Natural History Unit 3: Kansas Reptiles and Turtles

Unit 3: Kansas Reptiles and Turtles (Question-based Objectives)

Keywords– Copperhead, Timber Rattlesnake, Prairie Rattlesnake, Black Rat Snake, Yellow-bellied Racer, Northern Water Snake, Rough Green Snake, Red-Sided Garter Snake, Prairie Kingsnake, Milk Snake, Common Kingsnake, Bullsnake, Lined Snake, Ringneck Snake, Texas Brown Snake, Western Hognose Snake, Western Worm Snake, Great Plains Rat Snake, Coachwhip, Five-lined Skink, Great Plains Skink, Western Slender Glass Lizard, Collared Lizard, Six-lined Racerunner, Red-eared Slider, Western Painted Turtle, Spiny Softshell, Common Snapping Turtle, Ornate Box Turtle

Objectives

1. What are some reptiles and turtles that can be found in Kansas, and what are some interesting facts about them?

2. How are the Kansas Reptiles and Turtles we’ll study related to each other?

3. What should someone do if bitten by a venomous snake?

4. How do turtles survive the winter?

Activities/Labs

1. Complete “Snake, Lizard, and Turtle Fact Find Questions”, using “Kansas Reptiles and Turtles Information PPT” and/or field guides.

2. Identify all species from “Kansas Reptiles and Turtles Practice PPT” (using Information PPT and field guides).

3. Create a Kansas Reptiles and Turtles Classification Concept Map using “A Checklist to Kansas Reptiles and Turtles”.

4. Watch “Ultimate Guide to Snakes” and write down 10 facts and 5 questions.

5. “Venomous Snake Bite Lecture” and Analysis Questions

6. “Turtle on Ice” Reading and “Turtle on Ice” Worksheet

Extensions-

1. Create a field guide to Kansas reptile and turtle species not identified above using a checklist to Kansas reptiles and turtles.

2. Create a project that explains why turtles are no longer classified as reptiles.

3. Participate in long-term snake mark-and-recapture study on the school grounds.

Further Research: snake evolution, lizard evolution, turtle evolution, venom types: hemotoxins versus neurotoxins, antivenins, rear-fanged venomous snakes, egg-laying versus live bearing snakes, snake digestion physiology, various reptile and turtle life-cycles, turtle population decline, snake ecology, lizard ecology, turtle ecology, new-world versus old-world snakes, Dr. Henry S. Fitch, Joe Collins, Hobart M. Smith, Harry Greene, SINC, Threatened, and Endangered Kansas Reptiles and Turtles, etc.

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