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Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle Activities


Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle Activities are now available for K-12 classrooms.  They are available for download at the bottom of this page.

In September 2012, Governor Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 1776. The legislation formally designates the Pacific leatherback sea turtle as California’s state marine reptile; officially makes October 15 annual Leatherback Conservation Day; encourages educators to incorporate information about the sea turtle into curriculum where possible; and encourages state and federal agencies to build cooperative relationships with the Western Pacific island nations.

In response, a small group of educators, policy makers, and researchers began working together to create materials for schools in the Monterey Bay region (where leatherbacks feed) and in isolated areas of Indonesia (where the same leatherbacks nest). To take part in these local efforts, students have a chance to learn about Indonesian school children, use developed activities about Pacific leatherback sea turtles, and suggest ways to improve the activities as they are sent to students around California and in West Papua, Indonesia.  

Our earlier efforts started linking schools at the western and eastern ends of our shared Pacific leatherbacks’ range. Local students learned about the turtles and Indonesian school children. Then these students drew picture postcards that were brought to villages near leatherback nesting beaches by MLML graduate student, Deasy Lontoh. Now she has returned with postcards from Indonesian students.

Teachers and their students can participant in many ways.  Teachers can download the materials on this page and share them with their classes. Students can provide input on how the activities should be changed and improved before the packet goes to Indonesia. This is a great opportunity for students to consider the lives of children in other places and other cultures. If teachers want their students to see the postcards from West Papua and to have their students send their drawings across the Pacific, please contact Dr. Bartl directly.

  • Presentation on leatherbacks and Indonesian students (show to students first)
  • Photos of students in Saubeba and Warmundi making postcards
  • Activity Packet for classrooms here that also will go to Indonesia so comments from US students are requested. Most appropriate for grades K-3
  • Leatherback Survival Game that is in the activity packet (above) and is also provided separately here.
  • Mapping Turtle Travel provides additional activities for more advanced students (and grades 6-12).
    • Coming soon!