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Turtles are Terrific!

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Summary

Students will define the term “clan” and explain why some American Indians identify themselves as part of a family or clan. Students will identify and sequence the life cycle of a turtle.

Coin Type(s)

  • Dollar
  • Dollar

Coin Program(s)

  • Native American $1 Coin

Objectives

  • Students will define the term “clan” and explain why some American Indians identify themselves as part of a family or clan.
  • Students will identify and sequence the life cycle of a turtle. 

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Art
  • Science
  • Social Studies

Grades

  • Kindergarten
  • First grade

Class Time

Sessions: Four
Session Length: 20-30 minutes
Total Length: 91-120 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Small groups
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • Animals
  • Symbols 

Terms and Concepts

  • Native American $1 Coin
  • Reverse (back)
  • Obverse (front)
  • Clan      
  • Life cycle
  • Hatchling
  • Egg tooth
  • Eastern Box Turtle
  • Hinge
  • Treaty                                   
  • Mobile 

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector or equivalent classroom technology
  • 1 overhead transparency (or photocopy) of each of the following:
    • “2013 Native American $1 Coin” page
    • “Clans Are Special” worksheet
    • “Turtle Mobile Part 1” worksheet
  • Copies of the following:
    • “Clans Are Special” worksheet
    • “Turtle Mobile Part 1” worksheet
    • “Turtle Mobile Part 2” worksheet
  • 1 copy of an age-appropriate text about the life cycle of a turtle, such as:
    • Look Out for Turtles! by Melvin Berger
    • A Turtle’s Life by Nancy Dickmann
    • Turtle (Life Cycle of A…) by Ron Fridell and Patricia Walsh
    • The Life Cycle of a Turtle by Lisa Trumbauer
  • Chart paper
  • Markers, pencils, crayons
  • Three-ring binders
  • Scissors
  • Plastic bags, gallon size
  • Glue
  • Paper clips
  • Tape
  • String
  • Hinged object (such as a door or pencil box)
  • Chart paper

Preparations

  • Make an overhead transparency (or photocopy) of each of the following:
    • “2013 Native American $1 Coin” page
    • “Clans Are Special” worksheet
    • “Turtle Mobile Part 1” worksheet
  • Make copies of each of the following:
    • “Clans Are Special” worksheet (1 per student)
    • “Turtle Mobile Part 1” worksheet (1 per student)
    • “Turtle Mobile Part 2” worksheet (1 per student, on heavy-weight card stock)
  • Locate an age-appropriate text that gives information about the life cycle of a turtle (see examples under “Materials”).
  • Locate three-ring binders (1 per group).
  • Create a sample turtle mobile.
  • Create a chart with visual cues listing the information about a turtle’s life to be dis­cussed in Sessions 3 and 4:
    • An adult female turtle lays between one and eight eggs at one time.
    • After about three months, the hatchling emerges by using its “egg tooth” to crack the egg shell. The hatchling is about the size of a nickel when it is born.
    • After a few weeks, the egg tooth falls off.
    • A young turtle grows about half the length of a person’s thumb each year.
    • In about 13 years, an Eastern Box Turtle grows into an adult turtle that can lay eggs.
    • Eastern Box Turtles can live for up to 50 years.
  • Gather items (glue, scissors, crayons, plastic baggies, paper clips, tape and string) for students to complete the turtle mobile.
  • Cut pieces of string for the turtle mobile.
  • Locate a hinged object such as a door, pencil box or baby wipe container.

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/404.pdf.

Sessions 1 and 2

  1. Describe the Native American $1 Coin Program for background information.  The program is described at www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/nativeamerican/.
  2. Display the 2013 Native American $1 Coin overhead transparency.  Tell the students that the back of a coin is called the reverse and obverse is another name for the front. With the students, examine the coin design and identify the theme of Treaty with the Delawares of 1778.”  After declaring independence, the United States signed its first formal treaty with an Indian tribe, the Delawares, at Fort Pitt, Pa. (now Pittsburgh), on September 17, 1778.  Define "treaty" as needed.  Identify the images of the turtle, turkey and wolf. Brainstorm with the students why the animals depicted on the coin might have been so important to the Delaware tribe or other tribes in the East.  Focus the students’ attention on what makes each animal special and unique.  Record their responses on chart paper.
  3. Tell the students that the Delaware Nation was made up of different groups or clans. A “clan” is a group of people from the same family (such as brothers and sisters, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins) that live and work together and help each other.  Write the word “clan” on chart paper and record the definition.
  4. Brainstorm with the students why some American Indian tribes might have formed clans instead of living alone. Record the students’ answers on chart paper.
  5. Discuss with the students the difference between completing a task on their own and completing it as a group. Ask the students if they would rather clean the cafeteria after lunch on their own or with a group of other students. Lead the students to conclude that working together in a group can be quicker, easier and more enjoyable. Explain to the students that the American Indians might have lived in clans for these reasons, but also because it would be safer to live in a clan instead of on their own.
  6. Tell the students that each of the three Delaware Nation clans chose an animal to represent their clan, and these animals are shown on the coin. Ask the students to think about why each animal would be a great symbol for a clan. Tell the students they are going to create a book about what is special about each of the animals that represent the different Delaware Nation clans.
  7. Divide the class into small groups. Display the “Clans Are Special” worksheet.  Tell the students that each group will create a clan book.  They will draw a picture of the clan’s animal and write one sentence about why the animal is a great symbol for their clan. Tell the students that each group will present their completed book to the class.
  8. Distribute copies of the “Clans Are Special” worksheet to the students.  Allow time for the students to complete the project. Assemble the completed books in three-ring binders.
  9. Have each group present their “Clans Are Special” books to the class.
  10. Display the books in the school library.

Sessions 3 and 4

  1. Display the “2013 Native American $1 Coin” overhead transparency.  Review the information and charts from the previous session. Explain to the students that they will be discovering more about one of the clan symbol animals.
  2. Discuss the term “life cycle” with the students. Tell the students a life cycle is how a living thing grows and changes from a baby to an adult. Write the words “life cycle” on chart paper and record the definition. Draw a simple image of a life cycle next to the definition.
  3. Tell the students they will learn about the life cycle of a turtle, which is one of theanimals used by the Delaware Nation as one of its clans. The Eastern Box turtle, found in the Delawares' area, is unique because when the turtle pulls in its head and legs, the shell can almost completely close because of its special “hinge.” Demonstrate for the students how a hinge works by opening and closing the classroom door or a small box such as a pencil box or baby wipe container.  Add the word “hinge” to the chart paper and draw an image of a hinged object next to the definition.
  4. Introduce the students to a selected text about turtles. As a group, preview the text and illustrations to generate observations about what is occurring at different points in the text. Read the text to the class and attend to any unfamiliar vocabulary.
  5. During the reading, display the bottom of the “Turtle Mobile Part 1” transparency, identifying each stage as it is introduced in the text. Write the words and definitions for “hatchling” and “egg tooth” on chart paper.
  6. Discuss the stages in a turtle’s life with the students:
    • An adult female turtle lays between one and eight eggs at one time.
    • After about three months, the hatchling emerges by using its “egg tooth” to crack the egg shell. The hatchling is about the size of a nickel when it is born.
    • After a few weeks, the egg tooth falls off.
    • A young turtle grows about half the length of a person’s thumb each year.
    • In about 13 years, an Eastern Box Turtle grows into an adult turtle.
    • Eastern Box Turtles can live for up to 50 years.
  7. Tell the students they will be creating a turtle life cycle mobile.  Explain that a  mobile (MO-beel) is an artwork that hangs, balanced on a string or wire.  Display copies of the “Turtle Mobile Part 1” worksheet and read the directions aloud.
  8. Model for the students how to assemble the turtle mobile.
  9. Distribute a “Turtle Mobile Part 1” and “Turtle Mobile Part 2” worksheet and bags to each student. Have the students color, cut out and assemble the turtle mobile.
  10. Allow time for the students to complete the turtle mobile.
  11. Display the turtle mobiles in the classroom.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Provide pre-cut pictures for the students.
  • Allow students to work with a partner to complete the turtle mobile. 

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have students take a field trip to visit turtles in their natural habitat.
  • Have students create a computer slide show of the life cycle of a turtle.
  • Have students present their mobiles and life cycles to an older student.
  • Have students learn about the life cycles of a turkey and a wolf.
  • Have students learn more about treaties with the 2011 Native American $1 Coin lesson plan for grades K and 1, “Let’s Try for a Treaty,” at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/nativeAmerican/download.cfm.
  • Have students learn more about the importance of animals to other American ­Indians in other locations with the 2012 Native American $1 Coin lesson plan for grades K and 1, “Presenting the Amazing Horse,” at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/nativeAmerican/download.cfm.

Use the students’ class participation, clan worksheets and life cycle displays to evaluate whether they have met the lesson objectives. 

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.K Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RI.K.4. With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.
  • RI.K.5. Identify the front cover, back cover, and title page of a book.
  • RI.K.6. Name the author and illustrator of a text and define the role of each in presenting the ideas or information in a text.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.K Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RI.K.7. With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the text in which they appear (e.g., what person, place, thing, or idea in the text an illustration depicts).
  • RI.K.8. With prompting and support, identify the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.
  • RI.K.9. With prompting and support, identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic (e.g., in illustrations, descriptions, or procedures).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.1 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RI.1.7. Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas.
  • RI.1.8. Identify the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.
  • RI.1.9. Identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic (e.g., in illustrations, descriptions, or procedures).

This lesson plan is not associated with any National Standards.