Students learn about bacteria as an indicator of beach water quality for swimming. In groups they solve
hypothetical problems associated with beaches. Then students write persuasive essays on the issue.
- Discuss the effect of harmful bacteria on swimming conditions at beaches.
- Diagram three reasons for beach contamination.
- Explain solutions for beach health problems.
- Write a persuasive essay about beach health
Hydropoly: A Decision Making Game
Students play a board game to hone their decision-making skills. Through the various choices posed in the game, they are asked to consider both economic and environmental well being in making decisions.
- Discuss land-use practices that affect Great Lakes wetlands
- Make decisions and recognize personal priorities with regard to wetlands
- Describe some of the economic factors that often drive land use
What Are the Characteristics of the Great Lakes Exotic Species?
This puzzle activity is designed to help students review facts and information about the characteristics of the Great Lakes exotic species. They also learn about origin and introduction methods.
What are some characteristics of Great Lakes fish?
If you know how to construct a dichotomous key, you can make one that classifies real organisms, some fish in the Great Lakes. After building a dichotomous key, students will describe some ways fish differ from each other in appearance and use similar characteristics of fish to group them into categories for classification.
Who Can Harvest a Walleye?
Students play a board game where they learn the meaning of the following terms as they relate to a
biomass pyramid: producer, herbivore, first-order carnivore, second-order carnivore; calculate the relative number of kilograms at each level of the biomass pyramid in a given environment; and analyze how different conditions in the environment affect the pyramid.
Students study Creature Cards at sand dune ecosystem stations and determine what adaptations help the organisms to live in their environments.
- List organisms that live in the dunes.
- Describe the specialized adaptations of sand dune organisms.
- Explain the different habitats in sand dunes.
Rival for Survival
This game presents real-life choices involving exotic species found in the Great Lakes, such as zebra mussels and purple loosestrife. Students are to analyze a situation related to ecology and make an environmentally sound decision. After playing the game, students organize what they learned into a concept map.
Wetland in a Pan
Students build a model wetland to understand that wetlands are defined by plants, soil and water, identify some wetland types and their locations, and relate importance of wetland function to people’s needs and daily lives.
Seeing Purple: A Population Explosion
Through a simulation, sampling, and estimation activity, students learn about the impact of purple loosestrife on a wetland due to its exponential growth. They learn about purple loosestrife’s life cycle and appreciate how scientists determine population size in an ecosystem.
Don’t Stop for Hitchhikers!
Students role-play the part of lake inhabitants and the aquatic exotics who displace the native species. Props are used to help demonstrate how aquatic exotic species enter a lake or river system, the negative effect they have on the native species, and things people can do to stop the spread of exotic species.
Students will be able to:
- Identify exotic species and ways they are transported.
- Learn about several exotics that affect water habitat.
- Identify the negative or positive effects of exotic species on native animals.
- Know how these exotics are transported and ways people can help to stop further spread.