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Photo by Kris-Mikael Krister via Unsplash


Design Thinking, Organisms: Life and Growth, Social Awareness


K, 1st, 2nd


Science, Biology, Social-Emotional Learning, Computer Science & Design Thinking


80 minutes

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New Jersey


Jamboard, Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Save the Sea Turtles!

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Dec 6, 2022


This lesson introduces students to sea turtles and the human-caused dangers they face while encouraging them to create a way to help save these beautiful creatures. 

Step 1 - Inquire: Students are introduced to sea turtle conservation and student activism through the story Follow the Moon Home by acclaimed activist Philippe Cousteau and renowned author Deborah Hopkinson.


Step 2 - Investigate: Students activate background knowledge of sea turtles and reflect on the dangers they face in the oceans of the world.


Step 3 - Inspire: Students work collaboratively to design and create a solution to one of the problems sea turtles are facing today.


  • This lesson allows for a collaborative hands-on learning environment for students as sea turtle conservation is introduced.

  • This lesson features creative learning and engagement for all students.

  • Students develop a strong connection to student-led activism through the book Follow the Moon Home by Philippe Cousteau and Deborah Hopkinson.

  • This lesson features a step by step guide to follow the engineering design process.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teacher needs a copy of the book Follow the Moon Home by Philippe Cousteau and Deborah Hopkinson.

  • Students should have a basic knowledge of sea turtles and global problems like pollution and plastic in the oceans.

  • Teacher can print out worksheets prior to the lesson if desired.


  • Students can think-pair-share during the reading, making predictions or answering questions.

  • Groups of students with mixed abilities can collaborate throughout this lesson.

There is an intrinsic benefit in conserving sea turtles, and this lesson lets students to understand the impact of sea turtles in our ocean. It would equip them to design a real-life project to save sea turtles from extinction. All accompanying materials in this lesson are appropriate to provide better understanding on the subject. Above all, there is a high confidence in using this lesson in the classroom.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Computer Science & Design Thinking
    • Design Thinking
      • 8.2.2.ED.2: Collaborate to solve a simple problem, or to illustrate how to build a product using the design process.
      • 8.2.2.ED.3: Select and use appropriate tools and materials to build a product using the design process.
      • 8.2.2.ITH.5: Design a solution to a problem affecting the community in a collaborative team and explain the intended impact of the solution.

  • Teacher asks, “Have you ever heard of the word conservation or conserve? Where did you hear the word? What do you think it means? Using the image, can you guess what conservation means?"

  • Teacher displays the definition of conservation, and students discuss what it means to conserve something.

  • Teacher reads the book Follow the Moon Home by acclaimed activist Philippe Cousteau and renowned author Deborah Hopkinson. A copy can be borrowed from the library or a read aloud version can be found online.

  • Students buddy buzz or Think-Pair-Share with peers to reflect on the idea of conservation for sea turtles.

  • Teacher shares the Engineering Song to introduce the design process.

  • Students create a KWL about Sea Turtles.

  • Students watch Turtle Time! and Sea Turtles. These two videos help students to gain understanding about sea turtles and the dangers that threaten them.

  • After the videos, students analyze and reflect on the new information and brainstorm ways sea turtles could face danger in the oceans.

  • Students complete the Dangers in the Sea Brainstorming Page in small groups or as a class. There is an option to use the Sea Turtle Brainstorming Jamboard.

  • Students compare their feelings of danger to those of the turtles.
  • Extension Activity: Students can explore the Sea Turtle Conservancy and view some of the migration maps to see where the turtles are migrating in the ocean.
  • Students activate prior knowledge of the engineering design process.

  • Students work collaboratively to select a problem that sea turtles face living in the oceans.
  • Using the Engineering Design Process Log, students generate a list of ideas for possible solutions to their problem and sketch them on the planning page.
  • Students select their best idea, draw a model, and create a list of supplies.
  • Students create and build a model of their solution.

  • Students test their model and present it to the class.

  • Students reflect on their models and brainstorm ideas for improvement.
  • Students discuss frustrations and a Never Give Up Mindset. Students understand that making mistakes is normal and part of the engineering design process. Making mistakes proves that students are trying.

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