How Sea Turtles Can Teach Middle Schoolers About Science, Math And More

Oct 4, 2019

The sex of sea turtle hatchlings is determined by the temperature. So as it gets hotter, there are more female turtles. That trend is worrying scientists that there could eventually be too few male turtles for the species to keep reproducing.

Sea turtles offer this and other lessons on how climate change is affecting South Florida. And those lessons — explored in WLRN TV’s recent documentary, “Troubled Waters: A Turtle’s Tale” — are also useful in the classroom.

That’s why WLRN created a teacher’s guide for the documentary. In math, students could calculate the ratio of male to female hatchlings. In art, they could draw or paint scenes with sea turtles or other marine life. And in social studies, they could examine how environmental issues play out in current events.

The primary focus of the teacher’s guide is middle school science, and it’s aligned to Florida’s Next Generation Science Standards. One of the suggested activities is to create a public service announcement explaining the dangers facing sea turtles and convincing community leaders to take steps to save them.

If you’re a teacher and you want to use “Troubled Waters” in your classroom, you can view the full documentary here.

And here’s the guide: