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TeacherTeacher

This Researcher's activity page is based all around the critically endangered "Western Swamp Tortoise".

You can get your students to wholly take on this Rich Task or divide it up into activities appropriate to your students' ages, skills re-inforced and interested subject area.

 

WST with strawberry
2 week old Western Swamp Tortoise
(Source: Perth Now)


The activities are:

Resources to use

 

 

Create a report about the Western Swamp Tortoise's Life

PrimaryPrimary

LiteracyAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Literacy

NumeracyAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Numeracy

ICT Capability Australian Curriculum General Capability: ICT Capability

 

TeacherTeacher

Australian Animal Learning Zone: Local Copy [[Word doc]

Students

1.  You are to look at the following articles and videos and put their facts in a report about the Western Swamp Tortoise.

2. You are also to create a "this is your life" timeline from the facts about the Western Swamp Tortoise.

3. Your report can be written or you can use an ICT app including PPT; Genially; Prezi; or Voki

4. How small is the Western Swamp Tortoise hatching? Estimate the size of this little hatching in the image below

50 cents
(Source: SA Zoos)

Resources to use to write your report

a. Australian Animal Learning Zone

AALZ

b. Western Swamp Tortoise - Life Cycle

Life Cycle

c. YouTube: ZooBorns: Australia! Episode 4 - Baby Swamp Tortoises
https://youtu.be/BpSiSoG_yjA?si=gO3kQjySXEwlpOf6

 

d. Western Swamp Tortoises hatching at Perth Zoo
https://youtu.be/G4VKPR67xYs?si=oFO_VknmVtOnXWUY

 

 

 

Draw A Western Swamp Tortoise Shell

PrimaryPrimary

CriticalAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Critical and creative thinking

NumeracyAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Numeracy

 

1. You are to draw to scale a fully grown Western Swamp Tortoise's shell or carapace.

2. Look at the following photos to give you ideas of size and scale. You can copy these photos to give you an idea of scale.

3. Photos

Zoos SA
(Source: Zoos SA)

 

Carapace
Beware of broken /split carapace
(Source: ABC)

 

YouTube: How To Draw A Turtle Shell - Pt 1
[NOT a WST but will give you some ideas about your drawing]

https://youtu.be/h3R-WKSBZPY

 

Create a cartoon character and story based on the WST

PrimaryPrimary MiddleMiddle High SchoolSecondary

CriticalAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Critical and creative thinking

LiteracyAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Literacy

TeacherTeacher

You are to get the students to read the article from ABC News 7 January 2024 and use the story to invent a name, setting and plot for their own story in cartoon form.

Local copy of ABC News story

 

Ranker

There are over 50 cartoon characters in film listed here. This website shows the current cartoon characters that are NOT to be used.

Your students are to create a very different cartoon character based on this news article.

Cartoon creation apps can be found here. The students can use any of the apps shown on this page.

 

Students

1. You are to read the following story from ABC News 7 January 2024 and create a cartoon character based on this story.  Read

ABC News

2. You are to create a name for this WST, work out his/her adventures since they left the Perth Zoo, and of course work out how they got their shell broken. 

3. There are many Turtles in movies - here is a collection.

Ranker

You are NOT to use any of these 50 famous fictional turtle characters but they can give you inspiration!

You are to make up a new name,  character - his or her traits, and a story about leaving Perth Zoo and winding up alive near Northcliffe 5 years later.

 

50 Famous Fictional Turtle Characters, Ranked - An example selection from Ranker.
You will need to research the rest at Ranker to make sure you have a different name and character!

Franklin

Franklin, the charming and inquisitive young turtle from the beloved children's book series and television show of the same name, has captured the hearts of readers and viewers alike. With his iconic red cap and blue scarf, Franklin's adventures teach valuable life lessons and explore themes of friendship, family, and the joy of discovery. Alongside his diverse group of friends, Franklin learns about empathy, responsibility, and perseverance through gentle storytelling and captivating illustrations. His enduring appeal and delightful tales make Franklin a cherished character in the realm of children's fiction and television.
Toby Turtle

Disney's Robin Hood welcomed an adorable addition in the form of Toby Turtle, Skippy Rabbit's best friend and fellow adventurer. Clad in his tiny green hat, Toby brings a shy, yet endearing presence to the beloved animated film. Though more reserved than his rabbit companion, Toby's unwavering loyalty and innate kindness make him a valuable member of their woodland family. Toby Turtle's enchanting charm and subtle bravery secure his place among the most treasured turtle characters.
Verne

Verne, the cautious yet lovable protagonist from the Over the Hedge series, embodies the struggle between embracing change and fearing the unknown. As the leader of a quirky group of woodland animals, Verne's skepticism and cautious approach to life provide the perfect foil for the reckless raccoon, RJ. His resourcefulness and bravery shine as he navigates the challenges of suburban sprawl and a rapidly changing world. Verne's relatability and heartwarming relationships with his fellow animal friends solidify his position as one of the most memorable fictional turtles in animated film.
Baby Shelby

Charged with an insatiable curiosity, Baby Shelby from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse offers a fresh perspective on the world around him. With his tiny shell and innocent demeanor, Shelby brings joy to every adventure by embracing life with boundless enthusiasm. His inquisitive nature and love for exploration provide valuable lessons in discovery, encouraging viewers to see the world through the eyes of a child. Baby Shelby's endearing charm and zest for life solidify his position as one of the most lovable fictional turtle characters.
Bert the Turtle

As the star of the 1950s informational film Duck and Cover, Bert the Turtle serves as a symbol of safety and preparedness in the face of nuclear threats. In his simple animated form, Bert encouraged children and adults alike to take shelter and protect themselves in times of emergency. Though the context of his creation may seem dated, Bert's message of resilience and vigilance remains relevant today. By sharing essential survival information in a friendly and accessible manner, Bert the Turtle earns a special place among the greatest fictional turtle characters.
Crush

Surf's up, dude! It's hard not to catch good vibes from Crush, the laid-back sea turtle from Finding Nemo. His easygoing nature and endearing surfer lingo make him instantly memorable and beloved by audiences. With his impressive navigation skills and effortless grace as he swoops through the currents, Crush serves as a gentle guide and mentor to the film's protagonists during their underwater journey. As a symbol of tranquility and wisdom, Crush undeniably ranks among the top fictional turtle characters.
Michaelangelo

Cowabunga! Michaelangelo, one of the four iconic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, is the epitome of fun and excitement. With his orange mask, nunchaku, and undying love for pizza, Michaelangelo's infectious personality and laid-back sense of humor brings levity to the crime-fighting team. His unshakable bond with his brothers and willingness to jump headfirst into action make him integral to the squad's success. As the embodiment of carefree exuberance, Michaelangelo earns his spot among the greatest fictional turtles ever created.
Yertle

Yertle the Turtle, the titular character of Dr. Seuss's classic children's book, brings a powerful teaching moment to life. As a tyrannical king with a never-ending desire for power, Yertle commands the other turtles to stack upon one another so he can reach new heights, both figuratively and literally. However, his endless ambition ultimately leads to his downfall and serves as a potent lesson about the perils of greed and arrogance. Through Yertle's allegorical journey, Dr. Seuss crafts an exceptional turtle character that remains relevant and poignant to this day.
squirtle

No list of iconic turtle characters would be complete without Squirtle, the lovable water-type Pokémon. With its adorable round shell, blue skin, and playful personality, Squirtle quickly became a fan favourite after its introduction in Pokémon Red and Blue. Its ability to control water and evolve into the powerful Blastoise brings excitement to Pokémon battles, further cementing Squirtle as a cherished member of any trainer's roster. Its charm, coupled with its prominent role in Pokémon lore, solidifies Squirtle as a standout turtle character for generations to come.
Tortoise John

With a fearsome demeanor, Tortoise John, from Rango, brings a sense of intrigue and danger to the Wild West-themed animated film. As the villainous mayor of Dirt who seeks total control over the town's resources, John challenges Rango in an intense battle of wits and cunning. His ruthless pursuit of power and diabolical schemes add depth and complexity to the movie's narrative. Tortoise John's status as a memorable antagonist underscores the vast diversity of turtle characters in fiction and ensures his place among the best.

4. Brainstorm

Brainstorm:

a. Your tortoise's name - give reasons for this particular name

b. What s/he will look like.

c. Go here to see how to create a cartoon character. Which program will you use? There are plently to choose from.

d. Estimate how old your tortoise is

e. Create your story line.

5. Write up your story with your cartoon character. It needs to be at least ONE page in length.

6. Give to your teacher within their time frame. Do you have a new character for the movies? Where would you send it to to get noticed as a writer, cartoon creator, or both? Research!

 

 

Design a suitable enclosure for the Western Swamp Tortoise

 PrimaryPrimary MiddleMiddle

LiteracyAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Literacy

CriticalAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Critical and creative thinking

Ethical Understanding Australian Curriculum General Capability: Ethical Understanding

Australian Curriculum Cross Curriculum Priorities: Sustainability Priority

PhilosophyPhilosophy

Cooperative LearningCooperative Learning Activity

 

TeacherTeacher

Zoo SA - Enclosure Design - based on visit to zoo. Primary students only.
Teacher's Guide & Student handouts

Local Copy

 

Students

1. You are the co-manager of a famous Zoo, and a rare species of animal - the Western Swamp Tortoise is coming to your zoo. This animal is Australian and seriously endangered.

As co-managers [a pair of students], you will need to look up this rare species and find out about:

  • It's breeding habits
  • It's habitat - the ecology
  • It's food
  • The space/range they require
  • the type of area they require to breed
  • The number needed in a group for them to become sustainable
  • The amount and type of water [free of pathogens] required for them to remain healthy within the Zoo

2. You are to design an enclosure for the Western Swamp Tortoise. Choose with your partner  to investigate and design an enclosure. Use the resources to work out what you need in your enclosure.

 

Western Swamp Tortoise

Western Swamp Tortoise (PDF - local copy)

Gov't of WA: Dept of Water & Environmental Regulation


Threatened Species Recovery Hub
Western Swamp Tortoise
(Source: Perth Zoo)

 

Can Australia Save a Rare Reptile by Moving it to a Cooler Place?

High SchoolSecondary

CriticalAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Critical and creative thinking

LiteracyAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Literacy

Ethical Understanding Australian Curriculum General Capability: Ethical Understanding

Australian Curriculum Cross Curriculum Priorities: Sustainability Priority

PhilosophyPhilosophy

Cooperative LearningCooperative Learning Activity

 

TeacherTeacher

Subject areas: Biology, Ecology, Philosophy, Ethics,

Lesson Time:
2 - 3 Lessons

Using an article from the NY Times [Can Australia Save a Rare Reptile by Moving it to a Cooler Place?], you are to get the students to read the article and carry out a Community of Inquiry with the article as the stimulus material.

NYT article found at: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/12/world/australia/assisted-colonization-tortoise.html

Local Copy of New York Times' article [Word doc]

 

WST
Western Swamp Tortoise
(Source: DCCEEW)

Map
(Source: Research Gate)

Students

1. You ar to form a circle with your chairs. Everyone is to be in the circle including the Teacher.

2. Using stimulus material
-the NY Times article, read the article by taking in turns to read out loud each paragraph.  

3. In pairs, now read at least 4 articles/websites from the Resources section below. Take notes particularly about the environment, life span, and Perth's changing climate.

4. Set up a Question Quadrant on the floor or on a whiteboard:

Question Quadrant

OR

 

Question Quadrant

5. In pairs, to come up with 8 questions - two for each quadrant about the stimulus material.

The Questions for Thinking are the hardest to come up with – but that is what we are aiming for.

6. List all the questions on the board from this 4th Quadrant "Questions for Thinking" and put the your names next to your questions.

7. Think about grouping the questions - the ones that are the same or similar - together.

8. Discussion

Start the discussion with the most asked question.

9. Follow the rules of Philosophy in Schools for the discussion as it will mean a deeper discussion for you all:

  • Only one person speaks at a time
  • Pay attention to the person who is speaking
  • Give other people a chance to speak
  • Build upon other people's ideas
  • No put-downs
    (Source: Associate Prof. Phil Cam)

10. You need to look at and use the following table to have rich, critical, creative and caring thinking:

Critical Creative Caring
give reasons
explore
disagreement
consider implications
apply criteria
weigh evidence
generate questions
raise suggestions
imagine alternatives
formulate criteria
make connections
build on ideas
listen to other's points of view
consider other's reasons
explore disagreements considerately
build on other's ideas
explore other's opinions
help to synthesise suggestions
 

11. Reflection

"Can Australia Save a Rare Reptile by Moving it to a Cooler Place?"
"Should it?" "Why?" "Why Not?"

Write up a paragraph giving your answer.

 

 

Resources to use

Websites
, Videos, Images

University of Western Australia - Article 17 May 2023

WST

The Conversation 31 January 2013

The Conversation

Testing a new place for Western Swamp Tortoises in a changing climate
https://www.facebook.com/nespthreatenedspecies/videos/510674273007414/

 
Perth Now
https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/wa/perth-zoo-helps-bring-western-swamp-tortoise-back-from-brink-of-extinction-ng-fa0ac5ac78aac7a356eae61eb0580615
Australian Geographic
Swamp tortoise: Australia’s rarest reptile makes a comeback - Australian Geographic [2012]
Western Australia Museum
https://museum.wa.gov.au/explore/articles/western-swamp-tortoise
Dept. of Water & Environmental Regulation
https://rivers.dwer.wa.gov.au/species/western-swamp-tortoise/
Threatened Species Recovery Hub: https://www.nespthreatenedspecies.edu.au/projects/assisted-colonisation-of-australia-s-rarest-reptile-the-western-swamp-turtle
Dept. of Water & Environmental Regulation
https://rivers.dwer.wa.gov.au/species/western-swamp-tortoise/

YouTube: Testing a new place for Western Swamp Tortoises in a changing climate [2020]
https://youtu.be/vrnoh3rrPHQ?si=Gf1a8zchgAF3QogV

 

Why do you think Prof. Mitchell called the WST a "Turtle"? What is the difference between a Tortoise and a Turtle?

YouTube: Saving the Western Swamp Tortoise
https://youtu.be/bVBrekD9x7I?si=bLJ7m0RWLd6jDy14

 

YouTube: The clever method a zoo uses to protect an endangered species | Discovery | Gardening Australia
https://youtu.be/FPj9C4WPHdo?si=9UZGM-NRWN3rwBek

 

 

 

 

Want to learn more about Turtles, Tortoises, Snakes and other reptiles - go to the

 Herpetologist

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