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Tortoise Trucks program at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. Tortoise Trucks program at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens.

Tortoise Trunks: Tortoise teaching has never been easier

The Desert Tortoise Information and Youth Education Program offers a variety of ways for educators to teach about desert tortoises in classrooms. By educating students about these incredible native species, desert tortoises will have a more promising future.

What is Tortoise Trunks?

Come out of your shell! Tortoise Trunks is a complete teaching module about the desert tortoise. Designed for classroom use, Tortoise Trunks include complete lesson plans, information packets, books, models and more. The Tortoise Trunks are lent in 2-week intervals, and can be picked up or shipped to you (shipping charges apply). Formal and informal educators are eligible to borrow at no cost.

Grade K-2: What is a Desert Tortoise?
This Tortoise Trunk introduces students to the desert tortoise including: where it lives, its needs, and how tortoises and turtles differ from one another. 

Grade 3-4: Needs of the Desert Tortoise
This Tortoise Trunk introduces students to the Mojave Desert ecosystem and the niche of the desert tortoise and its biology.

Grade 5-6: Needs and Threats to the Desert Tortoise
This Tortoise Trunk describes the factors that have contributed to the decline of the desert tortoise and share how students can help in their recovery.

Middle School: Conserving the Desert Tortoise
This Tortoise Trunk highlights that there are 2 distinct species of desert tortoise and how researchers track tortoises in the wild.  It also discusses genetic and gender differences between the species. Students will learn how they can help contribute to the desert tortoise’s recovery.

High School: Conserving the Desert Tortoise
This Tortoise Trunk describes the essential role the desert tortoise plays in the ecosystem and introduces students to methods used to study desert tortoises as well as the challenges facing the species. Students will learn how they can help contribute to the desert tortoise’s recovery.

Reserve Your Tortoise Trunks by contacting Sarah Greely, Desert Tortoise Outreach Coordinator by email at SGreely@LivingDesert.org.

Download the Educator Guide

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