Student Activities

Create and label maps showing Manatee habitats

Map 1: On a world map create a key and show the range of the four varieties of Manatees.

Map 2: On map of the southeastern United States use two different colors to show the winter and summer ranges of the Florida Manatee.

Map 3: On a map of the Sarasota Bay area label each of the following - Sarasota Bay, Tampa Bay, Crystal River, Longboat Key, Siesta Key, and the Gulf of Mexico. Define the following terms: bay, harbor, creek, basin, bayou, estuary, barrier island, key.

Map 4: On a map of Florida label and color the 13 counties which have Manatee Protection plans in place.

Magnificent Manatees

After reading about the physical characteristics of the Florida Manatee draw  a Manatee, label the  predominant features and paint or color the Manatee accurately. Complete a data sheet on the habitat, food preferences and lifestyle of the Florida Manatee.

Endangered, threatened or not...

Use print and electronic resources to become familiar with the provisions of the federal Endangered Species Act and Florida Marine Sanctuaries Act. Summarize the main points of these acts. Read the article by Thomas Fraser, Manatees in Florida. Explain why Fraser believes that the Florida Manatee should no longer be classified as an endangered or threatened species.

Data, Data, Everywhere

Prior to the Earthwatch Expedition students will create an electronic database. During the expedition they will enter data for each of the Manatees sited by the expedition. At the conclusion of the field study, students will analyze the database and write a essay summarizing the findings.

Populations : Past and Present!

From the resources provided locate data for Florida Manatee populations for the last 15 years. Either manually or electronically create a line or bar graph using this data. What conclusions can be drawn from this graph? After a review of the resources list and explain at least three factors which make an accurate count of Manatees difficult to achieve.


  Manatee Mantras

After becoming familiar with the human and environmental threats to the Florida Manatee design a bumper sticker slogan which conveys an appropriate conservation message. Remember to make your bumper sticker visually attractive and colorful.

Here and There: Harbor Seals and Manatees

Students will conduct research about the harbor seal, a marine mammal common in the waters of Narragansett Bay, and the Florida manatee, a marine mammal common in the waters of Sarasota Bay. They will then compare and contrast the two marine mammals in a number of areas including - habitat, feeding habits, life cycle, environmental threats, etc. The results of their findings will be presented either in a HyperStudio or  PowerPoint presentation.

Florida Flora

This activity is especially for Mrs. Burdon. Click here to find a selection of flowers and flowering shrubs found in the Sarasota area. Use resources available to identify these plants. As an extension activity you could locate the areas where each grows successfully and create a map display of this information.

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