THE DESERT TORTOISE by liuhongmei

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									          THE
DESERT TORTOISE




TEACHER’S PACKET
    2006 Caliso Learning
                     THE DESERT TORTOISE

   Integrates current overall social science and life science standards with aspects
    of Native American culture and the desert tortoise activities primarily
    focused in language arts, math, and life science.
   Lesson ideas presented and compiled with multi-CA state and DSUSD
    standards for elementary students.
   Lessons and activities can offer themed segments combined for enhancing math,
    life science, social science, and language and visual arts standards.

   It is hoped that activities in this packet help to promote the importance of the
    desert tortoise in our desert ecology along with individual responsibility,
    and respect for our protected species.

How This Packet May Be Used
The information in this packet is provided for your use as desired, as an aide to
implement curriculum components that reflect state and district standards. Lesson
activities are offered to get you started or to act as guidelines for extended lesson ideas
you may come up with to better match your personal style of teaching.

Information presented here is a compilation of information derived from original lessons
as well as the previous research of wildlife biologists, herpetologist and educators. To
aide in selected applications using this information, this packet is separated into five
sections including (I) a brief compilation of background information on the desert tortoise
and its natural history, (II) activity lessons posted in alphabetical order including a brief
description and the standards addressed by grade level for each, (III) puzzles and games
posted in alphabetical order, (IV) solutions page, and a (V) glossary of terms.

All of the information in this packet is for the intended use of educational purposes only.
Permission to reproduce any part of this packet is granted for educational purposes with
proper citing where appropriate. Reproduction of text for any use other than educational
purposes must be with written permission and at the discretion of the author(s).

I. BACKGROUND
The background information in this packet is presented as a ―quick reference‖ for your
review in preparation for teaching desert tortoise anatomy, adaptations for survival, and
learning about its natural history. Along with Caliso Learning, there are numerous
resources available on the desert tortoise including many dedicated organizations
committed to tortoise education and preservation who are willing to provide additional
materials, in-class programs and off-site field trips—all of which are ideal for further
study. The Desert Tortoise Teacher’s Packet is meant to accommodate standards-based
curriculum guidelines, promote desert tortoise study and awareness, and provide another
way to introduce your students to the value of species protection and habitat
conservation.

                                                                                              2
The desert tortoise can be considered a keystone species as population fluctuations are
noticeably represented by both positive and negative impacts on its environment. Careful
study of desert tortoise activity in relation to its environment has already proven to be a
valuable tool in monitoring the overall health of an ecosystem by learning more about its
behavior, survival, species interaction, interdependence, habitat needs, and recovery.
From this information we can better manage our natural resources and environmental
areas in an effort to instill the connection between individual responsibility and the need
to protect the natural habitats that support the species who were meant to evolve within
their wildlands successfully.

Along with desert tortoise anatomy and adaptations for survival, one of the top three
concepts we wish to address with the use of this packet is to have students understand
how recent human activity has, unfortunately, helped to push the desert tortoise into its
protected status. Prior to the escalation of distinctly human impacts on our environment,
this animal was able to adapt and survive naturally for millions of years, without
detrimental affects to its overall population. However today, environmental and, more
specifically, human induced factors affecting natural ecosystems have sped up or
disrupted these natural balances of which many species cannot adequately recover from;
or evolve quickly enough to adapt in order for their species to survive. Although there are
natural selectors that will always affect hatchling and adult tortoise survival rates, it is the
rapid pace of human activities that have most affected current populations of wild desert
tortoises, including the following:
           complete loss of habitat due to development
           destruction of habitat due to development, off-road vehicles, and habitat
            fragmentation
           raven predation affecting already fragile hatchling survivability rates. Ravens are
            not indigenous to most of the desert tortoise’s natural range, and were introduced by
            human activity, by following our landfills.
           feral dogs will attack and mutilate (but not eat) adult tortoises, whereas it is believed
            that native canines typically do not pursue adult tortoise as a source of food because
            of the energy expended.
           abuse of protected or public lands with tortoise habitat resulting in random kills or
            injuries to desert tortoises by illegal handling when a tortoise is encountered,
            shootings (using tortoises as a type of target shooting), and tortoises hit and/or
            burrows crushed from OHV’s.
           illegal collection of wild desert tortoises to keep as pets or other uses.
           release of domestic tortoises or pet tortoises from well-meaning people who
            unknowingly introduce a fatal respiratory virus carried by domestic tortoises into
            otherwise healthy wild populations. Wild desert tortoises have not developed
            immunity to the virus.

Mixing It Up With the Desert Tortoise, Desert Tortoise: Fact or Fiction, Interview With a
Desert Tortoise, Desert Tortoise Acrostic and Anagram, Tortoise Investigation, Tortoise
Math, Tortoise Math Challenge, and Tortoise Scramble are activities included in this
packet that either touch on this subject or can be used to help introduce this topic and
promote class discussion of how humans affect the environment. It would be interesting
to open a discussion contrasting ancient human relationships with the environment and
recent human impacts on the environment. Why is it so different now?


                                                                                                    3
Also included is a glossary of terms to specifically accommodate the ―Worth
Remembering…‖ activity. You will find this helpful glossary with that activity as an
important component for use as either a class review or introduction to the physical
characteristics of the desert tortoise, and how its structure is important to its survival in a
desert environment. Please review the glossary for terms that are frequently used
throughout the Desert Tortoise packet.

Finally, the following four sections are compiled from various sources as ―quick
references‖ for your review in preparing for tortoise anatomy and natural history:
Touching on Tortoise Facts, Tortoise Fast Facts, Friends of Saguaro National Park:
Fact Sheet, and Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee: Life Cycle of the Desert Tortoise.
NOTES:




                                                                                                  4
                       Touching on Tortoise Facts
          Turtles have been around for millions of years. They have changed very little over
time and are described as reptiles with a bony shell that covers their body, and no teeth.
Over time, turtles have slowly changed to survive in different environments such as salt
water, fresh water, and on land. Turtles that are strictly land-based are classified as
tortoises.
          Gopherus agassizii is more commonly known as the Desert Tortoise. Gopherus is
part of its scientific name meaning, ―burrowing.‖ They have claws used for digging and
flattened forelimbs for shoveling dirt, making them experts at burrowing.
          The Desert Tortoise is mostly an herbivore. It uses its beak to rip and tear
blossoms and stems. Tortoises get most of the water they need by eating succulent desert
plants.
          Wild tortoises have very few natural enemies yet only up
to five hatchlings out of every one hundred will survive to
adulthood. Part of it’s secret to survival lies with its shell. A
tortoise’s shell is made up of two layers: a layer of bone with an
outer layer of scutes that create the patterns we see on the backs
of tortoises.
          The shell is actually part of the animal’s body. It provides a strong armor against
predators, though it can take 6 years before a young tortoise’s shell completely hardens.
During that time the shell is flexible and leaves hatchlings with less protection against
animal attacks. But this also gives baby tortoises the ability to bend the bottom of their
shell with the top for a tighter seal when they pull inside their shells for protection. Adult
tortoises lose this flexibility as they grow older but in exchange, their shells become
completely hardened. This helps to protect adult tortoises from the claws, teeth, and
beaks of potential predators.




                                                                       2005 Caliso Learning

                                                                                            5
                            Tortoise Fast Facts
Common name: DESERT TORTOISE
Scientific name: Gopherus agassizii

Natural History
     Turtles have been around for millions of years. Some scientists believe ~220
        million years ago when turtles first appear in the fossil record (Bathel, 2000)
     Over time, turtles have slowly changed to survive in different
        environments such as salt water, fresh water, and on land.
     Turtles that are strictly land-based are called tortoises (they are a subgroup of
        ―turtles‖).
     The genus Gopherus means ―burrowing.‖
     Herbivorous (plant eater).
             Tortoises get most of the water they need by eating succulent desert
                plants.
Anatomy
The desert tortoise’s shell protects them from predators as they get older. The shell is
actually part of the animal’s body and made of two layers: bone and scutes (the pattern on
the outside).

It uses its beak to rip and tear blossoms and stems.
They have claws used for digging and flattened forelimbs for shoveling dirt, making them
experts at burrowing.

It can take 6 years before a young tortoise’s shell completely
hardens. During that time the shell is soft and hatchlings are less protected against animal
attacks. Hatchlings can bend their flexible shells shut, this may help protect them from
some curious predators or exposure.

Adult tortoises lose this soft shell as they grow older but in exchange, their shells become
completely hardened. This helps to protect adult tortoises from the claws, teeth, and
beaks of hungry predators.

Habits
   They live up to 95% of their lives in burrows underground.
   If necessary, an adult tortoise can go over a year without access to water.
   The tortoise can live in habitats where the ground temperature can reach over 130
       degrees F۫.

Status
     California state reptile
     By 1990 the desert tortoise was listed as a threatened species through both federal
       and CA state Endangered Species Acts.
     There has been a 90% decline in the numbers of the desert tortoise since 1980.




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Miscellaneous

    What’s the difference between a turtle and a tortoise?
A tortoise is a strictly land-based turtle with a high domed shell and columnar, elephant-
shaped hind legs. Tortoises go to water only to drink or soak. Tortoises do not have
webbed toes or other physical features designed for swimming.
The Bio-geography of The Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) by Kerrie Bathel, student in Geography 316, Fall 2000
http://bss.sfsu.edu/geog/bholzman/courses/Fall00Projects/tortoise.htm



         Tortoise growth rates vary and is dependent on food availability.
             o Growth rings per year can vary, again depending on growth rate of animal.
                 You can only generally determine the age of a tortoise by counting growth
                 rings. Once wild tortoises reach 20 years or older, growth rings become
                 harder to distinguish and are sometimes too worn off to try and count.
             o Sexual maturity is a function of size rather than age, approximately 7-8
                 inches mid-carapace length in females. Generally, Desert Tortoises do not
                 reach sexual maturity for 15 to 20 years (DesertUSA).

                                                               TORTOISE FAST FACTS compiled by M. (Bunn) Hedgecock 2004


NOTES:




                                                                                                                      7
                                         FACT SHEET
  Desert Tortoise                                       Gopherus agassizi

    Classification
    Kingdom                        Animalia
    Phylum                         Craniata
    Class                          Reptilia
    Order                          Testudines
    Family                         Testudinidae
    Genus                          Gopherus
    Species                        Gopherus agassizi

    Location
    Range                          Deserts of AZ, CA, NV and Mexico
    Habitat                        Rocky foothills of mountain ranges

    Size
    Weight                         8 - 12 lbs
    Length                         9 - 18 in

    Life Cycle
    Mating Season                  Summer rainy season
    Eggs                           2 - 15 (average of 6); <2" long
    Hatch                          Late September or early October
    Maturity                       15 - 20 yrs
    Lifespan                       100+ yrs

    Food Chain
    Diet                           Plants, berries, flowers
    Predators                      Babies: Coyotes, skunks, ravens, etc.
                                   Adults: Mountain lions




Fact sheet from Friends of Saguaro National Park




                                                                           8
Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee
       http://www.tortoise-tracks.org/gopherus/lifecycle.html




  LIFE CYCLE
     of the
DESERT TORTOISE




                                                                9
          MATING MAY OCCUR ANYTIME
 AFTER EMERGENCE FROM HIBERNATION IN MARCH
UNTIL THE BEGINNING OF HIBERNATION IN OCTOBER.
     MOST MATING ACTIVITY IS IN THE SPRING.




                                  BETWEEN MAY
                                  AND JULY THE
                                  FEMALE
                                  USUALLY DIGS
                                  A NEST AT A
                                  BURROW
                                  ENTRANCE OR
                                  NEAR A SHRUB.
                                  SHE
                                  CAREFULLY
                                  DEPOSITS 1-14
                                  EGGS. THE
                                  EGGS
                                  RESEMBLE
                                  PING-PONG
                                  BALLS.

                                  AFTER
                                  INCUBATING FOR
                                  70 TO 120 DAYS,
                                  THE HATCHLINGS
                                  BREAK OUT OF
                                  THE SHELL
                                  USING AN EGG
                                  TOOTH. THE
                                  YOLK SAC
                                  PROVIDES
                                  NOURISHMENT
                                  EVEN AFTER
                                  HATCHING.


                                                    10
                            HATCHLINGS ARE
                            ABOUT THE SIZE OF
                            SILVER DOLLARS. THEIR
                            SHELLS ARE SOFT AND
                            COMPOSED MOSTLY OF
                            SCUTES. FEMALE
                            TORTOISES DO NOT
                            PROVIDE CARE FOR
                            THEIR YOUNG. ONLY 1
                            TO 5 OUT OF EVERY 100
                            HATCHLINGS WILL
                            SURVIVE TO
                            ADULTHOOD.




GROWTH IS SLOW IN THE WILD. AS A TORTOISE GROWS,
BONE DEVELOPS UNDER THE LAYER OF SCUTES. BY THE
TIME THE TORTOISE IS 5 YEARS OLD THE BONE IS WELL
 DEVELOPED AND THE SHELL IS HARD. TORTOISES MAY
          LIVE TO BE 60 TO 100 YEARS OLD.




                                                    11
                    THE TORTOISE SHELL HAS TWO LAYERS
                    WITH A LAYER OF SCUTES OVER A LAYER
                    OF BONE. IN THE WILD SEXUAL MATURITY
                    IS REACHED BETWEEN 14-20 YEARS.




    CL Teaching Tool:

The life cycle cards can be cut out and laminated, affixed with Velcro
on the back of each card, and used as a class teaching tool.

Using a felt board, place ―Life Cycle of the Desert Tortoise‖ title, and
include the male/female anatomy card in the center (or have students
place these). Choose six students to read the information on a card
and come up to place the card in the order shown (or have another
student come up to place a card). Cards should end up placed
around the ―anatomy‖ center card. Have students share their favorite
fact for review and/or ask questions from the board for class
discussion.

NOTES:




                                                                      12
                 HARD COPIES FOR TRANSPARENCIES
      COLOR PHOTO: TORTOISE ANATOMY
      LIFE CYCLE OF THE DESERT TORTOISE

II. ACTIVITY LESSONS (alphabetical order) / STANDARDS MET

Below are the activity lessons with curriculum standards met by grade. Unless the entire
assignment focuses on a particular standard, only grades with at least three or more
standards met per lesson are posted here. However, many of the lessons will overlap for
other grades and can be easily adjusted to accommodate your students’ interests and skill.

      13 MOONS
       Native American culture, the tortoise, reading, and art are combined in this
       activity based on the popular story, ―Thirteen Moons on Turtle’s Back‖ by J.
       Bruchac and J. London. This activity has several additional components in Visual
       Arts that are not listed here.

       3rd GRADE
       LA-Literary Response and Analysis:
              3.1-2 Distinguish common forms of literature; comprehend basic plots of
                     folktales, legends from around the world.
              3.4-5 Determine underlying theme or message in fiction; recognize
                     similar sounds and rhythmic patterns in a selection.
       History and Social Science:
              3.2.1 Describe identities, religious beliefs, customs, and folklore
                     traditions.
              3.2.2 Discuss ways in which physical geography influenced local Indian
                     nations adapted to the natural environment.

       5th GRADE
       LA- Reading:
              1.5    Understand and explain figurative and metaphorical use of words
                     in context.
       History and Social Science:
              5.1-2 Describe varied customs and folklore traditions.

      AS A MATTER OF FACT
       An exercise in determining if statements are fact, inference, or opinion.

       5th GRADE
       LA-Reading Comprehension:
             2.4-5 Draw inferences, conclusions about text and support them with
                    textual evidence or prior knowledge; distinguish facts, inferences
                    and opinions in text.




                                                                                       13
   INTERVIEW WITH A DESERT TORTOISE
    Reading and comprehension, writing in the style of an interview.

    3rd GRADE
    LA-Written and Oral English Language Conventions:
           1.1    Understand and use correct declarative, interrogative sentences in
                  writing and speaking.
           1.3    Identify and use past, present, and future verb tenses properly.
    LA-Listening and Speaking:
           1.1    Retell, paraphrase and explain what has been said by a speaker.
           1.3    Respond to questions with appropriate elaborations.
           1.11 Distinguish between the speaker’s opinions and verifiable facts.

    6th GRADE
    LA-Writing:
          1.1    Choose the form of writing that best suits intended purpose.
          1.2a-b Engage reader and state a clear purpose; develop the topic with
                 supporting details.

    7th GRADE
    LA-Writing Applications:
          2.1a-c Write fictional or autobiographical narratives; develop a point of
                 view; setting; use a range of appropriate strategies such as
                 dialogue.

   MEASURING the DESERT TORTOISE
    An exercise in comparing and measuring items found in the classroom that match
    up to 10 inches in length to that of different tortoise ages and sizes.

    1st GRADE
    Measurement and Geometry:
          1.1    Compare length or two or more objects by using direct comparison
                 or a nonstandard unit.

    2nd GRADE
    Measurement and Geometry:
          1.1    Measure the length of objects by repeating a nonstandard or
                 standard unit.
          1.3    Measure the length of an object to the nearest inch or centimeter.

    3rd GRADE
    Measurement and Geometry:
          1.1    Choose appropriate tools and units, estimate and measure length of
                 given objects.




                                                                                      14
   MEASURING TORTOISE SPEED
    Adding up measured distances.

    1st GRADE
    Measurement and Geometry:
          1.1    Compare length or two or more objects by using direct comparison
                 or a nonstandard unit.

    2nd GRADE
    Measurement and Geometry:
          1.1    Measure the length of objects by repeating a nonstandard or
                 standard unit.
          1.3    Measure the length of an object to the nearest inch or centimeter.

    3rd GRADE
    Measurement and Geometry:
          1.1    Choose appropriate tools and units, estimate and measure length of
                 given objects.

   MIXING IT UP WITH THE DESERT TORTOISE
    Unscrambling a given series of words into correct sentences related to human
    impacts on the desert tortoise.

    3rd GRADE
    LA-Written and Oral English Language Conventions:
          1.1-2 Understand and use complete and correct sentences; identify
                  subjects, verbs in agreement and identify/use pronouns, adjectives
                  correctly.
          1.4     Identify and use subjects and verbs correctly.

    4th GRADE
    LA-Written and Oral English Language Conventions:
          1.1     Use simple and compound sentences in writing and speaking.

   TORTOISE!
    Students follow oral directions; for kindergarten and first grade.

    Kindergarten/1st GRADE
    LA-Listening and Speaking Strategies:
           1.1    Listen attentively.
           1.3    Follow simple two-step directions.

   TORTOISE ACROSTIC and ANAGRAM
    Applying tortoise information in the forms of an acrostic poem or word anagram.

    2nd GRADE
    LA-Literary Response and Analysis:
           3.4    Identify the use of rhythm and rhyme, and alliteration in poetry.

                                                                                      15
    3rd GRADE
    LA-Literary Response and Analysis:
           3.1    Distinguish common forms of literature such as poetry.
           3.4    Determine underlying message in poetry.

    6th GRADE
    LA-Writing:
          1.2      Choose the form of writing that best suits intended purpose.
          1.2a     Engage reader and state a clear purpose.

   THE TORTOISE and THE HARE
    Combines a brief reading with math skills practicing greater than/less than signs.

    1st GRADE
    Number Sense:
          1.2    Compare and order whole numbers by using less than, equal to, or
                 greater than (<, =, >) symbols.

    2nd GRADE
    Number Sense:
            1.3     Compare and order whole numbers by using less than, equal to, or
                    greater than (<, =, >) symbols.
    Statistics, Data Analysis, and Probability:
            1.3     Identify features of data sets.

    3rd GRADE
    Algebra and Functions:
           1.3   Support appropriate relational symbols to make an expression true.
    Mathematical Reasoning:
           2.3   Use a variety of symbols and tables to explain mathematical
                 reasoning.

   LIFE SCIENCE LAB: TORTOISE INVESTIGATION
    Hands-on lab to determine water availability in wild tortoise food—plants—and
    how it relates to tortoise population in a particular area.

    4th GRADE
    Life Sciences:
            2a-b Students know plants are the primary source of matter and energy
                   entering most food chains; students know producers/consumers are
                   related in food chains and may compete for other resources in the
                   ecosystem.
            3a-c Characterize ecosystems by the living components; plants/animals
                   survive well, less well, or not at all in some environments; animals
                   depend on plants for food and shelter.
    Investigation and Experimentation:
            6b-d Measure and estimate the weight or volume of objects; formulate
                   and justify predictions based on cause and effect; conduct multiple

                                                                                     16
              trials to test a prediction and draw conclusions; construct and
              interpret graphs from measurements.

      6f     Follow a set of written instructions for a scientific investigation.
Mathematical Reasoning:
      1.1-2 Analyze problems by identifying relationships between relevant
             information, sequencing, and observing patterns; determine when
             and how to break a problem into simpler parts.
      2.1-3 Use estimation to verify reasonableness of calculated results; apply
             strategies from simpler problems to more complex ones; use a
             variety of methods to explain reasoning.
      2.5-6 Indicate relative advantages of exact and approximate solutions
             and give answers to a specified degree of accuracy; make precise
             calculations and check the validity of results.
      3.1-3 Evaluate the reasonableness of a solution; demonstrate conceptual
             understanding or derivation by solving a similar problem; develop
             generalizations of results and apply to other circumstances.

5th GRADE
Algebra and Functions:
        1.2    Evaluate simple algebraic expressions in one variable by
               substitution.
Mathematical Reasoning:
        1.1-2 Identify problems by analyzing relationships between relevance,
               sequencing, patterns; determine when and how to break a problem
               into smaller parts.
        2.1    Use estimation to verify reasonableness of a calculated problem.
        2.6    Make precise calculations and verify validity.
        3.1    Evaluate the reasonableness of a solution.
        3.3    Develop generalizations of results and apply to other
               circumstances.
Investigation and Experimentation:
        6d-f Identify dependent and controlled variables in an investigation;
               explain how variable can be used to collect information to answer
               questions within investigation; select appropriate tools and make
               quantitative observations.
        6h-i Draw conclusion from scientific evidence and indicate where
               further information is needed; write a complete report of
               investigation.

6th GRADE
Statistics, Data Analysis, and Probability:
        3.2     Use data to estimate the probability of future events.
Mathematical Reasoning:
        1.2-3 justify reasoning based on general description of question or
                problem posed; determine when and how to break a problem into
                smaller parts.
        3.1     Evaluate the reasonableness of a solution.
        3.3     Develop generalizations of results and apply to other
                circumstances.
                                                                             17
    Ecology:
          5a-c    Energy entering ecosystems including the transfer between
                  organisms through food webs; matter transferred over time within

            food web and the physical environment; populations of organisms can be
                   categorized by their functions within an ecosystem.
            5e     Students know the number of organisms an ecosystem can support
                   depends on available resources.
    Investigation and Experimentation:
            7b     Select appropriate tools and make quantitative observations.
            7d-e Communicate steps/results in written report; recognized whether
                   evidence is consistent with a proposed explanation.

   TORTOISE MATH
    Seven addition and subtraction problems.

    1st GRADE
    Number Sense:
           2.1-2 Know addition/subtraction facts; use inverse relationship between
                 addition/subtraction to solve problems.
           2.5-6 Show meaning of addition/subtraction; solve addition and
                 subtraction problems with one and two digit numbers.
    Algebra and Functions:
           1.2   Understand the meaning of the symbols +, =, -

   TORTOISE MATH CHALLENGE
    Eight multi-answer word problems covering addition/subtraction series,
    multiplication, fractions, division, and building of simple equations.

    3rd GRADE
    Number Sense:
           2.1-5 Find sum or difference of two whole numbers; memorize
                 multiplication table for numbers between 1 and 10; use the inverse
                 relationship of multiplication and division to compute and check
                 results; solve simple problems using multiplication of multi-digit
                 numbers by and/or divided by one-digit numbers;
           2.8   Solve problems that require two or more of the skills mentioned
                 above.
           3.2   Add and subtract simple fractions.
    Algebra and Functions:
           1.1-4 Identify relationships in the form of mathematical expressions,
                 equations, inequalities; solve problems involving numeric
                 equations or inequalities; select appropriate operational and
                 relational symbols to make an expression true; express simple unit
                 conversions in symbolic form.
           2.1-2 Solve simple problems involving a functional relationship between
                 two quantities; extend and recognize a linear pattern by its rules.



                                                                                  18
   TORTOISE SCRAMBLE
    Reading and comprehension word scramble on the topic of tortoise natural
    history.

    3rd GRADE
    LA-Word Analysis, fluency, and systematic vocabulary development:
          1.2-3 Decode regular and multisyllabic words; read aloud narrative
                 fluently.
          1.6-8 Use sentence and word context to find the meaning of unknown
                 words; use a dictionary; use knowledge of prefixes to determine
                 word meaning.
    LA-Reading and Comprehension:
          2.3    Demonstrate comprehension by identifying answers in the text.

    4th GRADE
    LA-Word Analysis, fluency, and systematic vocabulary development:
          1.1-4 Read aloud narrative fluently; apply knowledge of word origins,
                 etc. to determine meaning of words/phrases; use knowledge of root
                 words; use common roots and affixes to analyze meaning of
                 complex words.
    LA-Reading and Comprehension:
          2.1-3 Identify structure patterns in informational text to strengthen
                 comprehension; use appropriate strategies when reading for
                 different purposes; make predictions about text by using prior
                 knowledge and ideas presented in text itself.

    5th GRADE
    LA-Word Analysis, fluency, and systematic vocabulary development:
          1.1-4 Read aloud text fluently; use word origins to determine word
                meaning; understand frequently used synonyms, antonyms; know
                abstract, roots, and affixes to analyze meaning of complex words.

   WORTH REMEMBERING…
    A tortoise twist on the classic memory game of Concentration, combined with the
    tortoise anatomy transparency and expanded as part lesson activity ideal for
    multi-station work for tortoise introductory information or review.

    1st GRADE
    Life Sciences:
            2a-d Students know animals inhabit different environments and have
                   external features that help them thrive; animals need water, food;
                   animals eat plants; infer what animals eat from the shapes of their
                   teeth.

    3rd GRADE
    Life Sciences:
            3a-e Students know animals have structures that serve different
                   functions in growth, survival, and reproduction; know samples of
                   diverse life forms in different environments such as deserts; living
                                                                                      19
                       things cause changes in the environment in which they live, some
                       are detrimental, some beneficial; when environment changes, some
                       animals survive, other die or move to new locations; some kinds of
                       organisms that once lived on Earth resemble others alive today.


        All lesson activity standards listed are based on CDE state standards
                   and DSUSD curriculum content standards, 2005


III. PUZZLES and GAMES (alphabetical order)
   DESERT TORTOISE CROSSING
    Test your tortoise knowledge by completing this anatomy-based crossword.

   DESERT TORTOISE: FACT OR FICTION?
    Foster teamwork and a little friendly competition with a rousing ―filler activity‖ of
    tortoise information aimed to either review or introduce facts and myths associated
    with the desert tortoise.

   DESERT TORTOISE JIGSAW
    Use as either an individual activity by creating a personal take-home puzzle or a
    chance to share tortoise information piece by piece as a class.

   DESERT TORTOISE COLORING PAGE: GROWTH
    Identifying skeleton, growth rings, scutes, and carapace.

   DESERT TORTOISE COLORING PAGE: HIBERNATION
    Distribution, burrows, and hibernation.

   DESERT TORTOISE: CONNECT the DOTS

   HOW MANY WORDS ARE IN A TORTOISE?
    What does a tortoise have to say? Find out just how many words can be made out of
    the letters ―Desert Tortoise.‖

   LITTLE SURVIVORS: MAZE
    Help hatchlings dig a path out.

   SEARCHING FOR THE DESERT TORTOISE
    Complete this word search to discover the hidden message in the left over letters and
    how the ancient Cahuilla used the desert tortoise.

   WORTH REMEMBERING…
    A tortoise twist on the classic memory game of Concentration. Whether used as
    lesson activity or game, it remains a favorite filler or station activity for review.



                                                                                            20
                 CARAPACE                                         SCUTES

                                                                                                       BEAK




                                                                                                         GULAR
                                                                                                         HORN ♂
                                                                  SCALES
                                           PLASTRON



Photo credit: Mark Bratton, Desert Tortoise, Gopherus agassizii

                                                                                                               CLAWS

                                                                                             TAIL
                                                                      Photo credit: Mir Velten, Desert Tortoise, August 2003




                                                                                                                 21
http://www.tortoise-tracks.org/gopherus/lifecycle.html
Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee




                                             The tortoise shell has two
                                             layers with a layer
                                             of scutes over a
                                             layer of bone. In
                                             the wild sexual
                                             maturity is reached
                                             between 14 – 20
                                             years.


     Growth is slow in the wild.                                                    Mating may occur anytime after
     As a tortoise grows, bone                                                      emergence from hibernation in
   develops under the layer of                                                      March until the beginning of
   scutes. By the time the tortoise                                                 hibernation in October. Most
   is 5 years old the bone is well
   developed and the shell is                 LIFE CYCLE of the                     mating activity is in the spring.

   hard. Tortoises may live to
        be 60 to 100 years old.
                                              Desert Tortoise


                                                                                             Between May and July the
                                                                                             female usually digs a nest
                                                                                             at a burrow entrance or
                                                                                             near a shrub. She carefully
                                                                                             deposits 1 to 14 eggs. The
 Hatchlings are about the size                                                               eggs resemble ping-pong
 of silver dollars. Their shells                                                             balls.
 are soft and composed mostly
 of scutes. Females tortoises do
 not provide care for their young.
    Only 1 to 5 out of every 100
     hatchlings will survive to
       adulthood.


                                                             After incubating for
                                                             70 to 120 days, the
                                                             hatchlings break out
                                                             of the shell using an egg
                                                             tooth. The yolk sac provides
                                                             nourishment even after
                                                             hatching.



                                               Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee




                                                                                                            22
 LESSON
ACTIVITIES
(in alphabetical order)




                          23
                                      13 MOONS
Pre-activity Enhancement:
The book, “Thirteen Moons on Turtle’s Back” by Joseph Bruchac and Jonathan London tells the
seasonal stories from thirteen different tribes explaining each of the full moons in the native, 13-
month calendar. Reading this book as a class provides an engaging way of studying meaningful
cultural legends that explain how several Native American groups interpret the seasonal cycles
of the moon represented on the back of the turtle/tortoise.

Activity:
Students will make their own tortoise showing the number of moons and the number of days
between new moons using a tortoise cut out and paste, and button-moons.

Background:
Native American cultures throughout North America recognized the seasonal cycles of
nature, agriculture, and hunting through 28-day cycles, yielding a thirteen month year (with
one day for a renewal ceremony to equal 365 days).

There are 13 large scutes on the turtle’s back and there can be 13 moons each year. These
thirteen moons are represented by the large scales or scutes on the backs of turtle family
species found in all territories of North American Natives, including the Desert Tortoise.

Nearly every group of Native Americans has names for the thirteen moons, including their
own significant stories to go with each new moon. The names of the moons and the cultural
narratives that accompany them vary between groups, but each is descriptive of the season in
which the new moon appears, and all share the unifying concept of living in balance with
nature.

Materials needed:
   Numbered scute illustration to show students (as an overhead, or copies to each
      student—hard copy provided)
   Print, on heavy paper or card stock, enough copies of the ―cut and paste turtle‖ for
      each student (hard copy provided—template from: rootsweb.com/ ~mosmd/turtle.jpg)
   Buttons (recycled, all different kinds to represent different moons), enough for each
      student to have 13 per turtle/tortoise
   Glue and Scotch tape
   Scissors
   Colored pencils or crayons/markers

Directions:
    Color in tortoise, follow directions for cut and paste turtle
    Finish by selecting 13 different button-moons to glue on to each large scute.




                                               Desert Tortoise Teacher’s Packet, Caliso Learning, 2005

                                                                                                   24
25
Numbered scute illustration: rootsweb.com/ ~mosmd/turtle.jpg




                                                               26
                          AS A MATTER OF FACT

             The jackrabbit is one of the fastest animals in the desert. Its survival
relies partly on its ability for quick escapes with speeds up to 35 miles per hour. On
the other hand, with an average speed of 20 feet per minute, how does the slow-
moving desert tortoise survive? The secret is in its shell. A tortoise’s shell is made up
of two layers: a layer of bone with an outer layer of scutes, which create the patterns
we see on tortoise shells. The shell is actually part of the animal’s body. It provides a
strong armor against predators, though it can take 6 years before a young tortoise’s
shell completely hardens. During that time the shell is flexible. This gives baby
tortoises the ability to bend the bottom of their shell with the top for a tighter seal
when they pull inside their shells for protection. Adult tortoises lose this flexibility as
they grow older but in exchange, their shells become completely hardened. This helps
to protect adult tortoises from the claws, teeth, and beaks of potential predators.


   Directions: Read the information then determine which of the following statements
   are fact (accepted as true information), inference (a reasonable conclusion from
   evidence), or opinion (a belief without positive proof) by circling your answer.


      1.     A tortoise’s shell is part of its body.
                                          FACT                 INFERENCE                     OPINION
      2.     The shell of the desert tortoise protects it from everything.
                                          FACT                 INFERENCE                     OPINION
      3.     Hatchlings (baby tortoises) have soft shells.
                                          FACT                 INFERENCE                     OPINION
      4.     The desert tortoise is the most adapted reptile in the desert.
                                          FACT                 INFERENCE                     OPINION
      5.     Unlike the desert tortoise, jackrabbits rely on speed for their survival.
                                          FACT                 INFERENCE                     OPINION

                                    M. (Bunn) Hedgecock for PSDM, 2002; revised 2005 M. Hedgecock, Caliso Learning
                                                                                                              27
    Interview With A Desert Tortoise
Pass out copies of “Interview With A Desert Tortoise” (hard copy
provided). Have students read the interview and discuss the information
in preparation for writing their own interview.
                           COMPREHENSION
 Do tortoises live in the ocean?
 Where do tortoises find water in the desert?
 How does it escape the heat?
 What is the genus? What does it mean?
 What sources would you go to in order to get more information
   about this animal?
                           ACTIVITY LESSON
Students will write and share their own interview (working in pairs or
individually). Have class brainstorm information that they would like to
know about the desert tortoise or that they find most interesting—
protection status, reproduction, anatomy, ancient humans and the
tortoise, etc. They will research their chosen tortoise topic for their
interview. Discuss the difference between yes/no and open-ended
questions. Have each student (or pair) for-mulate three to five questions
with answers. Invite student discussion with questions to get them started:
 Are the interview questions “yes/no,” or “open-ended?”
      o How does question style affect the interview flow or type of
         interview?
 What information do you wish the interviewer would have added?
 Concentrate on the answers given by Gopherus.
      o What follow-up questions would you ask Gopherus?
      o How would Gopherus respond?
                                                               2005 Caliso Learning
                                                                               28
            Interview With A Desert Tortoise
Gopherus agassizii, the Desert Tortoise, is proving that slow and steady pays off. With an average
speed of 20 feet per minute, this reptile knows how to stop and smell the flowers. We caught up
with our state reptile for this interview and began by asking a little bit about its past…


Gopherus: Well, I haven’t changed much over the past millions of years—of
course turtles have slowly changed over time to survive in specific environments like
salt water, fresh water, and on land.
CL: Where do you call home now?
Gopherus: Land. In fact, turtles that are strictly land based are called
       tortoises, which is part of my name.
CL: You mentioned your name, “Tortoise.” Your genus, “Gopherus” is
       unusual, what does it mean?
Gopherus: It means “burrowing” tortoise. I have claws for digging and
flattened forelimbs for shoveling dirt. One of my strongest talents is burrowing to
escape desert temperatures.
CL: You’ve been around a long time, how do you survive in the desert,
       where do you find water?
Gopherus: I avoid the hottest part of the day. I also get most of my water by
eating succulent desert plants. When I drink after a rain, I can store up to a cup of
water in my bladder. And I burrow.
CL: Where can your fans find out more about you?
Gopherus: You can find out more about me by visiting places like Joshua
Tree National Park, The Living Desert, or you can read about my life in books
about desert tortoises found in your school library, or type in “desert tortoise” on-
line to discover a lot of interesting facts about me.



                                  M. Bunn-Hedgecock, 2003 PSDM for L.A. Times, revised by M. Hedgecock, 2005 Caliso Learning

                                                                                                               29
Name _______________________

                  Measuring the Desert Tortoise
Use a ruler to measure items in your classroom that are about the same length
as a tortoise shell—as a hatchling, at 5 years old, and at 15 years old. Write
down the items that you find in the chart below.

                 | 5 YEARS OLD – 4 inches | 15 YEARS OLD – 10 inches
HATCHLING – 1 ½ inches
________________|_______________|________________
________________|_______________|________________
________________|_______________|________________
________________|_______________|________________
________________|_______________|________________
________________|_______________|________________
________________|_______________|________________
________________|_______________|________________
________________|_______________|________________
________________|_______________|________________
________________|_______________|________________
________________|_______________|________________
________________|_______________|________________
________________|_______________|________________
________________|_______________|________________
________________|_______________|________________
________________|_______________|________________
________________|_______________|________________
________________|_______________|________________
________________|_______________|________________
________________|_______________|________________


                                                    From ―Measuring the Desert Tortoise,‖ Tortoise Terrace:
                   http://www.lewiscenter.org/users/mhuffine/subprojects/tortoise_terrace/tort_terr_curric.php


                                                                                                  30
Measuring Tortoise Speed                       Name       _______________________


If each tortoise travels at the same speed, which one will find the juicy
cactus first? (Hint: you’ll have to measure the lines)


1.                                                  2.




       3.                                                4.



                                                               2005 Caliso Learning
                                                                                31
Help! A curious, wild dog was exploring in the desert when he played with these
sentences and left them out of order. These are tough!
Directions: Unscramble the words to make a complete sentence. Be sure to add correct
punctuation.
       Example:        pull tortoise is when a into frightened it will shell its
                       When a tortoise is frightened, it will pull into its shell.

1.     tortoise development habitat has desert threatened

________________________________________________________________________

2.     feral severely dogs tortoises by injure male on their chewing horn gular

________________________________________________________________________

3.     off-road fragmented development vehicles and to habitat lands lead destruction

________________________________________________________________________

4.     human raven have with landfills the spread populations help of expansion and

________________________________________________________________________

5.     consume habitat hatchlings in ravens can hundreds of tortoise desert

________________________________________________________________________

6.     and crush off-road burrows vehicles can tortoises tortoise

________________________________________________________________________

7.     it is a wild to home illegal tortoise for a take pet desert

________________________________________________________________________

8.     tortoises respiratory a captive that virus carry wild tortoises kill can

________________________________________________________________________

9.     released be pet can wild the adopted tortoises but into never

________________________________________________________________________

                                              The Desert Tortoise Teacher’s Packet, 2005 Caliso Learning
                                                                                                    32
                         TORTOISE!
Give a copy of the picture provided to each of your
students. Read the following statements followed by
the italicized directions for students to follow in their
pictures. Follow along or check as a class using a
transparency of the same picture.

TORTOISES HAVE A SHELL. FIND THE BIG TORTOISE.

1.   Mark an “X” on its shell.

TORTOISES EAT PLANTS.

2.   Draw a line from the big tortoise to the flower.

BABY TORTOISES HATCH FROM EGGS.

3.   Count the eggs. There are    …………      eggs.

4.   Circle the baby tortoise.

TORTOISE SLEEP BELOW THE GROUND IN BURROWS.

5.   Draw a line from the big tortoise to its burrow.




                        Desert Tortoise Teacher’s Packet, 2005 Caliso Learning



                                                                           33
2005 Caliso Learning

           34
                      The Tortoise and the Hare
The jackrabbit runs fast. Who can catch it? The desert tortoise walks slow.
How safe is it? A hard shell keeps the desert tortoise safe. The tortoise is a
reptile with a shell. The shell is hardened by bone. It is part of the animal’s
body. The shell gets very hard as the tortoise grows up. A tortoise is safe
from the claws, teeth and beaks of animals that try to grab it. Baby tortoises
do not have a hard shell. Their shell can bend like your fingernail. After
about five years old, a tortoise’s shell grows hard. Can you name another
animal that has a shell?
                           Animal Speeds In Tortoise Habitat:

                     Jackrabbit                         35 mph
                     Coyote                             30 mph, up to
                                                        40 mph (short distances)
                     Human                              27 mph
                     Average dog                        19 mph
                     Roadrunner                         15 mph
                     Red Racer snake                    3.4 mph
                     Desert Tortoise                    .23 mph
                     Snail                              .03 mph


An animal’s speed (or pace) means how fast it can move. Look at the list
above and circle the correct sign in the sentence, greater than (>) or less
than (<):
1.    A roadrunner’s speed is           >       <    the speed of the desert tortoise.
2.    A jackrabbit’s speed is       >       <       the speed of a coyote.
3.    A snail’s speed is      >     <       the speed of the red racer snake.
4.    The average dog’s speed is            >       <      a roadrunner.
5.    The desert tortoise’s pace is          >       <      a snail’s pace.
                                                                          2003 PSDM Bunn-Hedgecock


                                                                                           35
Tortoise Investigation:
How much water can a Desert Tortoise eat in a day?
The Desert Tortoise is a well adapted animal usually associated with hot, arid
environments. Physical adaptations and instinctual behavior allow it to survive in
an environment with little water and extreme temperatures. For example, its
scaly, reptilian skin helps to keep moisture inside its body. During a rain, desert
tortoises will dig depressions in the ground to collect fresh water for drinking. An
adult tortoise can store about a cup of water in its bladder to survive hibernation.

Desert tortoises may drink up to 40% of their weight in water per day when it is
available. Tortoises can go several days without drinking water—in fact these
herbivores get much of their water from the plants they eat.

How much plant matter must a Desert Tortoise eat in order to consume this
much water?
   Select some desert plants (research which ones desert tortoises
     like to eat) and weigh them while they are fresh to determine
     how much water is in the plant.
   Dry the plants and re-weigh them.
   You may now calculate the difference of how much
     water weight is in the plant.
   Weigh a desert tortoise (or research the average weight
     for a male or female adult tortoise) and calculate:
         o How much water it might consume in a day.
         o How much it must eat to provide sufficient water
             for survival.
Further questions for discussion:
    How many grams of plant material must your tortoise eat to get enough of
      its daily water?
    What type of plants might a tortoise get more water from?
    Do different parts of a plant offer more water (blossom, leaves, stem,
      roots)?
    How can scientist use this information to determine how many individual
      tortoises can survive in a particular area?
(Adapted from http://www.usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam/educate/hoovered.pdf from Tortoise Terrace at
http://kuhn.lewiscenter.org/~mhuffine/subprojects/tortoise_terrace/tort_terr_curric.php)




                                                          The Desert Tortoise Teacher’s Packet, 2005 Caliso Learning




                                                                                                                36
                        Tortoise Math

1.     2 tortoises                         2.         3 flowers
     + 5 baby tortoises                             - 1 eaten flower
     ------                                         ------
     =      tortoises                               =      flowers



3.     4 burrows                           4.         10 baby tortoises
     - 2 crushed burrows                            + 3 baby tortoises
     ------                                         ------
     =      burrows                                 =      baby tortoises



5.   You find 3 tortoise burrows, how many tortoises live there?
             If 1 tortoise = 1 burrow
           Then ____ tortoises = 3 burrows

     Answer: _____



6.   A hungry tortoise sees 8 plants. It eats 7 of them. How many plants
     are left?
                                 8 plants
                              - 7 plants
                              ------
                              =      plant



7.   A tortoise lays 8 eggs. 4 eggs are eaten by a snake. How many eggs
     are left?
                              8 eggs
                           - 4 eggs
                           ------
                           =      eggs
                                           2002 M. Bunn-Hedgecock PSDM, revised 2005 Caliso Learning

                                                                                        37
           TORTOISE MATH CHALLENGE
Directions: Read each question carefully. Use the information provided to
answer the following questions.

1.    A tortoise ate 3 cactus fruit that weighed 7 grams each. How many
      grams of fruit did it consume?




2.    A desert tortoise can move at a speed of 20 feet per minute.
      a.    How many feet will it travel in 3 minutes?




      b.    How long will it take the same tortoise to travel 100 feet?




3.    It is believed that only 5 out of 100 hatchlings (baby tortoises) survive
      to adulthood. What is the fraction for this survival rate?




4.    You are tracking many egg-carrying female tortoises for a tortoise
      recovery program. At the end of your study, you record a total of 300
      offspring (or hatchlings). If 5/100 survive, how many of these
      hatchlings should live to adulthood?




5.    Out of one clutch of 8 eggs: 1 egg is eaten by a snake, 3 are eaten by a
      badger.

      a.    How many eggs are left?

                                                                             38
     b.    What fraction of eggs are left?



     c.    Oh no! Ravens picked up two of your newly hatched tortoises,
           subtract 2 hatchlings from answer 5a. How many hatchlings are
           left now?


6.   Female tortoises can begin laying eggs when they reach anywhere
     from 10–20 years of age. What is the average age a female tortoise
     can begin laying eggs?




7.   A female tortoise may lay up to 3 clutches of eggs a year. The average
     number of eggs in a desert tortoise clutch is 8. Using your answer
     from #6, how many eggs could an adult female tortoise lay in one
     year?




8.   How many clutches could a female tortoise lay in the first 60 years of
     her life? Hint: Your calculations should subtract the average age of
     reproduction for an adult desert tortoise—your answer from number 6.
     a.    How many total eggs?




     b.    How many of her hatchlings (her total eggs) will survive to
           adulthood?




                                      2002 M. Bunn-Hedgecock PSDM, revised 2005 Caliso Learning




                                                                                           39
                              TORTOISE SCRAMBLE


Materials:
   Overhead projector
   Transparency of Tortoise Scramble info. page (hard copy provided)
   Student copies of the worksheet (hard copy provided)

Make a transparency copy (or provide student copies) of the Tortoise
Scramble information page. Pass out the worksheet to students. Go over
the brief natural history information on the overhead with discussion
questions to invite student participation.
Some questions to consider:
       What’s your favorite fact about tortoises from the first paragraph?
       Do tortoises use teeth to break through plant material?
       Are tortoises mammals, amphibians, reptiles, or arachnids?
       Is the desert tortoise an herbivore or carnivore?
       If water is not available, how do tortoises get their water?
       What is the ratio of hatchling survival?
       What bird mentioned is affecting juvenile tortoise populations?
       How can you tell a male tortoise from a female?


Have students complete the worksheet after your tortoise talk.


*NOTE on suffocation mentioned in the lesson: tortoise lungs are positioned “on top,”
just under the shell. When they are upside down, the rest of their organs push down
onto their lungs, making it hard to breathe, therefore a tortoise may eventually suffocate
if left on its back.




                                                                      2005 Caliso Learning
                                                                                    40
              TORTOISE SCRAMBLE
Turtles have been around for millions of years. They have changed very
little over time and are described as reptiles with a bony shell that covers
their body, and no teeth. A layer of scutes creates the pattern on their
shell. Over time, turtles have slowly changed to survive in different
environments such as salt water, fresh water, and on land. Turtles that are
strictly land-based are classified as tortoises.


Gopherus agassizii is more commonly known as the Desert Tortoise.
Gopherus is part of its scientific name meaning, ―burrowing.‖ They have
claws used for digging and flattened forelimbs for shoveling dirt, making
them experts at burrowing.


The Desert Tortoise is mostly an herbivore. It uses its beak to rip and tear
blossoms and stems. Tortoises get most of the water they need by eating
succulent desert plants.


Wild tortoises have very few natural enemies yet only up to five hatchlings
out of every one hundred will survive to adulthood. Young tortoises are
vulnerable to ravens that can peck through their soft shells and eat them.
Adult tortoises often fall prey to wild dogs. Males can be flipped over by
other males and die from exposure or suffocation. Adult males are quickly
identified by a concave plastron (the bottom part of their shell) and also by
an extended gular horn (under the chin) that is used to fight rival males.




                                                             2005 Caliso Learning
                                                                           41
                                            Name: ________________________



 TORTOISE SCRAMBLE WORKSHEET
Directions: Unscramble the bold-typed words above to fit in the following
sentences.

1.    All ____________ (ilpteres) with shells are turtles. Tortoises are
      land-based turtles.

2.    The shell is actually a part of a tortoise’s body. It is made up of
      two layers, a layer of ____________ (ecsuts) over a layer of
      bone.

3.    Gopherus agassizzii is the scientific name for the
      ____________ ____________ (eserdt isrotote).

4.    The genus, Gopherus, means ____________ (rowiburng)
      tortoise.

5.    The tortoise is primarily an ____________ (biovrhere), or a
      plant eater.

6.    The desert tortoise gets most of the ____________ (tawer) it
      needs from the plants it eats.

7.    Baby tortoises are vulnerable to ____________ (avern) attacks
      because their shells do not completely harden until they are 6
      to 8 years of age.

8.    Adult tortoises are sometimes vulnerable to predatory
      ____________ (diwl dsgo), especially near homes.

9.    Male tortoises have a concave ____________ (asonpltr) that
      allows mating. They have a longer, upturned ___________
      (ralug) horn that they use for fighting rival males.




                                                            2005 Caliso Learning
                                                                          42
               WORTH REMEMBERING…
Background:
Use a transparency of the desert tortoise with labeled features on the
overhead projector to review anatomy and discuss natural history of the
desert tortoise with your students. Can be used as a class activity or a game.
Materials:
   Transparency of desert tortoise with labeled features (hard copy
      provided)
   Have a copy of the glossary handy for class activity
   Match card sets of picture/illustration (provided)
   Scissors
   Glue or laminate
   Index cards or cardstock for up to thirty-two 3x5 cards
   1 of 3 match games themes provided, two 16-card and one 32-card:
         1. ANATOMY                    2.   NATURAL HISTORY
         ○ beak                        ○    gular horn ♂
         o scales                      ○    growth rings
         o plastron                    ○    reptile
         o carapace                    ○    protected species
         o scutes                      ○    hibernate
         o claws                       ○    burrow
         o flattened forelimbs         ○    herbivore
         o tail                        ○    CA State Reptile
         3. COMBINE 1 & 2 FOR A MEGA-MATCH GAME!
Preparation:
    Cut out each set of match cards separately.
    Glue or laminate each individual subject label (with corresponding
      picture) to an index card or card stock.
    Separate 16-card games (―anatomy‖ or ―natural history‖) or play all
      32 cards
    For ―Class activity‖ only, provide the glossary terms in separated slips
      placed in a bowl or hat for student picks.
Class activity:
    Make sure CA. State Reptile card is removed.
    Make sure ―estivation‖ definition is removed.
    Use only one set of cards (without matches)


                                                                             43
    Assign half of your students to pick a glossary definition out of a
     bowl/hat, or simply pass out a slip with a definition for up to half the
     class.
    Assign the other half one card each. If you have 15 students or less,
     save extras for multiple rounds to avoid confusion.
    Set a time frame, one to three minutes (or more if needed). Ready, go!
     to allow students to find their match: definition = photo it represents.
    Review matches for correct information.
    Collect and mix up cards and definitions for more rounds or use up
     additional matches depending on class size for additional rounds.

Game: CONCENTRATION
   Scramble cards and place them face down in random order.
   Turn cards over two at a time to find matching pairs.
   If you turn a card over and the next one does not match, turn both
    cards back face down.
   Pull the matches to the side, or leave matches turned-up until you
    have found all matches.
   Scramble the cards, place face down to play again.




                            THE DESERT TORTOISE Teacher’s Packet, 2005 Caliso Learning

                                                                                   44
BEAK        BEAK




SCALES     SCALES




PLASTRON   PLASTRON
                   45
CARAPACE   CARAPACE




SCUTES      SCUTES




CLAWS        CLAWS
                 46
HERBIVORE      HERBIVORE




GULAR HORN ♂   GULAR HORN ♂




GROWTH RINGS   GROWTH RINGS
                        47
  FLATTENED    FLATTENED
  FORELIMBS    FORELIMBS




  BURROW      BURROW




HIBERNATE     HIBERNATE
                       48
   REPTILE                REPTILE
Gopherus agassizii     Gopherus agassizii




 CALIFORNIA STATE    CALIFORNIA STATE
     REPTILE             REPTILE




     TAIL                TAIL
                                    49
 PROTECTED                                                                               PROTECTED
   SPECIES                                                                                 SPECIES
Photo/illustration credits:

                  www.californiaherps.com                                     www.elizajewett.com/ images/tortoise.jpg



                                                                              N/A
                 deserttortoise.org/awards/photo2004win.html




                 www.californiahistory.net                                   http://www.jonathans.me.uk/pod/tortoise_shell.jpg



                 N/A                                                          www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/es/covered.htm




                 N/A


                                                                              http://www.zelva.cz/anatomie.html




http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/resources/phil_myers/classic/bird2_128.jpg/view.html




                                                                              http://animals.timduru.org/dirlist/tortoise/

http://www.athensclarkecounty.com/~bearhollow/anim_bios/gophertortoise.htm


                  N/A



                 http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/wildlifeprotection/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.viewArticle&articleID=32


                   http://www.harcourtschool.com/activity/exploring_ecosystems/desert4.html




                                                                                                                             50
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
BEAK         Tortoise do not have teeth, but instead have a sharp beak used for
             easily ―clipping‖ vegetation.

BURROW       Tortoises spend much of their time in underground burrows to
             escape desert temperature extremes. They can have both winter-
             hibernation burrows and summer-estivation burrows.

CARAPACE     The top part of a turtle or tortoise shell.

CLAWS        A curved, horny structure at the end of a toe of a mammal, reptile,
             or bird. Tortoises use their claws for excavation of burrows, water
             depressions, or for depositing eggs.

ESTIVATION   A state of dormancy or torpor during the summer.

FLATTENED    The forward limbs, flattened for ―shoveling‖ dirt out of the way
FORELIMBS    when excavating or maintaining burrows.

GROWTH       These are the rings found on each scute on the carapace.
RINGS

GULAR HORN   Made up of the front two, plastron scutes which have extended into
             a horn obvious in adult male tortoises. Used for fighting other
             males.

HATCHLING    A baby tortoise.

HERBIVORE    An animal that feeds primarily on plants. Plants help to provide
             desert plant eaters with a valuable source of water to supplement
             times when water is not freely available.

HIBERNATE    To pass the winter in a dormant or torpid state; to be in an inactive
             or dormant state or period.

PLASTRON     The bottom part of a turtle or tortoise shell. The plastron is used for
             easily sexing adult tortoises: flat on females, and concave on adult
             males.

PROTECTED    Currently the desert tortoise is federally listed as a threatened
SPECIES      species. States that lie within the range of the desert tortoise have
             their own additional laws and programs to help protect it.

REPTILE      Any of various cold-blooded, usually egg-laying vertebrates of the
             class Reptilia, such as a snake, lizard, crocodile, turtle, or dinosaur,
             having an external covering of scales or horny plates and breathing
             by means of lungs.

                                                                                  51
SCALES         One of the many small plate-like dermal or epidermal structures
               that characteristically form the external covering of fishes, reptiles,
               and certain mammals. For desert reptiles, scales are very important
               in helping to reduce water loss, and can help to protect the animal
               from predators.

SCUTES         A horny, chitinous, or bony external plate or scale, as on the shell
               of a turtle (or tortoise) or the underside of a snake.

SHELL          Turtle or tortoise shells are made up of two layers: a layer of bone,
               including the spine, and the outer layer of scutes. The animal is
               attached to its shell. The top of the shell is referred to as the
               carapace, the bottom referred to as the plastron.

TAIL           The posterior part of an animal, especially when elongated and
               extending beyond the trunk or main part of the body.


For younger students: GLOSSARY       OF TERMS
BEAK           Tortoise do NOT have teeth. They have a sharp beak.

BURROW         A home below the ground.

CARAPACE       The top of a tortoise shell.

CLAWS          At the end of the toes for digging.

FLATTENED      The front legs are flat.
FORELIMBS

GROWTH         Rings on a tortoise scute (like tree rings).
RINGS

GULAR HORN     A horn that sticks out below the neck (in males only).

HATCHLING      A baby tortoise.

HERBIVORE      An animal that eats only plants.

HIBERNATE      To sleep for months during the winter.

PLASTRON       The bottom part of a turtle or tortoise shell.

PROTECTED      The desert tortoise is a protected animal.
SPECIES

REPTILE        A cold-blood animal with scales.

                                                                                   52
SCALES   A type of skin on reptiles and fish.

SCUTES   The part on the shell with rings.

SHELL    A hard cover made of bone and scutes.

TAIL     The end of the animal that sticks out.




                                                  53
  PUZZLES
 and GAMES
(in alphabetical order)




                          54
         Desert
      Tortoise
      Crossing




Across
1. The top of the shell.
4. Where tortoises sleep or hibernate.
5. Skin-type covering the whole tortoise.
8. An animal that eats plants.

Down
2. Used for digging burrows.
3. The bottom part of the shell.
4. Tortoises have this instead of teeth.
6. Sections on the tortoise's shell.
7. Cold-blooded animal with scaly skin...

WORD LIST in alphabetical order: beak, burrow, carapace, claws, herbivore, plastron, reptile, scales, scutes


                                                                                        2005 Caliso Learning


                                                                                                         55
DESERT TORTOISE: FACT OR FICTION?
From: Teacher Idea Packet for Desert Reptiles Desert Discovery Class, 2004 Arizona-Sonoran Desert
Museum

Instructions: Divide your class into two teams, have each team gather in separate parts
of the classroom, and then have each one come up with a desert tortoise related name for their
team. The instructor will read each of the statements below, addressing the statements to
alternating teams. Each team is given a one minute huddle time to decide whether the statement is
a fact or whether it is fiction. After the team responds, the instructor, using the information given
on this sheet, tells the class about any information that the students may have not come up with
on their own. The score for each team is kept on the board.

1.      A desert tortoise will climb out of its shell when it grows too big
        and will find another bigger one to live in.
        FALSE. Its shell is attached to its backbone and grows with the rest of the animal.

2.      The desert tortoise never needs to drink.
        FALSE. Even though it is a real water saver, and it gets water from food that it
        eats it still needs to occasionally drink water.

3.      Desert tortoises think that it’s funny to urinate on people.
        FALSE. They collect water in their bladder and save it for their body to use when
        no other water is available. They don’t drink their own urine, but they can
        reabsorb the water in it. When a stranger picks up a wild tortoise, it gets scared
        and will often loose its saved water. This can cause the tortoise to die of thirst if it
        doesn’t find any more water to drink soon.

4.      When it gets too hot the desert tortoise goes underground.
        TRUE. It will dig a burrow with its front legs and will stay there when it’s too hot
        or too cold and will also hibernate in its burrow. The burrow will often be made in
        the bank of a wash or under a bush.

5.      You can tell the age of a tortoise by counting the number of rings
        on its shell.
        TRUE. Draw a picture of a tortoise shell on the board like this: (It does not have
        to be complete, just give them the idea.) As you draw it explain that the shell is
        made up of many sections and that every year a new ring is added to every
        section. During the winter, when the tortoise is hibernating the shell stops
        growing. Because of the yearly grow-stop pattern, one ring is added every year.
        Usually though, the rings on the sections of older tortoises have been worn down
        and you can no longer count all of them.

6.      The desert tortoise has many sharp teeth.
        FALSE. It is toothless, like all turtles. Its large tongue helps push food back into
        its mouth.

                                                                                                    56
7.    The desert tortoise is a vegetarian/herbivore.
      TRUE. It eats mostly grasses, and when they are in season, flowers and cactus
      fruit.

8.    The average desert tortoise lives to be 100 years old.
      FALSE. Not quite that old, but they can get to be 80 years old, about as long as
      the average human.

9.    Cutting into the shell of a desert tortoise won’t hurt it.
      FALSE. Remember that the shell is live, growing tissue – bone, skin, blood and
      nerve and if it is cut it hurts. It is not dead like our fingernails. Also, a cut shell can cause
      infections to pass into the tortoises internal body cavity, and this could lead to the
      animal’s death.

10.   It is illegal to collect wild desert tortoises.
      TRUE. In Arizona the tortoise is a protected species. It is not an endangered
      species, but if it did not have the law to protect it, it would probably be over
      collected, and this could lead to it becoming very rare and even endangered.

11.   Building homes, schools and roads for people are not a problem
      for tortoises.
      FALSE. The biggest problem that desert tortoises face are habitat loss and habitat
      fragmentation. They are sometimes hit by cars while crossing roads and by off-
      road vehicles while they are out and about in the desert.

12.   If you really want to have a desert tortoise in your yard you might
      be able to adopt one.
      TRUE. Any desert tortoise that has lived as a pet should not be returned to the
      wild because they might be carrying a respiratory disease and we don’t want them to
      infect wild tortoises. Since they can live many years, sometimes they outlive their
      ―owners,‖ so adoption sites (like The Living Desert) take in these tortoise or they can be
      returned instead of released in the wild.

13.   The very favorite foods of a pet desert tortoise are bananas,
      tomatoes and lettuce.
      FALSE. These do not naturally grow in desert tortoise habitat and are very
      unhealthy foods for a pet tortoise and will cause the animal to die, if these are the
      only foods that it is offered.




                                                                                                     57
                                                                                 Photo credit: Dave Focardi

Preparation and Activity:
   Make several copies of the photo above for multiple students as desired.
        OR
   Enlarge for use as a class puzzle.
   Cut out the photo above into the 13 puzzle pieces.
   Affix to cardstock or foam board (laminate for more durability).
        OR
   Have students cut out the pieces and make personal puzzles.
   Use for filler activity, station work, tortoise review
   With large puzzle or in stations, have student choose a piece and share a tortoise
     fact to be able to place their puzzle piece.

Some discussion questions: This is a juvenile tortoise. Notice the burrow is the same shape as the
tortoise, what shape is it? How many scutes are visible in the picture? Are there rings on the scutes?
What else do you see on or around the tortoise?


                                                                   Desert Tortoise Teacher’s Packet 2005 Caliso Learning

                                                                                                   58
          The DESERT TORTOISE eats plants.
As it grows bigger, its skeleton grows too (just like yours).
 Growth rings appear within the scutes on the top of the
carapace. The carapace is the top half of a tortoise’s shell.




                                                                59
Last updated on Friday, July 18th, 2003   URL: http://www.epa.gov/espp/coloring/doc18.htm




                                                                                    60
Connect the dots and color the picture!




  Activity from http://www.afunk.com/turtle/index6.html




                                                          61
How many new words can you make out of
the words “DESERT TORTOISE?”

Find out by rearranging the letters to make new words
that are three letters or longer. You may use letters in
each word only as many times as it appears in
DESERT TORTOISE. For example you can make a
word that has up to three E’s but not more than one D.


DESERT TORTOISE
     seed
________________                            ________________
________________                            ________________
________________                            ________________
________________                            ________________
________________                            ________________
________________                            ________________
________________                            ________________
________________                            ________________
________________                            ________________
________________                            ________________
________________                            ________________
________________                            ________________
________________                            ________________
________________                            ________________
________________                            ________________
                                                           2005 Caliso Learning

                                                                        62
                   LITTLE SURVIVORS




Created by Puzzlemaker at DiscoverySchool.com   2005 Caliso Learning




       Can you help these
    hatchlings dig a path out?

                                                                  63
IV. SOLUTIONS (alphabetical order)
AS A MATTER OF FACT
   1.   fact
   2.   opinion
   3.   fact
   4.   opinion
   5.   inference

DESERT TORTOISE CROSSINGS
  Across
  1. carapace
  4. burrow
  5. scales
  8. herbivore

   Down
   2. claws
   3. plastron
   4. beak
   6. scutes
   7. reptile

MEASURING TORTOISE SPEED
  Tortoise (1) measures the longest

MIXING IT UP WITH A DESERT TORTOISE
1.   Development has threatened desert tortoise habitat.
2.   Feral dogs severely injure male tortoises by chewing on their gular horn.
3.   Development, off road vehicles, and fragmented lands lead to habitat destruction.
     Off road vehicles, development, and fragmented lands lead to habitat destruction.
     Etc. (Some sentences may have more than one correct order)
4.   Raven populations have spread with the help of human expansion and landfills.
5.   Ravens can consume hundreds of hatchlings in desert tortoise habitat.
6.   Off-road vehicles can crush tortoises and tortoise burrows.
7.   It is illegal to take home a wild desert tortoise for a pet.
8.   Captive tortoises carry a respiratory virus that can kill wild tortoises.
9.   Pet tortoises can be adopted, but never released into the wild.

SEARCHING FOR THE DESERT TORTOISE WORDSEARCH
Hidden Message: The Desert Tortoise was valued by the Cahuilla as a source of
meat, ceremonial rattles and ornaments, and utensils.




                                                                                    64
TORTOISE AND THE HARE
1. > (greater than)
2. either answer (depending on short bursts or not)
3. < (lesson than)
4. > (greater than)
5. > (greater than)

TORTOISE MATH
1.     7      5.       3
2.     2      6.       1
3.     2      7.       4
4.     13

TORTOISE MATH CHALLENGE

1.     21 g
2.     a. 60 ft
       b. 5 minutes
3.     _ 5 or _1
        100   20
4.     15
5.     a. 4
       b. _4_ or _1_
           8      2
       c. 2
6.     15 years old
7.     24
8.     a. 135 clutches; 1,080 eggs
       b. 54


TORTOISE SCRAMBLE
  1.    reptiles
  2.    scutes
  3.    desert tortoise
  4.    burrowing
  5.    herbivore
  6.    water
  7.    raven
  8.    wild dogs
  9.    plastron; gular



                                                      65
V. GLOSSARY

BEAK          Tortoises do not have teeth, but instead have a sharp beak used for
              easily ―clipping‖ vegetation.

BURROW        Tortoises spend much of their time in underground burrows to
              escape desert temperature extremes. They can have both winter-
              hibernation burrows and summer-estivation burrows.

CARAPACE      The top part of a turtle or tortoise shell.

CLAWS         A curved, horny structure at the end of a toe of a mammal, reptile,
              or bird. Tortoises use their claws for excavation of burrows, water
              depressions, or for depositing eggs.

ESTIVATION    A state of dormancy or torpor during the summer.

FLATTENED     The forward limbs, flattened for ―shoveling‖ dirt out of the way
FORELIMBS     when excavating or maintaining burrows.

GROWTH        These are the rings found on each scute on the carapace.
RINGS

GULAR HORN    Made up of the front two, plastron scutes which have extended into
              a horn obvious in adult male tortoises. Used for fighting other
              males.

HATCHLING     A baby tortoise.

HERBIVORE     An animal that feeds primarily on plants. Plants help to provide
              desert plant eaters with a valuable source of water to supplement
              times when water is not freely available.

HIBERNATE     To pass the winter in a dormant or torpid state; to be in an inactive
              or dormant state or period.

PLASTRON      The bottom part of a turtle or tortoise shell. The plastron is used for
              easily sexing adult tortoises: flat on females, and concave on adult
              males.

REPTILE       Any of various cold-blooded, usually egg-laying vertebrates of the
              class Reptilia, such as a snake, lizard, crocodile, turtle, or dinosaur,
              having an external covering of scales or horny plates and breathing
              by means of lungs.

SCALES        One of the many small plate-like dermal or epidermal structures
              that characteristically form the external covering of fishes, reptiles,
              and certain mammals. For desert reptiles, scales are very important
                                                                                   66
         in helping to reduce water loss, and can help to protect the animal
         from predators.

SCUTES   A horny, chitinous, or bony external plate or scale, as on the shell
         of a turtle (or tortoise) or the underside of a snake.

SHELL    Turtle or tortoise shells are made up of two layers: a layer of bone,
         including the spine, and the outer layer of scutes. The animal is
         attached to its shell. The top of the shell is referred to as the
         carapace, the bottom referred to as the plastron.

TAIL     The posterior part of an animal, especially when elongated and
         extending beyond the trunk or main part of the body.




                                                                            67
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cultural environments by integrating diverse styles of learning. We support education in the natural and cultural
sciences and related fields through fun and creative programming, and by establishing conscientious partnerships
that will enhance the learning experience.

                                        www.calisolearning.com

                                                                                                             68

								
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