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Educator Guide: Riveting Reptiles: Riveting Reptiles Educator Guide

Riveting Reptiles

Tips to Come Prepared

Before you visit the Genovesi Environmental Study Center (GESC) with your class, review the Educator's Guide to prepare for your students.

  • Read the Essential Questions (p. 1) and Connections to Standards (p. 2) to decide how you want to link your curriculum with your field trip
  • Complete the Pre-Visit Lesson with your class activating student interest and engagement
  • Come to GESC ready to engage and learn with our experiential, hands-on field trip program, Riveting Reptiles

Library Finds

Essential Questions

  • What is a reptile?
  • What are the characteristics of snakes?
  • What are the characteristics of turtles?
  • What are the characteristics of lizards?

Sora eBooks

Access these free ebooks by signing in to the Sora app with your NYC DOE credentials.

Riveting Reptiles

Ridiculous Reptile Facts

  • Snakes that live in colder climates can hibernate together in a hibernaculum, a shelter such as an old animal burrow. Some snakes return to the same hibernaculum year after year, and even share the space with other snakes.
  • Some snakes can go over a year without eating! When snakes do eat, they swallow their prey whole so they have jaws which are adapted to eat prey that are bigger than their head!
  • The komodo dragon, a venomous lizard that lives in Indonesia, bites its prey and then waits for it to die. They can smell rotting prey from 2.5 miles away and can eat almost their entire body weight!
  • Some geckoes walk up walls because they have microscopic hairs on their feet that form an electromagnetic attraction with surfaces. 
  • Some turtles are among the oldest known land animals. The oldest ever recorded was a radiated tortoise named Tu’i Malila, and she lived for 188 years! 
  • The gender of baby sea turtles depends on the temperature of their nest. Warmer nests produce more females, and cooler nest produce more males.

Connections to Standards

Grade 3: Unit 1: Inheritance and Variation
               Unit 2: Interdependence
Grade 4: Unit 1: The Structure and Function of Organisms
Grade 5: Unit 2: Matter and Energy in Ecosystems


Third Grade
3-LS3-1. Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence that plants and animals have traits inherited from parents and that variation of these traits exists in a group of similar organisms.
3-LS3-2. Use evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influence by the environment.
3-LS4-2. Use evidence to construct an explanation for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing.
3-LS4-3. Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.

Fourth Grade
4-LS1-1. Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
4-LS1-2. Use a model to describe that animals receive different types of information through their senses, process the information in their brain, and respond to the information in different ways.

Fifth Grade
5-LS2-1. Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants (producers), animals (consumers), decomposers, and the environment.