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How Can Disappearances Within the Triangle Be Explained?

Investigating multiple hypotheses, students discuss the values of using several data types and sources to solve a science problem, demonstrate how bathymetric charts are used and constructed, demonstrate how weather information is mapped and interpreted, and explain how scientists use multiple working hypotheses to solve complex problems.

Your class should first study the locations of missing craft and personnel in the activity titled, “What is the Great Lakes Triangle?” Like scientists, you should examine the data for trends and indicators; in this case you examine concentrations of the disappearances and speculate on their causes. The present investigation is actually three activities that are to be performed by different classroom groups simultaneously through cooperative learning. If time permits, all three activities could be done by the entire class.

The activities treat the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald as example of a Great Lakes Triangle tragedy. When all three topics have been considered, there will be a discussion to consider whether the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald was an accident resulting from natural causes or whether other supernatural or extraterrestrial forces might be at work (as proposed in Berlitz’ The Bermuda Triangle).

Objectives:

  • Discuss the values of using several data types and sources to solve a science problem.
  • Demonstrate how bathymetric charts are used and constructed.
  • Demonstrate how weather information is mapped and interpreted.
  • Give an example of how scientists use multiple working hypotheses to solve complex problems.

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What is the Great Lakes Triangle?

Analyzing multiple sets of data, students learn to demonstrate an ability to perceive patterns in a set of data, explain how scientific habits of mind should include the seeking of logical explanations for “mysterious” happenings.

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Where Should I Relocate in the Great Lakes Region?

This activity will allow students to describe the Great Lakes region using a map and identify some of the resources the region has to offer. Also, by using maps and graphs students can demonstrate how they can provide information for decision making. Students will describe a decision making process by which people can evaluate a geographic area as a possible home site.

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Ojibway—Early Immigrants to the Great Lakes Region

This activity introduces students to one tribe of early Great Lakes settlers, the Ojibway (Chippewa), who began to migrate from what would later become New Brunswick and Maine in 900 A.D.

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Estuary Values and Changes

Activity A:  What is the ecological role of an estuary?

In this investigation, students use various sets of data to examine some of the characteristics of the estuary at Old Woman Creek,near Huron, Ohio. Students learn about the methods used by ecologists to sample populations of plant and animal life in aquatic ecosystems, the living communities that are found in different depths of water in an estuary, and how plant communities are important to animal life in an estuary.

Activity B: How do estuaries impact nutrients entering a lake?

Students analyze a map and data to learn how estuaries affect nutrient levels as water enters a lake.
They make predictions about how the effects of climate change might affect an estuary’s ability to improve water quality and function properly.

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Trees on the Move: Can Maples and Buckeyes Migrate?

Activity A: What do climate models predict about tree ranges?
This lesson introduces examples of how General Circulation Models [GCMs] predict possible scenarios of climate change. Three methods of visualizing change are introduced and students compare how sugar maples and buckeye trees’ climate niches are likely to be altered.

Activity B: How can trees migrate?
The seeds of maples and buckeyes are “dispersed” in an outdoor simulation of how far a tree species might be able to spread over several tree generations.

Activity C: How does temperature affect maple seed germination?
Students examine research data on seed germination at different temperatures to infer some of the impacts of temperature on species survival.

Activity D: After the maples, then what?
Students study an outdoor area that has sugar maples and other species. Following research methods of Catherine Keever, they catalog the size and relative abundance of species in the plot and infer what species is likely to succeed if maples disappear.

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