Learners explore individual and collective responsibility for maintaining the health of the Great Lakes Basin or local water resources.
Three Forty-Five Minute Class Periods
The learner will:
- analyze content of the reading book by Lynn Cherry, A River Ran Wild.
- apply learning to the Great Lakes or a local water system.
- identify citizen responsibility for the Great Lakes Basin or local water system.
- develop concept of community capital as applied to local water resources.
- identify reasons for maintaining water quality.
- demonstrate use of vocabulary associated with water quality.
- locate the nearest river, pond, lake, reservoir.
Due to the technical nature of the content on water quality and the Great Lakes Basin or other water system, it is highly recommended that the instructor conduct some research about the water basin to become familiarized with the content to be developed with the learners.
Use a large map that shows the Great Lakes or local water system. Ask the learners why these lakes are so important and make a list of the responses. Ask the learners if they know the definitions or can give examples of pollution and conservation. Ask them to relate these terms to what they already know about our lakes, rivers and streams.
Take-home sheet is included as Attachment One: Guided Practice to be completed at home or shared with parents to spark discussion of the concepts of water pollution and conservation.
Cheery, Lynne. A River Ran Wild. An Environmental History (A Reading Rainbow Book). Harcourt. ISBN: 152005420
National Geographic's Map Machine
National Geographic "Great Lakes Satellite" http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/photo/great-lakes-satellite/?ar_a=1
Kennedy, Robert et al. "The Hudson Riverkeepers." 1998. Available at: Snag Films http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/the_hudson_riverkeepers.
Lesson Developed By:Christine Jensen
Directions: Put an "X" in front of the best answer.
|Michigan and Ohio||New Hampshire and Maryland|
|Florida and Georgia||Massachusetts and New Hampshire|
|A Fiction book||A Non-fiction book|
What did Marie Stoddard do to help the river?
Describe Marie with just one of our philanthropy words.
Water is the most common substance on Earth. It is found as ground water, in oceans, seas, rivers, lakes, ponds and streams. There are two forms of water. The water found in the seas and oceans has salt. Lake, river, stream and pond water has no salt. There is one exception. Estuaries, where ocean meets fresh water have both salt and fresh water. When tides come in, the water is saltier and when tides go out, there is less salt in the water.
Water pollution is one of our greatest environmental problems. Our waterways are not as clean as they should be. Our water worldwide has become polluted because of pesticides and other chemicals running off the land into our water. Sometimes people and industry pollute accidentally but sometimes this dumping is done purposefully. In our area of the United States and the nation of Canada we depend on the Great Lakes and the waterways, rivers, smaller lakes, streams and underground water supply. We need clean water for our homes, schools, recreation, transportation, business and industry. The Great Lakes and all the surrounding land are called the Great Lakes Basin.
Many of us have learned the names of the Great Lakes by using the word HOMES. Each letter stands for a Great Lake: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior.
Today we know that chemicals like PCB hurt the fish and birds. Fish like perch and walleye developed tumors. Salmon and trout had so much of the chemicals in them that people are still warned not to eat too much of these sport fish from the Great Lakes. The bald eagle became an endangered species because they ate fish containing the pesticides.
The shells of their eggs became weak and their young did not hatch. Because of efforts to stop poaching, reducing chemicals in the water and protecting nesting sites, the eagle has been restored and is now protected, not endangered. However, there are new threats. Ships going through the St. Lawrence Seaway brought unwanted species that hurt native species. The lamprey eel, sculpin fish and zebra mussels are three of these unwanted and harmful species.
Because citizens became alarmed and took voluntary action for the common good, many organizations and conservation clubs were formed. Conservation is the way we attempt to manage, use wisely and protect our natural resources. Businesses, industry and governments also saw the need to stop pollution and they also took action. The United States government now has the Environmental Protection Agency. Canada and the United States have a Joint Commission to protect the Great Lakes. Each state that shares one of the Great Lakes has a Department of Environmental Quality. Grassroots service movements have been formed in communities to monitor and protect our Great Lakes Basin. Yearly river cleanups like the Rouge River Project involve youth and community volunteers to restore this once great river. Youth take active roles in letter writing campaigns, water quality testing, and other service projects to insure the health of the water. They are making a difference by preserving this heritage for the future.
All rights reserved. Permission is granted to freely use this information for nonprofit (noncommercial), educational purposes only. Copyright must be acknowledged on all copies.