Great Lakes Lessons
Welcome to Great Lakes Lessons — your source for science, technology, engineering and math! This website features a suite of lessons, activities and data sets focused on the Great Lakes. Any of these resources may be easily incorporated into formal and informal educational settings. All the lessons, activities, teacher tools and data sets are free and targeted for 4-12th grades.
Standards Connections: Each lesson plan is aligned with NGSS
Tracks: Lakes, Watersheds, Water Cycle & Quality
Center for Great Lakes Literacy Curriculum
The CGLL website has dozens of searchable curricular resources all about the Great Lakes.
Standards Connections: Each lesson plan is connected to NGSS, Common Core and Great Lakes Literacy Principles
Tracks: Lakes, Watersheds, Water Cycle & Quality
NEXT.cc is an educational nonprofit that offers information, object, experience and environmental activities connected to larger earth, air, water and energy systems. NEXT.cc’s journeys introduce activities online, in the classroom, in the community and globally. Explore any of the Water Journeys: water; waves; watershed; water quality; water conservation; precipitation; rainwater harvesting; rain gardens; acid rain; clouds; climate; rivers; great lakes; aquaponics; fish; green roofs; urban agriculture.
Points: 20/journey reported
Standards Connections: NAAEE, NGSS Primary (K-2), NGSS Elementary (3-5), NGSS Middle School, WI Art and Design Standards
Tracks: Lakes, Rivers, Watersheds, Conservation, Water Cycle & Quality, Stormwater & Green Infrastructure
Aquatic Invaders Attack Pack
The Attack Pack is a rucksack filled with materials to help students and other groups learn about Great Lakes aquatic invasive species, the problems they cause and what can be done about them. Borrow a pack from the Wisconsin Water Library!
Standards Connections: NGSS and Great Lakes Literacy Principles (pg 7)
Tracks: Lakes, Water Cycle & Quality
Borrow a STEM Kit from the Wisconsin Water Library! These kits enhance the traditional children’s library or school storytime with a water science topic and an introduction to the essentials of the scientific method: observation, hypothesis formation, testing, more observation, recording and conclusion-building. Included in each kit are a topical “science chat,” read-aloud books, a science experiment or activity, songs and craft ideas. Choose from Jump Around with Frogs, Does it Sink or Float, and Once a Pond a Time.
My Favorite River Critter
The main goal of the "My Favorite River Critter" activity is to get students to recognize that there are animals in the river that depend on clean water. The program can be completed indoors or outside on the school grounds and will take approximately 45-minutes to complete.
Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to recognize animals that live in the river. Students will be able to match a predator to its prey. Students will be able to describe what a river critter needs to survive.
This activity is best suited for classrooms that are located near a creek or river. Can be adapted for lakes.
Tracks: Rivers, Life Cycles, Adaptations
Milwaukee Community Map
Contact: Michael Timm, Milwaukee Water Stories Program Manager
The Milwaukee Community Map is a free interactive map using Google Earth to share, explore, and create Milwaukee’s community water stories. The map hosts Water Stories, featuring local groups making a difference in our city’s collective water story; Basemaps, featuring geographic areas like watersheds, the sewer service area, and historic waterways; and Deeper Dives, featuring animated thematic tours. Check back soon for suggested curricular and topical themes that intersect with the Milwaukee Community Map!
Tracks: Rivers, Watersheds, Stormwater & Green Infrastructure
Ravine Education Program
Through guided observation and exploration, these lesson plans and classroom activities will enable your 4th-8th grade students to understand ravine and lakefront ecosystems prior to development, the plants and animals that historically used them as refuge, and the species that still depend on the lakefront today--including people!
Points: 10/activity reported
Tracks: Lakes, Watersheds, Conservation, Stormwater & Green Infrastructure, Water Cycle & Quality, Ravine Ecosystems
STEMhero -- Personal Water & Energy Data Inquiry
Contact: Nathan Conroy
STEMhero is an award winning curriculum enhancement and professional development. It is aligned with NGSS and CCSS -- born in Milwaukee and now serving teachers around the country.
Cost: Sponsored locally by MKE Plays (limited sponsored licenses available)
Tracks: Data Analysis, Conservation
Water Crisis Lesson Plans
This teacher's guide can be used as a whole or easily as individual lesson plans across a variety of core subjects. You'll find interactive activities, worksheets, research ideas and resource lists for you and your students. Together you'll discover the water crisis and, most importantly, some of the solutions to solve it for people in need.
Points: 10/lesson reported
Tracks: Water Cycle & Quality
Water in Your School
This guide is designed to help you introduce the concept of water conservation. Students can do activities to identify what watersheds are, what pollutants affect watersheds, where they use water each day, and how they can reduce their water use.
Tracks: Watersheds, Conservation