Archive 2008 - 2019

Placentino's Turtle Stampede

by Katie Jackson

It was mid-day on the last day of September, when I heard excited talk about baby turtles outside of Placentino.  Some of the O.T. and P.T. teachers had noticed the numerous hatchlings as they were conducting motor group.  Word spread quickly and when I found out, I took the opportunity to take my kindergarten children outside to see the baby turtles. 

They were emerging from a small hole in the grass next to the building and making the arduous trek through the grass, across the paved roadway behind the school and down the rocky embankment into the swampy area. 

I couldn't believe the journey that lay ahead of them.  Careful not to step on the grass or the turtles, the children all gathered around to watch the tiny creatures make their way toward the woods.  Nearing afternoon and the impending dismissal time, Mademoiselle Mason’s French Immersion class helped my class bring two stragglers down to the swampy area.  The children were concerned for their safety as some buses do use that roadway behind the school in the afternoon. 


During and after this experience, the children were filled with intriguing questions about the turtles: “Where is their mother?”  “Where are they going?”  “How do they know where to go?”  “What do they eat?” 


I’m planning on taking this unexpected opportunity and turning into a positive learning experience for the children.  We’re going to answer some of those questions by studying the differences between land and water turtles, learning about the anatomy of turtles and the varied habitats in which they live.  This was an excellent learning experience for the children and teachers.

Katie Jackson
3-6 Montessori Teacher
Placentino Elementary School
Holliston, Massachusetts 

Comments (4)

Perfect piece! Wonderfully written and the pictures look professional. You are a master of your trade both in teaching and journalism. I enjoyed it, thanks for sharing!

Rachel | 2009-10-08 08:01:58

Katie, the picures are great! good job!

Joanie | 2009-10-07 12:36:37

Wow! What a 'once in a life time' experience for these children and a great teaching tool for the teachers. We had a turtle lay eggs in our garden in Bellingham but we didn't get to see the babies. they are so cute and your very lucky to see, much less hold the little guys. Great Photography!

Nancy Daigle | 2009-10-07 11:00:40

Wow, this is awesome Katie. What an amazing learning experience.

Andrea | 2009-10-06 15:54:25