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
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.
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.
How Big is a Crowd?
In this teacher-facilitated activity, learners will construct the five Great Lakes from string and use wrapped candy or peanuts in shells to investigate the impacts of population centers on Great Lakes fish
production and water quality. Students learn to compare the relative sizes of the five Great Lakes and their human populations, as well as describe some of the problems that arise when many people
depend on a limited resource.
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.
Hydropoly: A Decision Making Game
Students play a board game to hone their decision-making skills. Through the various choices posed in the game, they are asked to consider both economic and environmental well being in making decisions.
What Are the Characteristics of the Great Lakes Exotic Species?
This puzzle activity is designed to help students review facts and information about the characteristics of the Great Lakes exotic species. They also learn about origin and introduction methods.
Rival for Survival
This game presents real-life choices involving exotic species found in the Great Lakes, such as zebra mussels and purple loosestrife. Students are to analyze a situation related to ecology and make an environmentally sound decision. After playing the game, students organize what they learned into a concept map.