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Great Lakes Teacher Resources
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Fourth graders conduct hands-on research on the evolution of specific transportation systems, including the systems of canals and locks developed to allow travel on the Great Lakes and rivers and the subsequent creation of increasingly technological transportation solutions.
Young scholars explore the possibilities of reducing dangers to ships from natural hazards in the Great Lakes. Students describe major types of commercial shipping vessels. Young scholars apply basic concepts of force and motion to practical problems related to marine safety.
Eager ecology learners read about characteristics of the Lake Erie water snake and the round goby fish. They find that the goby is an invasive species, introduced to Lake Erie in 1990, and has since had an impact on the water snake population. Pupils examine and graph water snake diet data and relate it to the introduction of the goby by answering 10 questions. This lesson provides experience with real-life data and a common occurrence in many of our waterways.
After reading about the Lake Erie water snake and the change in its population after the introduction of the round goby in 1990, young ecologists graph water snake diet data. They analyze the data and answer 10 questions based on their observations. This is an activity that gives learners experience handling real-life data. It would be a beneficial supplement your environmental science, biology, or ecology curriculum.
Students create bar graphs using depth information for the Great Lakes. In this graphing lesson, students review the parts of a bar graph and view a PowerPoint about the depths for the Great Lakes. Students construct a bar graph for the data and visit a website about the Great Lakes. Students construct a graph for the shoreline lengths.
Introduce junior oceanographers to ice conditions in The Great Lakes. The ice map links are no longer available, so you will not be able to have your class perform the mentioned data activity. You can, however, access the Canadian Ice Service Egg Code page and their ice charts should you want to display how this system explains the ice conditions.
An online animation demonstrates how the lock system between Lake Superior and Lake Michigan works. Pupils then construct their own models of the lock system out of shoe boxes that they bring from home. This is an educational activity that can be used in conjunction with a history lesson or a technology engineering lesson.