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design a diamondback


topic area:

diamondback terrapins

Grade Level:

K - 5th


In this lesson, students will learn about turtle adaptations as they “design” a diamondback terrapin using a volunteer as a life-sized model.

Lesson Details:

Because the Port of Baltimore performs maintenance dredging each year (see general introduction), placement sites for dredged material removed from shipping channels are constantly used to contain the sediment. The sediment is often used to restore and support habitat at the placement sites. The restored habitat at these placement sites has attracted a wide array of animals by providing thriving habitats. Animals that are attracted to these sites have special adaptations that allow them to live in wetlands. One animal is the diamondback terrapin. A terrapin is a type of turtle and shares many adaptations with other turtle species. It also has specialized adaptations that make it perfect for the restored Chesapeake Bay habitat that is found at dredged material placement sites.

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