What are some characteristics of Great Lakes fish?
If you know how to construct a dichotomous key, you can make one that classifies real organisms, some fish in the Great Lakes. After building a dichotomous key, students will describe some ways fish differ from each other in appearance and use similar characteristics of fish to group them into categories for classification.
Who Can Harvest a Walleye?
Students play a board game where they learn the meaning of the following terms as they relate to a
biomass pyramid: producer, herbivore, first-order carnivore, second-order carnivore; calculate the relative number of kilograms at each level of the biomass pyramid in a given environment; and analyze how different conditions in the environment affect the pyramid.
Students study Creature Cards at sand dune ecosystem stations and determine what adaptations help the organisms to live in their environments.
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.
Wetland in a Pan
Students build a model wetland to understand that wetlands are defined by plants, soil and water, identify some wetland types and their locations, and relate importance of wetland function to people’s needs and daily lives.
Seeing Purple: A Population Explosion
Through a simulation, sampling, and estimation activity, students learn about the impact of purple loosestrife on a wetland due to its exponential growth. They learn about purple loosestrife’s life cycle and appreciate how scientists determine population size in an ecosystem.
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 research, discuss and debate views on Great Lakes water withdrawals and exportation by taking different roles in the issue.
How Can Disappearances Within the Triangle Be Explained?
Investigating multiple hypotheses, students discuss the values of using several data types and sources to
solve a science problem, demonstrate how bathymetric charts are used and constructed, demonstrate how weather information is mapped and interpreted, and explain how scientists use multiple working
hypotheses to solve complex problems.
What is the Great Lakes Triangle?
Analyzing multiple sets of data, students learn to demonstrate an ability to perceive patterns in a set of data, explain how scientific habits of mind should include the seeking of logical explanations for “mysterious” happenings.