Great Lakes Classroom Activities

These activities will help you prepare your class to come on the Schoolship and are great follow-up lessons to complement the shipboard experience. While most lessons are geared for middle school, all can be adapted for younger and older students. (All lessons are in pdf files.)

Journey to the Sea: Map Great Lakes lake levels and flow to the ocean

Shoe Key: Make a dichotomous key

The Great Plankton Race: Design a slow-sinking “plankton” (engineering lesson!)

Why Do Boats Float: Design a boat that will hold the most cargo (engineering lesson!)

What Do Scientists Know About Invader Species of the Great Lakes: Match invasive species to modes of introduction and ecological impact

Understanding Water in Your Own Region: Audit and evaluate personal water use

Understanding Global Water Distribution: Build a model of water distribution on Earth

Teaching Vocabulary: Learn sailor names for everything on our ship

Sea Shanties: Listen to a traditional sailing song and map the voyage of the ship featured in the shanty

Layers of the Lake: Learn about sediment layers with models

Lake Stratification: Make a model of thermal stratification

Gyotaku fish printing: Create art prints using real fish, and learn fish anatomy

Great Lakes Stewardship Community Involvement: Take action on behalf of the Great Lakes, some ideas

Great Lakes Food Web: Draw a food web diagram and predict effects when species change

Calculating Cloud Cover: Observe the sky then build a model that represents percent cloud cover

Building Your Own Watershed: Make and use landscape models with paper and clay

Acids and Bases: Test the pH of common substances and predict the pH of unknowns

A Watershed View of the Bay: Examine topographic maps to find watershed boundaries and features

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