"The Thai sea turtle nicknamed" Piggy bank "for having swallowed 915 coins died Tuesday, March 21 from complications from the operation which relieved her of her treasure. Aged 25, she was sent in early March, the shell fractured, to a clinic in Bangkok where doctors had discovered five kilos of coins stuck in her stomach, thrown by visitors to her park. Its story made headlines around the world after a successful first operation to extract the coins. But while the turtle had, in theory, still about 60 years to live, her health suddenly deteriorated two days ago, and doctors discovered that she was suffering from blood poisoning. The turtle spent two decades in a small public park in Chonburi province, and visitors threw coins at it to make their smile lucky. "

Source: Le Monde.fr

Through the next activities, students will learn more about turtles.


At the end of the activities, the student will be able to:

- Discover the fate of the Piggy Bank turtle;
- Write a journalistic style text about the death of Tirelire;
- Locate the turtle in the animal kingdom;
- Compare different species of turtles;
- Read and interpret the fable The Hare and the Turtle;
- Complete a trivia game on the famous fictional turtles.

Suggested activities

ACTIVITY 1: The Life and Death of the Piggy Bank Turtle

First, ask the students if they have heard of the turtle that swallowed nearly 1000 coins in Thailand. What do they know about this unusual news?
To discover the story of the turtle nicknamed "Piggy Bank" as a whole class, watch this Radio-Canada video.

Then ask students to write a short essay in journalistic style that summarizes the news.

To learn more about the Piggy Bank spell, invite students to read this article from the Huffington Post.

Finally, as a whole class, discuss the life and death of this turtle that made headlines around the world. Here are some avenues for questioning:

- What is the reason for Thais to throw coins at turtles?
- What is shocking about this story?
- What is positive about this whole story?
- What other rituals concerning the use of a coin attract good luck?
Example: Throwing a coin into a fountain (talk about the Trevi Fountain)

ACTIVITY 2: The turtle in the animal kingdom

First, ask students if they think the turtle is in the same animal category as the crocodile? What about the frog?

Mention that living things are classified into nested groups defined on the basis of the attributes they have in common.

To find out where the turtle is in the living classification, in the animation below, click on the turtle image several times to see the different nestings according to the current living classification. The classes are indicated at the top right of the animation.

Finally, as a whole class compare other animals to the turtle (eg crocodile and frog).

ACTIVITY 3: Discover the turtles

There are different species of turtles around the world.

As a whole class, visit the web page VivesLesTortues.com in order to discover different species.

Then visit this Web page on the turtles of Quebec.

Finally, ask the students to compare a turtle from the VivesLesTortues.com site with a species from Quebec. Have them record the information they find in a comparison chart.

ACTIVITY 4: The hare and the tortoise

First, ask students if they know of a fable featuring a turtle.

As a whole class, read one of the famous La Fontaine's fables : The bunny and the turtle.

Using the following TNI file, work out the meaning of the vocabulary of this fable:

For further

To discover famous fictional turtles, invite students to complete this quiz on the Internet.

More about the magazine

The lucky coins fatal to the turtle "piggy bank"
Capital article, March 21, 2017

Thailand: The Piggy Bank turtle, which had swallowed 915 coins, relearns to swim
Article from 20minutes.fr, March 13, 2017

The 10 monuments that will make your wishes come true
Room5 article

The lost pot of lucky fountains
Le Parisien, August 13, 2010

Wikipedia article

The bunny and the turtle
The association for the Jean de La Fontaine museum

The Hare and the Tortoise - Analysis
Rue des fables.net

Véronique is a librarian at the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières and a trainer in educational technology for future teachers. She also holds a teaching certificate in the social universe at the secondary level and collaborates regularly with the organization L'École branchée.


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