What is Great Lakes Literacy?
Great Lakes Literacy is an understanding of the Great Lakes' influences on you and your influence on the Great Lakes.
Hiking at Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Park
A Great Lakes Literate Person:
- Understands the essential principles and fundamental concepts about the characteristics, functioning, and value of the Great Lakes;
- Can communicate accurately about the Great Lakes' influence on systems and people in and beyond their watershed; and
- Is able to make informed and responsible decisions regarding the Great Lakes and the resources of their watershed.
Visit the Center for Great Lakes Literacy to learn more about educator professional development programs.
Free Great Lakes curriculum
Rouge River Water Festival Teacher Curriculum and Resource Guide, download our 175-page curriculum guide with water lessons and activities.
Great Lakes Literacy website offers Principles, Activities and Supporting Resources for freshwater education
Teach with Great Lakes Data is a web portal for K-12 educators developed by Michigan Sea Grant. This free, comprehensive web portal is designed to serve educators in the Great Lakes region and includes physical and biological data sets, lessons, a glosseary, and pedagogical tools.
Earth Partnership for Schools offers Rain Garden curriculum to help capture and treat storm water on school grounds or in the community.
COSEE Great Lakes features curriculum, professional development, and resources for Great Lakes education, sponsored by the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence.
Project FLOW (Fisheries Learning on the Web) is a comprehensive curriculum about the Great Lakes ecosystem with three core units: Food Web, Water and Fish. Geared toward upper elementary and middle school educators, the standards-based lesson content features hands-on activities, offered by Michigan Sea Grant.
Michigan Water Stewardship Program Educator Resources, includes Lesson Plans, Activities and Activity Sheets to teach students about water stewardship
TEACH Great Lakes is the Great Lakes Information Network’s educator website that includes a searchable index of Great Lakes materials and lessons.
Western U.P. Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education hosts a comprehensive library of Great Lakes education materials and resources.
Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum Support site hosted by the Western U.P. Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education, includes Tech Alive Web Modules with on-line training on Great Lakes topics.
Great Lakes Invaders Curriculum from the Inland Seas Association is a 5-lesson unit designed to guide students through an exploration of the invasive species problem.
Lake Effects: Lake Superior Curriculum Guide from the Great Lakes Aquarium at Lake Superior Center offers lessons specific to Lake Superior.
Great Lakes Home Page for Kids a teacher lesson plan on Geography and Math of the Lakes.
Great Minds, Great Lakes is an overview of the Great Lakes for students that tells the story of the Lake Guardian scientific monitoring vessel. The website includes essays and associated activities for teachers, published by the U.S. EPA
Water on the Web offers Advanced Technologies and Real-Time Data in Basic and Water Science: A National Curriculum for Colleges and High Schools.
Apostle Islands Lighthouse Curriculum is a comprehensive curriculum guide that encourages the use of lighthouses as a focal point of school curricula throughout the region and around the country.
Listening to the River is an informal science education program that engages teens and adults in the exploration of the characteristics, functions and values of watersheds. The program utilizes a variety of media strategies to engage students in telling their watershed story.
Great Lakes Observing System Education and Outreach website includes links to data, web cams and current physical and chemical conditions of the Great Lakes. Includes Google Earth application designed for using Paddle to the Sea in the classroom!
Paddle-to-the-Sea by Holling Clancy Holling Google Earth Application, this “Lit Trip” is a remarkable collection of teacher resources. Each location place marker contains a brief plot summary, information on the location, geographic features, themes, and links to kid friendly resource websites.
Water Cycle Learning Object (funding from NOAA): Animations, diagrams, tutorials and lessons that guide the learner to an understanding of the water cycle and its impacts.
Earth Labs: Drought helps students to use satellite imagery, numerical data, and computer visualization software to explore Earth system processes.
Educating Young People About Water is a database of water curriculum and activities.
The Pollution Prevention (P2) Toolbox (EPA-905-F-97-011) is a series of lesson plans on various pollution prevention concepts. Each fact sheet provides lesson plans, hands-on activities and information on how students and teachers can prevent pollution.
Teacher Resources to learn about Freshwater Mussels from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with activity books, stories and worksheets to explain the mussel life cycle, biology and historical importance.
Waterfall in Michigan's Upper Peninsula
National Ocean Service offers tutorials, activities, lesson plans, resource lists, case studies on ocean, coastal and climate sciences.
NOAA Ocean Exploration program provides a variety of learning and teaching tools designed to engage broad audiences and enhance America’s environmental literacy through the excitement of ocean discovery. The available tools include hundreds of lesson plans written by teachers for teachers, lessons built around specific ocean exploration expeditions across the globe, multimedia packages on specific ocean science topics, the Learning Ocean Science through Ocean Exploration curriculum, and a collection of background information and lessons associated with the Gulf of Mexico and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The Surfrider Foundation is a coastal education program based in California with watershed curriculum for download.
Sanibel Sea School Coastal Classroom is a collaborative effort between START (Solutions to Avoid Red Tide) and Sanibel Sea School to educate Lee County students about locally relevant coastal and marine issues. This module is a prototype designed specifically for 7th grade students. Each lesson includes age-appropriate suggestions for practicing good stewardship, so students can begin to develop skills to protect the ocean starting today.
Ocean Acidification Educational Resources for the High School Classroom includes presentations and videos, Curricula and Activities, Interactive Media and background resources.
Earth Labs: Corals facilitates students to use satellite imagery, numerical data, and computer
visualization software to explore Earth system processes.
Education Activity for Great Lakes Schools (EAGLS), a curriculum available from Ohio Sea Grant publications.
The Great Lakes in My World curriculum has 80 indoor and outdoor activities for kindergarten through eighth-grade students. The curriculum is divided into six units: Lakes, Sand Dunes, Wetlands, Human Communities, History and Geology, available from the Alliance for the Great Lakes.
Greatest of the Great Lakes - A Medley of Model Lessons CD from Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant; sample lessons are available on-line.
The Exotic Species Compendium of Activities to Protect the Ecosystem (ESCAPE) package includes 36 user-friendly sets of lessons that incorporate experiments, art, music and games.
Great Lakes Instructional Materials for a Changing Earth System (GLIMCES) is a packet of scientific scenarios of how global warming could affect the Great Lakes region, includes 20 activities.
Supplemental Curriculum Activities to accompany Holling Clancy’s Paddle-to-the-Sea: this book of "Supplemental Curriculum Activities" provides at least one classroom activity for each of the 27 chapters Holling wrote. Paddle-to-the-Sea is an award-winning children's book about how a carved wooden Indian in a toy canoe travels throughout the Great Lakes from headwaters in melting snow north of Lake Superior.