Great Minds, Great Lakes
- The Journey of the Lake Guardian
- The Lake Guardian Explores Lake Superior
- Investigating Lake Huron
- The Journey Continues on Lake Michigan
- The Lake Guardian Travels the Length of Lake Erie
- The End of the Journey, Lake Ontario
Where Did the Great Lakes Come From?
- Discuss what a glacier is, how it moves, how it can change the geography of the land
- On a map, point out where the glaciers covered the Great Lakes area. Have the students ever seen ice that big? Explain that glaciers still exist today in many parts of the worlds, e.g., Glacier National Park in Montana, Sierra Nevada Mountain Range in Nevada, and Columbia Ice Fields in the Canadian Rockies near Jasper, Canada
Great Lakes People
- Ask the Student to talk about where their families are from. Why did their families originally move to the Great Lakes Basin.
- Locate interesting names of towns and cities on a map of the Great Lakes. Determine the origin of the name or have the class write to the city's Chamber of Commerce for further historical information.
- Talk about the different navigational challenges posed by each Great Lake. The information mentions that previous shipwrecks lead to the development of further safety precautions. Discuss with the students what might be learned from shipwrecks. How can shipwrecks tell us about he way people lived long ago and about the history of shipping?
- Discuss what inventions and advancements in weather predictions have made navigation on the Great Lakes safer
Christmas Tree Shipwreck
- Discuss Claud Winters and Captain Herman Schunemann's personalities, interests, and appearance.
- Talk about what kind of person would choose the life of a seaman in the early part of the century.
Where Would We Be Without the Great Lakes
- Discuss how student and their families use water in their daily lives and explore how important water is as a natural resource.
- Discuss what would happen if fresh water was not readily available. Talk about way drinking water is wasted and how it can be conserved.
- Using the information on water use, calculate how much water the students and their families use each day. Have students measure the amount of water they sue to brush their teeth once, then calculate how much water they use in a week or a month.
Who Governs the Great Lakes
- Talk about other natural resources we share with Canada and other countries such as air, oceans, and wildlife.
- Ask students if they know who is in charge of making decisions about how to clean up pollution on the Great Lakes. Discuss how we can influence our governments to work hard on ways to protect the Lakes.
- Talk about jobs students could have in the future that will contribute to protecting the Lakes (engineer, teacher, scientist, zoologist, biologist, politician).
- Brainstorm ways that working cooperatively with a partner or group can be beneficial in solving problems.
- Introduce air pollution by asking the students what their senses tell them about the air. Explore how we can use our sense of sight, taste, and smell to be "air detectives".
- Brainstorm sources of air pollution such as cars, factories, fires, and cigarette smoking. Discuss what common activities in their own lives indirectly contribute to acid rain (e.g. electricity demand causes power plants to create more air pollution). What can we do to reduce air pollution? Discuss ways to save energy.
- Explore how difficult it is for the United States and Canada to decide how to eliminate acid rain problems and compromise. Discuss solutions to the acid rain problem and how some of the solutions may affect other important areas such as the economy, jobs, and industry. Ask if either the United States or Canada could solve the acid rain problem alone and discuss the advantages of working together. Ask students to think of other situations where they have found it was best to cooperate.
Journey of the Lake Guardian
- Discuss how the student think the research boat can help the Great Lakes. Why might it be hard for Lake Guardian to study all the different kinds of pollution.
- Have the students ever been in a boat? Was it as big as Lake Guardian? How big is Lake Guardian compared to the classroom?
- Brainstorm types of pollution we expect to find in the Lakes. List different kinds of pollution. Do they know of types of pollution that can't be seen? What happens to pollution? What Can they do to help stop pollution?
- Explain the hydrologic cycle to students (see diagram). Have they seen evidence of the cycle in their daily lives? When they was the dishes or take a bath or shower, what happens to the steam? Relate this to condensation, precipitation and runoff in the hydrologic cycle.
- Explore why areas of higher population result in more pollution in the Great Lakes. Discuss which of the great lakes they would prefer to live beside and why. Discuss how recreation and tourism may result in harm to the Lakes. What should they do if they see someone litter at a beach picnic?
- Relate the story's discussion of pollution eaten by small creatures to the food chain, reaching through the food chain to the fish that humans eat. Follow the pollution from a paper mill smokestack all the way to their own dinner plate.
- Talk about wetlands. Have the students ever seen one? Why are wetlands important? Discuss what an endangered species.
- Talk about the new pollution pathways discussed in the story. Explore experiences the students have had related to the pathways. Rural: Have they ever seen a farmer fertilize or spray pesticides on crops? Could they smell it? How do they respond to the farmer's dilemma of using fertilizers and pesticides? Urban: Ask the students for examples of trash or abandoned things they see every day on the street. What activities at home result in pouring or dumping things on the ground outside, and how might these materials reach the Great Lakes? (See activity pollution underground). Does the story make them think twice about what they throw on the ground?
- Ask if any of the students have ever had fruits or vegetables they think may have come from the Lake Michigan area. Have them ask the grocer where they get fruits and vegetables to see if any come from these areas.
Lake Erie/Lake Ontario
- Have the students do the Great Lakes map activities. On the Pollution Pathways Map draw in figures representing sources of industrial hot water emissions.
- Review with students why the mayfly is important. Can they think of other indicators of pollution? (water discoloration, smelly air, lack of fish and birds)
- Discuss how industrial or municipal warm water discharge can be bad for lakes. Emphasize how human activity can harm the Great Lakes and not necessarily involve pollutants. Can the class think of other examples? (erosion from shoreline development.