Great Lakes Teacher Resources

Find Great Lakes educational ideas and activities

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Students investigate surface ocean currents. In this oceanography lesson, students work in small groups to create models that demonstrate surface currents, the Coriolis Effect, and how surface currents move debris. This lesson includes a storybook and three classroom activities that are very hands-on.
Showcase the religion, conflicts, daily life, and politics of Colonial North America. A very well-done presentation highlights all the major colonial groups, social norms, demographics, and political struggles of the time. Perfect for an independent work station, and great for note taking or for added interest during lecture.
High schoolers examine two maps that illustrate the tendency for people in the United States to settle near the coasts. They research environmental impacts on coastal ecosystems and write reports on steps that are being taken to mitigate these impacts.
Here is a wonderful series of lessons which focus on some of the great lakes and deserts of the world. Pupils research, discuss, and analyze these geographical forms by engaging in small-group/hands-on activities. That's the best part about these lessons! Learners are engaged, using their hands in each and every one. This impressive, 21-page plan has everything you need to successfully implement it with your class.
Students use textbooks and other resources to understand the westward expansion of the US and the influences and effects that it had on American culture.
Fourth graders, in groups, research states and using various print and nonprint reference materials. The groups make a presentation to inform the class about all the information from the state. This lesson plan provides imbedded support for the groups.
Students gain an understanding of natural events and consider the dangers that natural hazards and natural disasters pose to humans. Through writing, and by gathering and comparing data, students examine factors that make hazards a threat to people.
Learners conduct three different hands-on experiments that demonstrate some of the threats to marine ecosystems. They discuss their findings with the class and ways to combat the problems.
Information is provided on Gray's Reef, Florida Keys, and Flower Garden Banks marine sanctuaries. Young marine biologists then visit the FishBase and REEF databases to collect fish species information for each location. They then complete a data table comparing the different marine sanctuaries. This a wonderful activity for giving your explorers experience with real databases.
Take photos of human activities that impact air quality. Collaborative groups present one of the photographs, identifying how the activity contributes to air quality and what can be done to minimize the impact. As one in a series of lessons exploring human impact on the environment, this activity will help develop informed citizens who can make a difference. Links to the other lessons are included. Use them all to present a complete unit to your environmental studies class.
Students consider the threats that natural disasters (specifically tornadoes, volcanoes, and earthquakes) pose for humans, then compare and contrast two disasters.
Working in groups, learners create a mnemonic device, give an oral presentation, and create a pictorial representation of the correct sequence of the planets and asteroid belt from the sun. An assessment rubric is included in the lesson.
Students recognize which activities contribute to poor air quality and which contribute to good air quality. They discover how air quality is measured, and come up with ways that humans can have a positive affect on air quality.
Students examine the lumber industry in Wisconsin by using primary source documents. They also listen to songs from the era.
Students evaluate the impact climates have on the building of structures. They research the different types of materials used to build houses in various climates and build small models of houses which are tested against different climates.
Young scholars work in teams to develop a presentation and handout representing a particular point of view in a recreational Water Contaminationand Beach Closure Debate. They synthesize their knowledge of recreational water, sewage, and their issues and present it persuasively to their peers.
Students list different forms of communication, assess importance of writing, read and discuss article "String, and Knot, Theory of Inca Writing", research system of writing, and create "How It Works" posters.
Students review the theory of plate tectonics and the history of the Earth geologically. Using the internet, they research the area known as the Ring of Fire. They create maps predicting what the Ring of Fire region might look like in one hundred million years. They write paragraphs to explain their drawings.
Students examine the continent of Antarctica, then read a news article about the decline in the Antarctic penguin population. In this current events lesson, the teacher introduces the article with a discussion and vocabulary activity, then students read the news report and participate in a think-pair-share discussion. Lesson includes interdisciplinary follow-up activities.
Students become familiar with the temperate rainforest.  In this forest ecosystem lesson plan, students identify the producers, consumers and decomposers in the forest ecosystem.  Students sort cards and identify the trophic level of the rainforest.  Students view and discuss various artifacts of the rainforest.