Curriculum

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

Web Directory: Lake Superior Watershed Research Project

An incomplete list of sources for student research projects.

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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.
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. :
5. The Great Lakes support a broad diversity of life and ecosystems.
6. The Great Lakes and humans in their watersheds are inextricably interconnected.
7. Much remains to be learned about the Great Lakes.
8. The Great Lakes are socially, economically, and environmentally significant to the region, the nation and the planet.

What Happens to Rain After it Falls?

Students will begin to understand the water cycle by exploring one stage of it, runoff/infiltration.

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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.
4. Water makes Earth habitable; fresh water sustains life on land. :
6. The Great Lakes and humans in their watersheds are inextricably interconnected.

Where does that data go? Game (and outline)

Sometimes students struggle with understanding where data should go on a table. The attached cards have a date or a date and a measurement. Students should learn that the units are important because it shows us what measurement it is and that we can't just put the data anywhere. If we take data on a Friday, it shouldn't go on Wednesday's row. This game helps students learn about recording data and the importance of units.

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Great Lakes Literacy Principles:
4. Water makes Earth habitable; fresh water sustains life on land. :

Writing for Wild

Students will interpret and observe the natural world through their own words and by using figurative language.

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

Writing in Science

This lesson will help inform students about abstracts, backgrounds, methods, and conclusions that are written for informational papers and posters in order to present research conducted. Students will practice writing their own components after learning what is required for each component. This will help them in understanding how science is presented as well as practice writing skills they can use in the future.

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Great Lakes Literacy Principles:
8. The Great Lakes are socially, economically, and environmentally significant to the region, the nation and the planet.

Writing Wild

Students will use the cards to assist them in using words to describe what they see, feel, and smell outside. This will help guide them when they write a descriptive paper.

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