The Centers for Ocean Sciences Educational Excellence (COSEE) Great Lakes has developed a collection of 41 innovative classroom activities to provide teachers and students (grades 4-10) with insights into the uniqueness of the Great Lakes and their influence on aquatic life and human populations. COSEE GL believes that as students engage in these interactive and thought-provoking activities, they will gain an understanding of Great Lakes science, issues, and potential solutions.
Many of the activities come from regional Sea Grant education programs and have been rigorously reviewed and tested in schools over the years. Selected classroom activities on topics including Great Lakes Overview, Life in the Water, Habitats, Climate & Weather, Hydrology, Coastal Processes, and Issues constitute The Greatest of the Great Lakes. These selections are designed to meet teachers’ needs for classroom utility, quality, and topic coverage. Teachers in the Great Lakes states worked to align activities to state and national science education standards, ocean literacy principles, and Earth systems understandings.
This set should serve as a starter for curriculum exploration rather than as a definitive end point. The activities incorporate a wide variety of instructional modes like role playing, experiments, and investigation. The lessons are designed to enhance learning skills like inquiry, data interpretation, hypothesis development, and decision-making.
Examples of 7 of the 41 activities from CD are available as FREE downloadable activities to provide teachers with a sampling of our Greatest of the Great Lakes - A Medley of Model Lessons collection. Click here to request these materials from one of our partner programs, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant.
- Helen Domske, Coastal Education Specialist, New York Sea Grant and Associate Director, Great Lakes Program