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.
- name and visually recognize some invader (nonindigenous/ exotic) species of the Great Lakes
- understand and analyze the positive and negative impacts of invader species on the Great Lakes ecosystem
- explain the ways in which invader species are introduced into the Great Lakes
- describe and act out ways to avoid the spread of exotic species
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.
Great Lakes Food Web
Students learn about and manipulate model fish to build a food representative of the Great Lakes.
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.
An active lesson where students investigate components of habitats and their impact on the survival of populations.
Fashion a Fish
Students design a fish while learning about adaptations to various habitats.
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