Curriculum Filter Results

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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Density: Sea Water Mixing and Sinking

Two of the most important characteristics of ocean water are its temperature and salinity.
Together they help govern the density of seawater, which is a major factor controlling the ocean’s
vertical movements and layered circulation.

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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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What is the Great Lakes Triangle?

Former aviator Jay Gourley has written a book called The Great Lakes Triangle (1977), which claims that the Great Lakes account for more unexplained disappearances per unit area than the Bermuda Triangle. This is no small comparison, considering that the Bermuda Triangle is 16 times larger than the Great Lakes area.
When you have completed this activity you will be able 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.

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Where Should I Relocate in the Great Lakes Region?

This activity will allow students to describe the Great Lakes region using a map and identify some of the resources the region has to offer. Also, by using maps and graphs students can demonstrate how they can provide information for decision making. Students will describe a decision making process by which people can evaluate a geographic area as a possible home site.

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Is the Globe Warming? Is there Evidence in the Great Lakes Region?

After completing this activity, students will be able to:
  • Critically interpret graphic data.
  • Evaluate and discuss the difficulties inherent in interpreting and forecasting long- and short-term trends.
  • Analyze data, draw conclusions about whether there is evidence of global warming, and defend their conclusions.

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What Happens to Heat Energy Reaching the Great Lakes?

Even as far back as the “log cabin days,” people knew that water absorbs a great deal of heat energy and can in turn release this heat. Pioneers would prevent foods from freezing on cold nights by placing a large container of water in the room. Can you think of why this might work? In this investigation we will explore how bodies of water can affect the surrounding areas.

Objectives:

  • Describe how soil and water differ in their ability to absorb and release heat energy.
  • Describe how this difference in heat absorbed or released affects the atmosphere immediately above the land and immediately above the water.

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Implications of Warming in the Arctic

Besides being a “canary in the coal mine,” why should we learn about global warming in the Arctic?

Objectives:

  • Explain feedback loops including surface reflectivity (albedo), ocean circulation, melting permafrost releasing heat-trapping gasses and melting ice contributing to rising sea levels.
  • Explain how warming in the Arctic affects the rest of the world.

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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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