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Free Turtle Lapbook

Turtle Animal Study and Lapbook
Research by Candace Crabtree and Lapbook Templates by Ami


Lapbook Templates

Cover Page
Turtle Shell Trifold
Freshwater Turtle Relatives Twice Folded
True of False Mini Trifolds
Turtle Report Shape Book
Webbed Feet Flap (1 student)
Webbed Feet Flap (2 students)
Turtle Stationary HWT
Turtle Stationary Primary Lines
Turtle Tracking Fan

What is a Turtle? (young classification)
Label a Turtle Diagram Simple Fold
Vocabulary (blank)
Classification Accordion



What is a Turtle? (mammal, reptile, bird, fish, or amphibian)
Turtles are reptiles.  Some characteristics they have in common with other reptiles include-- they have scales on their shells, they can breathe air, they have claws on their toes, and they lay eggs.  They are also ectothermic; they cannot regulate their own body temperatures from within; they are cold-blooded. 
They warm themselves by moving to a sunlit spot. They cool themselves by finding shade or getting into water.  What is a Turtle?

Kingdom Animalia
phylum Chordata
class Reptilia
order Testudines
Classification Accordion

Vocabulary Words
hatchling = a baby turtle or animal that hatches from an egg
tortoise = turtle that lives on land
egg tooth = baby turtles (hatchlings) have an sharp tooth which they use to open the soft shell of their egg as they come out
ectotherm = an animal that relies on its environment to warm and cool their body, (turtles move to the sun to warm up and find shade to cool down)
carapace = the top part of the turtle shell
plastron = the underside of the turtle shell
scutes =
scales over both shells, made of keratin
keratin =
a sulfur-containing protein that makes up hair and nails (such as fingernails)
hibernation =
to pass the winter in a sleeping or resting state
Vocabulary Shell Shapes


Turtle Toes
Freshwater turtles have separate toes and claws, often with webbing between them which helps them swim.  Webbing (also known as webbed feet) is when a foot has skin between the toes.  The claws on freshwater turtles can be used for climbing on riverbanks and logs for sunbathing.  Most turtles have five claws on each foot. 
Webbed Feet Flap (1 student)
Webbed Feet Flap (2 students)

Turtle Senses
~Turtles do not have ears on the outside of their heads like we do; this would slow them down while underwater. Instead, they have an inner eardrum which picks up sounds and vibrations from the ground and water.
~Turtles have excellent eyesight, they can detect even the slightest movement movement in distant objects. Often they will see you before you see them.
~Turtles have a great sense of smell, too.

How Does a Turtle Eat?
Turtles don't have teeth, but they do have sharp edges along their inner jaws cut and tear their food.

Why does the turtle have a shell?
1)the shell protects the turtle from the sun
2)the colors on the shell provide camouflage to protect them from their predators
3)the shell provides a place for the turtle to withdraw in times of danger. 
Turtle Shell Trifold

 The upper shell is called the carapace, the lower shell is called the plastron, and the section of the shell joining the upper and lower halves is known as the bridge. Do you know what a turtle’s shell is made out of? BONE! On top of that bone is a layer of horny scales called scutes. These scutes are made of keratin, which is the same material that is in your fingernails.
Diagram Minit Book

Eggs and Nesting
All turtles lay their eggs on land, They dig a hole (nest) and bury all their eggs. Then, they cover the eggs with sand and leave.  Baby turtles are left to fend for themselves and to keep safe from p
redators which include raccoons, opossums, foxes, birds, snakes, skunks, and humans.  Beware Baby Turtle Matchbook

Types of Freshwater Turtles
Fun with Nature does an excellent job giving you basic information about various kinds of freshwater turtles.  It includes information for the following:
Snapping Turtle- Snapping Turtle Printout
Alligator Snapping Turtle
Western Painted Turtle - Painted Turtle Printout
Wood Turtle
Spiny Softshell Turtle
Box Turtle
Map Turtle
Blanding's Turtle
The book will give you a description of the turtle as well as where to find it and what it eats.  Let your student choose a turtle (or two) from this book to read about and report on.
Turtle Shape Report Book

A Day in the Life of a Turtle
What do turtles do all day?  They spend time in the water as well as time basking (and napping) in the sun while lying on a log, rock, or shore.  They also spend their days finding food (varies from turtle to turtle, but usually includes plants and small animals).  A Day in the Life Matchbook


Long Life
Turtles have long lives. Freshwater turtles may live to be 40 years old. Sea turtles live to be 80 years or more. Tortoises can live up to 150 years old! Lifetime Matchbook

We're Related!
Your older student will have to read some books about the turtle family in order to complete this book

All Over the World
Turtles live on every continent except Antarctica; Antarctica is too cold for a turtle! All Over the World Matchbook


Turtle Observations
If you have the opportunity, go to a pond or pet store and let your student spend some time observing turtles. Complete the Turtle Tracking Fan.

Creative Writing and Copywork Ideas
Use the Turtle Stationary (HWT or primary lines)  to write an original turtle story or to copy one of the following poems.  Store your finished work in the pocket provided or use a blank pocket and write your own title.

The Little Turtle
by Vachel Lindsay

There was a little turtle.
He lived in a box.
He swam in a puddle.
He climbed on the rocks.
He snapped at a mosquito.
He snapped at a flea.
He snapped at a minnow.
And he snapped at me.
He caught the mosquito.
He caught the flea.
He caught the minnow.
But he didn't catch me.

The Turtle
Jack Prelutsky

The turtle's always been inclined
to live within his shell.
But why he cares to be confined,
the turtle does not tell.

The turtle's always satisfied
to slowly creep and crawl,
and never wanders far outside
his living room or hall.

So if you wish to visit him
in his domestic dome,
just knock politely on his shell,
you'll find the turtle home.

True and False Answers
Turtles take good care of their eggs and babies. False. Female turtles leave their eggs unattended; the babies are left to fend for themselves. 

Turtles don't have teeth. True.  Turtles may not have teeth, but they do have sharp edges along their inner jaws cut and tear their food.

A Snapping turtle would make a fun pet. False. Snapping turtles can hurt you!

Turtles don't have ears. True.  Turtles do not have ears on the outside of their heads like we do; this would slow them down while underwater. Instead, they have an inner eardrum which picks up sounds and vibrations from the ground and water.

True of False Mini Trifolds

Library List
Fun with Nature by Mel Boring (includes large section on Freshwater Turtles)
Note;  If you can't locate Fun With Nature, see if your library has Frogs, Toads, and Turtles by Diane Burns; it is a small book that is part of Fun With Nature
All About Turtles by Jim Arnosky
Look Out for Turtles by Melvin Burger (contains evolutionary references)
Box Turtle at Long Pond by Wililam T. George