Curriculum Filter Results

Invader Species of the Great Lakes

Students do a card-matching activity to learn about aquatic invasive species (AIS). In groups students select an aquatic invasive species, create a poster or factsheet and develop a charade-like game to demonstrate ways to prevent invasive species from spreading.

Objectives:

  • name and visually recognize some invader (nonindigenous/ exotic) species of the Great Lakes
  • understand and analyze the positive and negative impacts of invader species on the Great Lakes ecosystem
  • explain the ways in which invader species are introduced into the Great Lakes
  • describe and act out ways to avoid the spread of exotic species

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Beach Mysteries

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.

Activities:

  • Discuss the effect of harmful bacteria on swimming conditions at beaches.
  • Diagram three reasons for beach contamination.
  • Explain solutions for beach health problems.
  • Write a persuasive essay about beach health

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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.

Objectives:
  • 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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Indoor Dunes

Students study Creature Cards at sand dune ecosystem stations and determine what adaptations help the organisms to live in their environments.

Objectives:

  • List organisms that live in the dunes.
  • Describe the specialized adaptations of sand dune organisms.
  • Explain the different habitats in sand dunes.

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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 will be able to:

  • Identify exotic species and ways they are transported.
  • Learn about several exotics that affect water habitat.
  • Identify the negative or positive effects of exotic species on native animals.
  • Know how these exotics are transported and ways people can help to stop further spread.

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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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Trees on the Move: Can Maples and Buckeyes Migrate?

Activity A: What do climate models predict about tree ranges?
This lesson introduces examples of how General Circulation Models [GCMs] predict possible scenarios of climate change. Three methods of visualizing change are introduced and students compare how sugar maples and buckeye trees’ climate niches are likely to be altered.

Activity B: How can trees migrate?
The seeds of maples and buckeyes are “dispersed” in an outdoor simulation of how far a tree species might be able to spread over several tree generations.

Activity C: How does temperature affect maple seed germination?
Students examine research data on seed germination at different temperatures to infer some of the impacts of temperature on species survival.

Activity D: After the maples, then what?
Students study an outdoor area that has sugar maples and other species. Following research methods of Catherine Keever, they catalog the size and relative abundance of species in the plot and infer what species is likely to succeed if maples disappear.

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Trees on the Move

This activity set helps students examine the climate niches of the sugar maple Acer saccharum and the Ohio buckeye Aesculus glabra, and see how some global climate models predict those niches are likely to change. We will observe examples of how plants migrate, and predict some possible impacts on the North American economy and culture as maple and buckeye ranges shift. Finally, examination of research on tree seed germination offers insight on one way temperature affects trees.

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