Lake Erie Center

Lesson Plans

Our group has developed 25 formal lesson plans which are available as kits to be exchanged within the group. Many lessons also include informational videos to accompany the written lesson plan. 

An Introduction to Water Quality
Students will be able to: Determine the origin of their drinking water. Determine the effects on human beings if contaminants such as, E. coli were found in drinking water. Identify the parameters of water quality. Describe how abnormal amounts of each parameter affects the organisms found in a particular body of water. 

Introduction to Solar Energy, Climate, and Ozone
The objective of this lesson is to illustrate the concepts of solar energy and the electromagnetic spectrum, and the function of the ozone layer in an inquiry based lesson for students in grades 7 through 12.

Macropoly
Students will learn the identification of benthic macroinvertebrates as well as their niche, habitat, pollution tolerance, and importance in determining water quality by creating a game similar to  “Monopoly”. In addition to learning the importance of benthic organisms as indicators of water quality, students will learn the impact human activity has upon aquatic environments and how these organisms react to anthropogenic changes.

Life in a lake: Modeling the effects of phosphorus on aquatic organisms
The purpose of this activity is to get students to understand the effects of water pollution in the form of phosphorus addition to a lake. Through the computer program Ecobeaker: Nutrient Pollution, students learn concepts of eutrophication, population fluctuations, bioaccumulation of toxins, and problem solving.

Invasive Species Game
Students will be introduced to the effect an invasive species has on an ecosystem. The limit of food and other nutrients will cause stagnation of native species growth or even decline, depending on the behavior of the organism. 

Race to the drains: How your school returns rainwater to the soil
This activity will illustrate the impact that abiotic features, including those that are man-made (such as parking lots, roofs, retention ponds, etc.) have on rainwater infiltration to the soil, and on water quality within the school’s watershed. 

River of Shame 
Students will be introduced to the concept of the water pollution. Businesses, industries, and community services contribute different pollutants (chemical, sedimentary, thermal, impervious pulse) and create cumulative contamination of the water body impacting the watershed ecosystem. Students will learn the concepts of pollutant origins (point source vs. non-point source & inorganic vs. organic), and the role of impervious surfaces.

Lake Erie Center Tour
A scavenger hunt through the LEC, which can be used for field trips. Students are guided through the LEC and directed to posters and various points of interest.

Introduction to Experimental Design-The Paper Towel Experiment
A lesson on the scientific method and experimental design. Students develop experiments to compare the amount of water that different brands of paper towels can hold. 

Beak of the Finch Activity
This activity teaches about evolution by demonstrating that differences in bird beak styles determine the efficiency of feeding and ultimately the survival of the species.

Creating a paper GIS: Interpreting watershed landscape patterns using Google Earth imagery
When monitoring stream health, students typically have not considered the larger part of the watershed that creates the conditions at the site of interest. By using screen captures of Google Earth images, we can address many aspects of land use (gradients of urbanization, agriculture, forest), drainage network modifications and also show more natural channels in the classroom.

Glacier Activity
Students create their own glaciers to understand the movement and deposits of glaciation.

Great Lakes Fish Identification
This lesson introduces students to Great Lakes fish, their characteristics, and using a dichotomous key to identify several common fish families. The objectives are to describe the physical characteristics of fish. Use distinguishing characteristics to identify Great Lakes fish and describe how these characteristics help fish survive.

Landfill Activity
The purpose of this lesson is to identify the most suitable type of soil for constructing a landfill. Students determine the texture of several different types of soils, quantify the water storage capacity of the soils, quantify the permeability of the soils, and evaluate the formation of leachate from a landfill.

Geocaching
Students use a GPS device to locate “treasure chests”.

Introduction of “Experimental p-value” utilizing basics of probability theory
The Probability lesson will be an introductory lesson for the statistical analysis and hypothesis testing lessons.

Water to Land
Students will understand how fossils are related to a transgressive sequence, understand uniformitarianism, and they will experience simple field work. 

Volcano Activity
Students will observe a simulated volcanic eruption. The simulation will show the students: 1) how pressure builds in a volcano to the point when it erupts; 2) how the sediment, gas, and projectiles travel once erupted from the volcano; and 3) how sediment layers are deposited in horizontal layers.

Measuring Respiration Rate of Crickets
Students will be able to measure the respiration rate of crickets, determine the effects on temperature and abundance on respiration rate, create a scatter plot with a regression line, and analyze data from an experiment with two factors

Biological Stream Assessment with Macroinvertebrates
Students will learn to identify benthic macro invertebrates, place them in their pollution tolerance groups, and understand the pollution tolerance group’s importance in determining water quality.

Identification of Native/ Invasive Fish of Northwest Ohio
Students will be able to identify fish species present in NW Ohio waters, identify habitat preferences for different species, successfully capture, handle, and preserve specimens from field sampling, describe how invasive species impact native fishes, and describe how invasive species have been introduced to the region.

Ozone Chemistry
The objective of this lesson is to illustrate the importance of ozone chemistry, demonstrate the harm of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and the concept of free radical chemistry.

Superhero Genetics Lab-Principles of Mendelian Genetics
Students will be introduced to the concept of Mendelian genetics by creating the genotype of a superhero. Students will learn how to assess phenotypic traits and will learn the properties of independent assortment, allele segregation, sex-influenced traits, codominant traits, and mutations.

Watershed Modeling

Introduction to Life Cycle Assessment
Students will be able to perform a comparative life cycle assessment, analyze results, and determine the optimum choice in terms of environmental impact and economic advantage.

Last Updated: 3/23/15