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.
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 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.
Where have all the Lake Trout gone?
Students create and interpret graphs to determine the impact of the sea lamprey on Lake Trout populations.
Adopt a Habitatitude
Ten lessons on aquatic invasive species for use with students in grades 6-12.
What is the impact of beach litter?
In this activity, students will construct a web of things that may increase or decrease as a result of beach litter. Student construct a life-size concept map to be to explain many potential impacts of beach litter and then discuss various interpretations of the possible debris impacts.
Should Chlorine Be Banned from the Great Lakes?
A classroom debate allows students to visualize a complex issue from many different perspectives, describe the legislative process, its functionaries (agencies, individuals involved in creating legislation), and the time involved in creating environmental legislation, and appreciate the difficulties in consensus-building in environmental disputes.
Where do all the toxins go?
When students have completed this activity, they will be able to demonstrate how chemicals accumulate in fish fat, the biopathways of the toxins in the fish’s body, and ways to prepare fish to avoid consuming the toxins.