Curriculum

Snow Investigations

Students will observe and investigate the properties of snow and snowflakes as a means to learning about states of matter.

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Great Lakes Literacy Principles:
3. The Great Lakes influence local and regional weather and climate.
4. Water makes Earth habitable; fresh water sustains life on land. :

St. Louis River Map Quest

This lesson is a map quest that incorporates maps, land, government, and bodies of water. Using maps and a legend students will discover the different governing entities that are responsible for certain parts of the river and determine if the land is federal, state, city, or tribal.

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Subnivean Zone and Temperatures

Students will discover the insulating effect of snow and understand that temperature varies according to snow depth. Students will also learn what the subnivean zone is and how it helps animals survive the winter.

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Great Lakes Literacy Principles:
3. The Great Lakes influence local and regional weather and climate.
4. Water makes Earth habitable; fresh water sustains life on land. :

Sum of the Rivers

Students will see maps of Lake Superior and the St. Louis River to compare the sizes. Students will then each draw a portion of either the St. Louis River or a river near their school that flows into the St. Louis River or Lake Superior. They will make connections that every part of the river can impact the health of the rest of the river and of Lake Superior.

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Great Lakes Literacy Principles:
1. The Great Lakes, bodies of fresh water with many features, are connected to each other and to the world ocean.
4. Water makes Earth habitable; fresh water sustains life on land. :
5. The Great Lakes support a broad diversity of life and ecosystems.
6. The Great Lakes and humans in their watersheds are inextricably interconnected.
8. The Great Lakes are socially, economically, and environmentally significant to the region, the nation and the planet.

The Brownstone Quarries of Bayfield County

Attached is a two part PDF of Tom Gerstenberger's book "The Brownstone Quarries of Bayfield County"

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Great Lakes Literacy Principles:
2. Natural forces formed the Great Lakes; the lakes continue to shape the features of their watershed.
6. The Great Lakes and humans in their watersheds are inextricably interconnected.
8. The Great Lakes are socially, economically, and environmentally significant to the region, the nation and the planet.

Thermo-What??

Students will learn about temperature and temperature changes using the Lake Superior thermocline. Concepts and vocabulary covered are: water column, thermocline, metalimnion, epilimnion, hypolimnion, lake turnover, dimictic, and lake stratification.

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Subject Areas:
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Great Lakes Literacy Principles:
2. Natural forces formed the Great Lakes; the lakes continue to shape the features of their watershed.
3. The Great Lakes influence local and regional weather and climate.
4. Water makes Earth habitable; fresh water sustains life on land. :

Thompson Reservoir Investigation Lesson

Attached is a lesson plan and worksheet for investigating Thompson Reservoir. This will prepare students for a more detailed chemistry investigation by gathering a physical inventory of the Reservoir and a chance to experience a virtual overview of the upstream watershed. The lesson also introduces the study of sediments. Use the curricula titled "Google Earth Tour of the St. Louis River" for the virtual tour. Sediment core is optional.

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Subject Areas: ,
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Great Lakes Literacy Principles:
2. Natural forces formed the Great Lakes; the lakes continue to shape the features of their watershed.
6. The Great Lakes and humans in their watersheds are inextricably interconnected.

Vernal Pools Informational Text: Read and Understand!

The emphasis on reading and understanding informational texts in classrooms mirrors our efforts in science at the Lake Superior NERR. These readings are based on real scientific efforts in the Lake Superior Watershed, and include questions to check for understanding. This reading on vernal pools is great for springtime and is derived from an article in the Duluth News Tribune, April 2016.

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Subject Areas: ,
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Great Lakes Literacy Principles:
1. The Great Lakes, bodies of fresh water with many features, are connected to each other and to the world ocean.
4. Water makes Earth habitable; fresh water sustains life on land. :
5. The Great Lakes support a broad diversity of life and ecosystems.

Visual Aid: Images of Animals in Hibernation

Take this one-page quality visual aid out with you on your late fall or winter hike. Students will love to look for burrows, dens, scratchings, tracks and traces of animals when outside. Have students make burrows or dens using snow, branches, leaves, or bring a tarp - then they will be able to become animals, imagining a shelter in the woods.

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Great Lakes Literacy Principles:
5. The Great Lakes support a broad diversity of life and ecosystems.

Visual Aid: Trees that Keep their Leaves

This is a one-pager, student sheet with quality images of cedar, balsam fir, red pine, spruce, and white pine needles for field identification and extension activities. Have students make a display by gathering specimens, researching, or for smaller students, simply writing the names of the trees by the correct images. Regardless, GO OUTSIDE with your students and collect some samples of these trees for your classroom. Tell the Ojibwe oral story that explains this phenomenon.

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Subject Areas: ,
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Great Lakes Literacy Principles:
5. The Great Lakes support a broad diversity of life and ecosystems.