Curriculum Filter Results

How Does Stratification Affect Water Quality?

Some lakes have water quality problems related to the layering of the lake’s waters, which occurs in the summer months. Because of its shallowness, Lake Erie is such a lake. During the summer, the warm surface layer of water does not mix with the colder bottom layer of water. If a lot of algae has grown in the lake, decay of the dead algae on the lake bottom may use up all of the oxygen in the cold bottom water layer. When there is no oxygen in the bottom waters, the water is said to be anoxic. Fish and other animals cannot live in these anoxic waters. In the fall, the surface water cools and mixes with the bottom water, resupplying the bottom water with oxygen needed for life.

Objectives:

  • Describe how stratification of lake waters influences water quality.
  • Explain how phosphorus affects oxygen levels in lakes.

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How well do you know the Great Lakes?

In this activity, learners will construct the five Great Lakes from string and use paper “water” and “fish” to show comparisons between the lakes.

After completing this activity, students will be able to:
  • Compare and contrast the differences between the Great Lakes in water volumes, length of shoreline, human population distribution, and the amount of fish harvested from each lake.

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Making Great Lakes Connections

Groups of learners work on a single Great Lake and connecting waterway and then come together as a class to construct a simple three dimensional model of the Great Lakes. Individual groups also present their Great Lake and connecting waterway information.

Objectives

After participating in this activity, learners will be able to:

  • identify the Great Lakes and the bodies of water that connect specific Great Lakes with each other and with the Atlantic Ocean
  • describe the three-dimensional geography of the Great Lakes, including elevations
  • describe why locks are needed, and how a lock system works

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More Than Just A Lake!

By creating a map of the rivers flowing into your Great Lake, learn how rivers form a watershed.

Objectives

  • Students will understand the defining role that rivers have in watershed activity
  • Students will be able to state whether they live inside or outside the drainage basin of their Great Lake
  • Older students will be able to identify the river drainage basin in which they live

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Your Great Lake!

How much water does each Great Lake hold? Use this lesson as a demonstration or a classroom lesson to create visual representations of the Great Lakes, Lake Baikal, and the relationships between surface area, retention time and pollution effects.

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Going with the Flow

Students use a simple model to discover that air moving over water causes the surface of the water to move horizontally. In writing and in a discussion, students relate this concept to surface currents in the ocean and the Great Lakes.

Objectives:

  • Relate the motion of surface currents (cause) to the motion of objects floating in the ocean and Great Lakes (effect)
  • Relate the transfer of energy from wind moving across water (cause) to the horizontal movement of water (effect)
  • Use the term “surface current” to explain horizontal movement of surface water caused by wind
  • Explain that surface currents affect surface water, not deep water

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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.

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Ojibwe – Early Immigrants to the Great Lakes Region

Most history books say Europeans “discovered” North America as if it had no history before then. As a result, students know little about the American Indians who settled here long before the Europeans came. 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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