IISG’s Weather and Climate Toolkit
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) has created a weather and climate education toolkit where teachers—whether parents, home school tutors or licensed professionals—can find resources on the topics of weather, climate and climate change. The toolkit provides a sortable list of external resources and can be filtered by grade level, specific weather and climate subtopics or geographic locations, learning mode and more. Filtering by scale can identify educational resources unique to the Great Lakes. Many of the lesson plans and activities in this curated catalog of resources can be used as-is or adapted for virtual learning and at-home teaching environments.
External Curriculum Materials
Invader Species of the Great Lakes
Students do a card-matching activity to learn about aquatic invasive species (AIS). In groups students select an aquatic invasive species, create a poster or factsheet and develop a charade-like game to demonstrate ways to prevent invasive species from spreading.
Ruffe Musical Chairs
Students use role-play to mimic the behavior of an invasive, non-native fish called Eurasian ruffe (pronounced rough) to experience firsthand how and why the species has multiplied so rapidly in some Great Lakes harbors.
Beat the Barriers
This board game teaches students about the various methods used to limit the sea lamprey population in the Great Lakes. Students assume the identity of sea lampreys and attempt to migrate from Lake Ontario to Lake Superior.
Sweetness and Light
Students work in teams to discover which colors (wavelengths) of visible light penetrate furthest into local waters. A diver working at a depth of 33 feet (10 meters) cuts his on a sharp rock. As he looks down at his leg he sees blood flowing from the wound. What color is the blood he sees?
Great Lakes Food Web
Students learn about and manipulate model fish to build a food representative of the Great Lakes.
Great Lakes Fisheries and the Economy
Students participate in a role play investigating the economics value of fishing in the Great Lakes.
Students take on the role of an expert witness in a lake sturgeon poaching trial. Using a variety of data sets they identify the need to visually represent data in order to find
trends and make predictions, and provide evidence based reasoning to explain their findings
in a fish poaching case study.
Pour a Pond
Students pour pond water into hula hoops on shower curtains to create their own “pond.” They then work together using dichotomous keys to identify organisms.
Build a Watershed; Just Add Water
Students build and learn about the concept of a watershed and runoff with a student-friendly hands-on investigation.