentation.  For example, I convince me that you really are a Wildlife Conservationist!

G.   Everyone needs to be familiar with the reason why the sea turtles are endangered and what we can do to help- Everyone should talk a little about this

H.   PRACTICE!!! And most of all, HAVE FUN!


10. After completing the above tasks you will present your poster and presentation to your classmates!

11. Finally…. You are done!


          Look at the document section for a rubric on your 3 panel display and a checklist for your presentation. 



Congratulations!! You successfully convinced your classmates why it is so important to save the sea turtles! Through this WebQuest, I hope you learned an array of information about sea turtles.  This includes physical information, geographical information, and conservation information about them.  I further encourage you to do more to protect these creatures.  How can you do more? Go to Defenders of Wildlife and adopt your own sea turtle with your family!


Credits & References

-       See links in process section


        Resources Needed:

-       3 panel poster displays for each group

-       Internet access

        Suggested books:

1.    Sea Turtles: A Complete Guide to Their Biology, Behavior, and Conservation   

By: James R. Spotila


2.    Sea Turtles: An Ecological Guide

By: David Gulko




3.    Sea Turtles (Undersea Encounters)

By: Mary Jo Rhodes















Presentation Checklist.docxPresentation Checklist
No presence informationMegan Dorris
3 Panel Poster Rubric.docx3 Panel Poster Rubric
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geographer ws.docxgeographer ws
No presence informationMegan Dorris
wildlife conservationist ws.docxwildlife conservationist ws
No presence informationMegan Dorris
marine biologist ws.docxmarine biologist ws
No presence informationMegan Dorris
No presence informationMegan Dorris
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL