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Great Lakes Literacy education exploration (GLLee)

What is a GLLee?

Great Lakes Literacy Education Exploration, or GLLee, are an introductory collection of resources and partners assembled in three easy steps to help teachers and youth explore Great Lakes Literacy through place-based education and stewardship opportunities in your school and community!

  1. Explore a Great Lakes Topic

  2. Support Teaching and Learning with Additional Resources

  3. Engage Youth in Place-based Education or Stewardship

Want to participate?

CGLL programs are open to all, but registration is required gain access to each Google Classroom and connected content.

Current GLLee Topics available during the 2021-22 school year – join below: 

  • Coastal Erosion (Best suited for students in grades 6-12)

    • What? Coastal erosion is the process by which strong wave action and coastal flooding wear down or carry away rocks, soils, and sands along the coast.
    • Driving Question? How does coastal erosion shape the shorelines of the Great Lakes and impact our ecosystems and communities?
  • Marine Debris (Best suited for students in grades 4-12)

    • What? Marine debris is any human-made material that can end up – on purpose or by accident – in our rivers, ocean, and Great Lakes.
    • Driving Question? How does marine debris impact our Great Lakes and animals (including humans) and plants that depend on this freshwater resource?
  • Vernal Pools (Best suited for students in grades 6-12)

    • What? Vernal pools are “wicked big puddles” and ecologically serve as the “coral reefs of our northern forest ecosystems.”
    • Driving Question? How do vernal pools (seasonal woodland wetlands) benefit the Great Lakes region?

For accessibility concerns or issues with this virtual resource, please contact [email protected].

Center for Great Lakes Literacy programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national or ethnic origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, or veteran status. 


Estuary Values and Changes

Activity A:  What is the ecological role of an estuary?

In this investigation, students use various sets of data to examine some of the characteristics of the estuary at Old Woman Creek,near Huron, Ohio. Students learn about the methods used by ecologists to sample populations of plant and animal life in aquatic ecosystems, the living communities that are found in different depths of water in an estuary, and how plant communities are important to animal life in an estuary.

Activity B: How do estuaries impact nutrients entering a lake?

Students analyze a map and data to learn how estuaries affect nutrient levels as water enters a lake.
They make predictions about how the effects of climate change might affect an estuary’s ability to improve water quality and function properly.

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How Fast Can a Shoreline Change?

Ohio’s Lake Erie shoreline consists of wetlands, low bluffs, and gently sloping shore in the western one-third of the state and glacial till and soft shale bluffs in the eastern two-thirds of the state. The rate of shore erosion is affected by the kind of land and rock materials and the use of protective structures. Use map reading skills to recognize some shoreline features on aerial photos, observe changes in a shoreline over time, and observe the effects of shoreline devices on rates of erosion.

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What evidence of glaciation exists in the Great Lakes region?

The Great Lakes Basin was once covered by the ice of continental glaciers. About 15,000 years ago the last ice melted to expose the lake basin. There have been minor advances and retreats of glaciers since then causing the level of the water in the lakes to rise and fall. How do scientists determine these past lake levels? Use mapping skills to identify the evidence of ancient beach ridges and  become aware of the uses of ancient beach ridges today.

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How Did Rocks and Rivers Shape the Great Lakes?

The rocks in the Great Lakes Basin are of two main types: metamorphic/igneous and sedimentary. The metamorphic/igneous rocks formed long ago, when molten rock hardened and the heat changed other rocks nearby without melting them. This happened over one billion years ago. The sedimentary rocks in the Great Lakes Basin formed in an ocean that covered most of the basin beginning about 600 million years ago. Use maps skills to relate the hardness of rocks to topography and lake depth, describe the topography of the Great Lakes area, and relate the pre-glacial drainage system to the present size and position of the Great Lakes.

After completing this activity, each student will be able to:
  • Relate the hardness of rocks to topography and lake depth.
  • Describe the topography of the Great Lakes area.
  • Relate the pre-glacial drainage system to the present size and position of the Great Lakes.

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What causes the shoreline to erode?

Shorelines along the Great Lakes vary in the nature of their sediments and resistance to erosion. Natural causes of erosion include waves, currents, and effects of wind and storms on shoreline processes. Simulate the processes of shoreline erosion to investigate the ongoing changes in coastal areas.

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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. 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. In the fall, the surface water cools and mixes with the bottom water, resupplying the bottom water with oxygen needed for life. Learn how stratification of lake waters influences water quality and phosphorus affects oxygen levels in lakes.

Objectives

When you complete the activity you will be able to:

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

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What Evidence of Glaciation Exists in the Great Lakes Region?

The Great Lakes Basin was once covered by the ice of continental glaciers. About 15,000 years ago the last ice melted to expose the lake basin. There have been minor advances and retreats of glaciers since then causing the level of the water in the lakes to rise and fall. How do scientists determine these past lake levels?

Objectives:

  • Identify the evidence of ancient beach ridges.
  • Become aware of the uses of ancient beach ridges today.

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Ooze Clues, Diatom Ooze

Plot the distribution of various oozes using information from sediment maps.
Objectives:
  • Describe the characterless of different types of seafloor sediments and oozes
  • Predict distribution of calcareous and siliceous oozes.
  • Compare and discuss locations of sediments and oozes.

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