Learners will demonstrate knowledge and awareness of the importance of the Great Lakes, their respective ecosystems, and citizen responsibility to protect the waterways.
Four to Five Forty-Five Minute Class Periods (or three block sessions)
The learner will:
Allow no more than seven minutes for this activity.
Have the learners divide themselves in peer groups of three to four per group. Give each learning group a large sheet of paper with the following acronym on the top, "H.O.M.E.S." Have each group answer the following:
- Name the Great Lakes using the letters as clues.
- How do they get their drinking water into their houses?
- If they were very thirsty and they were at a lake in their state, and the family had forgotten to bring drinks, would they drink the water in the lake? Put a reason for their answer.
- Name a river or lake that is the close to the school.
- What is a way they can give of their time to keep the water clean?
Bring the class together and have each group designate one member to report to the class. The instructor should compile class list of the most often given responses.
Facilitate a discussion on what they think it means to be a steward. Try to guide them to define stewardship as "the responsible caring for something, in this case, our natural resources." Read Attachment Three, Situation Cards, together and discuss which person demonstrated the concept of stewardship. Tell the learners that when they act philanthropically, they are also acting as stewards. Reflect on the various experiences they have had over the past week and decide, as a class, what philanthropy project they would like to undertake for the next few weeks that involves an activity to do with the closest lake or river.
Complete Attachment Two: What Can I Do?
Our Great Lakes: Working Toward a Healthy and Sustainable Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem. Pages 1-2 from Environment Canada's Web page http://www.on.ec.gc.ca/glimr/state-e.html.
Environment of the Great Lakes Region: http://www.great-lakes.net/envt/
Shevick, Edward. Water Science: Active Science with Water. Teaching and Learning Co., Grades 4-8, 1998.
Frost, Helen. Water: Keeping Water Clean. Pebble Books, 1999. ISBN: 0736804080
Drinking Water: Quality on Tap
League of Women Voters of Michigan
Subject: A discussion of water quality. Includes a study guide.
Length: 27 min 24 sec
Level: Grades 4-8
The Great Lakes: Fragile Seas
National Geographic Society Educational Services. ISBN 0-7922-1909-0
Subject: Highlights native traditions, history, pollution, recreation, shipping, sport fishing and exotic species.
Length: 60 min
Level: Grades 5-12
To Purchase: National Geographic Society 1-800-368-2728
Lesson Developed By:Christine Jensen
We are currently studying a unit on the Great Lakes Basin and learning how we can act as stewards to insure the quality of our waterways. As part of this unit we will be conducting water sampling at ___________________________. We will also participate in a service-learning letter-writing program to encourage our government officials to protect our Great Lakes Basin. We will write letters to foundations that help our waterways. "What Happened Here?" is a guided practice that we started in class and will be sharing with you. We will be completing a classroom project on the Great Lakes and learn how citizens, businesses, industry and non-profit foundations help control pollution, help develop conservation programs and clean up our lakes, rivers and streams. Our class will give you updates as we develop our plans.
We will also be talking about Philanthropy and Stewardship. We will be defining philanthropy as "the sharing of time, talent, or treasure for the common good." Stewardship is defined as "the responsible caring for our natural resources."
Please talk with your child about how everyone is responsible for helping others and taking care of our natural resources.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at school.
1. I can be an advocate by writing two letters asking that more money be spent to clean up my local waterway. To whom would you write these letters? Why do you believe they could help?
2. How is the Great Lakes part of the common good? Hint: Look at your definition of common good.
3. How could you give your time to help clean up the lake, river or stream in your area?
4. What talent could you supply?
5. You hear two people talking about putting a very harsh insect killer on their lawn. What could you say to convince them that this is dangerous to the water supply?
#2: My name is George Williams. My family lives and hunts on the shore of Lake Michigan. We fish in its waters. We throw away the parts of the fish we don't eat because it is of no use. We catch a lot of fish. Sometimes we can't even eat what we catch, so we throw it away - it doesn't matter because the fish are so plentiful. We throw our garbage in the stream that flows into the lake so we don't have to bury it. The lake is pretty dirty anyway!
#3: My name is Alice Walker. I live on the shore of Lake Michigan with my family. We love to swim and sail on the lake. We used to fish every weekend and have a big fish fry on the beach. We had to stop because the Michigan Department of Natural Resources says that the fish are not safe to eat anymore. I wish that we had taken better care of the lake so that everyone could enjoy eating the fish again. Mr. Walker, from the Dept. of Natural Resources, says that we can restore the lake, but it will take a long time. My family and I have decided to help by making sure that we don't use any pesticides on our lawn so that it doesn't get into the lake when it rains. We hope that everyone joins in the fight to clean up all of our lakes and rivers!
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