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Tortugas Verdes

An interactive activity with kindergarteners to inspire stewardship.

TORTUGAS VERDE (Spanish for Green Turtles) these were marine turtles

When I visited the Galápagos Islands in 2012, the woman who owned the “home-stay” where I lived for a month, was a local kindergarten teacher. Because I had the experience of swimming behind a large marine turtle in a protected lagoon, and I also saw how the local people did not pick-up their trash (combined with tourists), I wanted the kids to value the turtles’ home too. So I made a large drawing, cut it into pieces, each student colored its outside edges and then found its shape-location on the wall-mounted image. But the most fun part, actually, was asking the students (through an interpreter) if they could swim? [none!] I then told them how turtle hatchlings could swim almost immediately after birth! Noticeably impressed, in a single-file circle around the room, we moved our arms up/down pretending to be hatchlings swimming. I believe this type of relatable info and visceral actions, pique curiosity and embeds knowledge in our brains. (And might save some marine turtles from ingesting floating plastic bags they think are jellyfish, their favorite food!)

EXCELLENT SHORT VIDEO: “Sea Turtles and Plastic Pollution — Deep Dive” [2:33min] is a wonderful video created by the Oceanic Society.