Great Lakes Teacher Resources

Find Great Lakes educational ideas and activities

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Students investigate the geography and agricultural products of the Midwestern United States. In this US geography lesson, students watch and discuss a video that depicts the Midwest of the US as the breadbasket of the country. They make billboards which advertise an agricultural product that would be associated with this part of the country.
Students investigate America during the the 1800s. In this Social Studies lesson, students examine the Industrial Revolution, Westward Expansion, and other historical events that happened during the 1800s. Students compare and contrast locations and events of that time.
Students research marine ecosystems by creating class presentations.  In this oceanography lesson, students research the different locations of marine sanctuaries by identifying them on a transparency map in class.  Students create posters and a 5 minute presentation on their selected sanctuary to show their class.
Students explore Lake Superior. They conduct a variety of interdisciplinary activities such as writing stories regarding its water cycle, drawing a diagram of an aquatic food web, and identifying exotic species critical to the ecosystem
In this Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry worksheet, learners read a 3 page article and then answer 10 statements as true or false.
Students use a road map to fill in the blanks while they pretend they are taking an imaginary road trip. They locate places and settlements.
Students infer the cause of a shipwreck based upon information about artifacts found in the wreck. In this marine archeology lesson, students use an inventory list to infer the cause of a shipwreck. Students discuss the maritime technology used in the nineteenth century.
Students explore how marine archaeologists use data to draw inferences about shipwrecks.  In this marine archeology lesson students plot the position of a vessel, draw inferences about a shipwreck and explain the possible circumstances of the vessel's sinking. 
Sixth graders locate and identify the major bodies of water and waterways in the United States. Through a simulation activity, they describe how early explorers would have described their surroundings. Working in groups, they create their own continent and describe the bodies of water that may be on their land.
Students explore lakes of the United States. In this geography instructional activity, students identify noteworthy lakes on a map of the United States.
An article on The Canadian Campaign of the War of 1812 awaits your students. After reading the article, students answer ten true/false questions about the campaign. Answers appear at the end.
Fifth graders research the evolution of transportation systems. In this transportation lesson, 5th graders research the early methods of transportation and the technology that advanced the systems. Students work in groups to present their research to the class and describe how their mode fits into a period timeline. Students predict as a class the future of transportation.
For this zebra mussels worksheet, 7th graders read an article about zebra mussel populations in United States' lakes and rivers. Students read about the negative effects and some positive results and then answer several questions about the passage.
Learners explore shipping through song lyrics. They delve into the world of water transportation as they analyze the lyrics from the song "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald." Plenty of web resource links and background information are available; however, the song lyrics are not. 
Pupils examine their community and create a community profile. They exchange the profiles with other students in other schools and write letters asking for information about their community.
Students examine the different types of vessels used in commercial shipping.  For this commercial shipping lesson students apply force and motion to problems of marine safety. 
Students listen to an online interview with a fisheries researcher who studies Great Lakes fish and their habitats. Students use a KWL chart to review what they know, what they want to know, and what they've learned.
Groups of two to four work together to design, construct, and experiment with a boat. Each boat must include all of the major parts of a real ship, be less than 12 inches long, and be able to carry a load up twice its own weight in calm and stormy water. They measure the water displacement of the boat and deal with the concept of safe load, so this is meant for middle school science learners. You can use this lesson when teaching them about water displacement or buoyancy. 
Taconite is a rock that is used as a source of iron. Earth science explorers examine a piece up-close and discuss whether they think it is more cost effective to ship it by boat or by truck. They write letters to their state representatives about the shipping industry and its impact on the environment. In this way, they are incorporating an economics lesson and formal writing exercise into their studies on the uses of rock and minerals. 
Students investigate global warming. They interpret and analyze graphic data and search for trends in weather forecasts. Students draw conclusions regarding global warming and defend their position.