Turtle Watch

Author(s): Helen Nash

Theme: Conservation

Main Curriculum Focus
Knowledge: names and features of animals; classifications of sea creatures; the ocean as a habitat; the coral reef habitat; ocean food chains; human and physical geographical features of an island; map features and keys; compass directions;
• Skills: classification of animals; scientific enquiry; researching using books and the internet; map-making; using atlases and globes
• Understanding: how animals are affected by human actions; how people from a different culture live; how to treat animals with respect; that people may harm animals unintentionally

Inquiry Question
"Social, political, historical, environmental, critical, ethical, philosophical, spiritual
Are we responsible for animals and creatures?
• How can certain animals have cultural significance?
• Should we put human needs above animals’?
• How can heritage and tradition be preserved in the
modern world? Should it?
• What do animals need in order to survive and flourish?"

Expert Team: Turtle Watch

Client(s): The island chief and local elders

The island Chief requires the team to visit his island to establish why turtles no longer come to lay their eggs on the beach. As part of this, the team must learn about turtles and their habitats; explore the beach and wider island; persuade the local tourism board to help out and change some of its habits; educate local people about turtles and their needs; and find ways for the local people to help.


Tensions: The turtles go missing in the oceans; one can’t be tracked; beach closure due to litter causing danger; tourists refusing to leave the beach when requested; poachers trying to steal turtle eggs; a turtle is found to have eaten a plastic bag and is very ill; the local fisherman are determined to keep fishing using their nets that are trapping turtles – they need to earn a living.
Time: Present day
Location: an island in modern Polynesia

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