Curriculum Filter Results

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 for educators to gain access to each Google Classroom and connected content.

Please note you will need to use a personal Gmail address (i.e. not your school address) to access course materials.

Current GLLee Topics available during the 2022-23 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?
  • Coming Soon: Aquatic Invasive Species and Urban Water Cycle!

For any GLLee questions, 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. 

Freedom Seekers: The Underground Railroad, Great Lakes, and Science Literacy Activities

Great Lakes connections to Underground Railroad – Black History Month
Free Curriculum for Middle and High School Educators

Learn about Freedom Seekers and the Underground Railroad
Link to view curriculum ▶ Google Document | PDF
Link to edit and use curriculum

🛑 If you use the curriculum or have additional resources that you think should be included, please fill out this short evaluation. 🛑

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

CSI: Fish

Students take on the role of an expert witness in a lake sturgeon poaching trial. Using a variety of data sets they identify the need to visually represent data in order to find
trends and make predictions, and provide evidence based reasoning to explain their findings
in a fish poaching case study.



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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.

  • Discuss land-use practices that affect Great Lakes wetlands
  • Make decisions and recognize personal priorities with regard to wetlands
  • Describe some of the economic factors that often drive land use



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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.



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