Curriculum & Education Activities
Welcome Teachers, Educators, Families and Fellow Explorers on this Journey around Lake Superior,
Welcome to Full Circle Superior. Mike Link and Kate Crowely completed their expedition to circumnavigate Lake Superior by foot on September 18th, 2010. They started this journey on April 29th, spending 4 1/2 months along its shores. We invite all of you to join us on this adventure through exploration our website: learn more about this amazing Lake, meet people from around its shore and experience the animals and plants of this incredible region of the planet!
Our education pages are here to help engage classrooms, families and communities in learning immersed in Lake Superior and to connect them to our journey around one of the largest fresh water lakes in the world. Over the 4 1/2 months of our journey we updated our website with:
Our goal is to share the wonders of this amazing lake and its communities, to examine how water connects us all, and to help you connect to the Full Circle’s expedition team’s journey around this Great Lake.
Lake Superior is the largest fresh water lake in the world by surface area. Its vast waters stretch between the shores of the United States and Canada. It is the largest, deepest and coldest of the Great Lakes, which hold one-fifth the world’s surface fresh water. Lake Superior is a very important source of fresh water for Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ontario and all of the water systems it connects to.
Our education pages focus on Lake Superior as a representative of the fresh water of the world and the need to protect it. We will explore the different aspects of the uniquely diverse characteristics of Lake Superior and its surrounding environment, focusing on the expedition around it, geology, aquatic and terrestrial ecology, water quality, flora and fauna, climate, and human interactions with this huge body of fresh water. Following along in the footstep of the Full Circle Expedition through our expedition logs you will become part of the expedition team analyzing data, pictures and the experiences of the expedition members and learning about the importance of fresh water and how we can all protect it.
We look forward to having you as part of the team of this incredible adventure around Lake Superior!
Full Circle Superior Expedition Team!
Learn More about our Education Partners!
Full Circle Superior Curriculum was developed in partnership with the Audubon Center of the North Woods and the Great Lakes Aquarium.
The Audubon Center of the North Woods
The Audubon Center of the North Woods is non-profit 501 (c) 3 residential environmental learning center (RELC), a wildlife rehabilitation facility and a conference and retreat center located in Sandstone, MN. Their vision is a healthy planet where all people live in balance with the Earth and their mission is to instill a connection and commitment to the environment in people of all communities through experiential learning.
The Great Lakes Aquarium
The Great Lakes Aquarium (GLA) is a not-for-profit 501(c) 3 organization located in Duluth, MN with a mission to “inspire stewardship, understanding and exploration of the Great Lakes and their interconnection with global ecosystems.” Great Lakes Aquarium provides on-site and outreach educational programming to learners of all ages reaching 10,000 K-12 students and providing a speaker series for adults.
Curriculum and Educational Activities
Below are lesson plans both developed by Full Circle Superior & its education partners and lesson plans from trusted sources, on fresh water, Lake Superior, the Great Lakes and exploring the natural world, such as the Department of Natural Resources, the National Wildlife Federation, and National Geographic. To access the lesson plan either click on the title under the description or on the website link under the title.
A Hike Around the Greatest Lake
This lesson plan introduces you to the Full Circle Expedition. We explore the purpose behind the expedition; learn about the expedition team, the research being done and the many partners and sponsors who are making it possible. It also gives learners a chance to investigate some of the same topics that will be explored by the expedition team as they collect data, and give education programs to people all around the Lake.
Full Circle Superior Expedition Power Point
Planning An Expedition
This lesson plan is designed to immerse you in the world of expedition adventures. We will learn and use some of the skills expedition members need to successfully prepare for and complete an expedition. Using the concepts they learn students will create their own expedition plan utilizing skills explores need to survive on the trail.
Do An Expedition Around Your Local Lake
This lesson introduces you to the basics of the Full Circle Superior expedition and the tools you need to do a similar expedition around your local lake. Become a scientist and record data as you explore your own local lake!
FORMATION Of LAKE SUPERIOR AND THE BASICS OF GEOLOGY
During this lesson we will cover the basics of geology to get you started in the study and understanding of the formation of Lake Superior and what has created the terrain and landforms that provide the foundation of the Lake Superior region. It will also help you better understand the landscape the expedition will be traveling over and studying as they circumnavigate the Lake.
MinnAqua Curriculum Resources:
MNDNR MinnAqua Program Fishing: Get in the Habitat!
MinnAqua is a state-wide education program that helps educator’s connect youth to their local Minnesota’s lakes, rivers and streams and foster stewardship for our natural resources through the life-long activity of fishing.
MinnAqua’s specialists’ focus on providing training and support for teachers, youth program leaders, and others who are interested in introducing others to fishing, aquatic ecology, and service and stewardship in their schools, organizations, and communities.
The national award-winning ”Fishing: Get in the Habitat! Leader’s Guide” offers lesson topics on aquatic ecology and fish habitat, Minnesota fish, water stewardship, fisheries management and natural resources issues, fishing equipment and skills, safety and the fishing trip. All lessons are aligned to MN State Academic Standards, are interdisciplinary (science, history, geography, economics, civics, reading, writing, speaking/listening, math) and include assessment rubrics. Additionally, we’ve correlated to 4-H fishing program requirements, Jr. Girl Scout badge requirements, and Cub Scout Badge requirements.
MinnAqua also provides programming that includes partnering with schools, youth groups, and community organizations to hold fishing clinics and events throughout the state and in a growing number of MN State Parks.
NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION GET OUTSIDE PROGRAM
The National Wildlife Federation launched the Be Out There initiative to inspire families across America to open the door and get outside! A daily dose of the outdoors improves children’s physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Based on extended secondary research of children and families in today’s society, National Wildlife Federation recommends that parents give their kids a “Green Hour” every day: an hour for unstructured play and interaction with the natural world. At greenhour.org find outdoor activities for any season and location.
This national, nature-watching program is created for people of all ages. Wildlife Watch gives you first hand experience with plants and animals in their natural environment. You can also share details that help National Wildlife Federation track the health and behavior of wildlife and plant species nationwide.
Gardening for wildlife is a perfect way to share your love of the outdoors with children and foster a future connection to nature. Not only does it give kids a chance to get their hands dirty, the program also generates an understanding of how the things people plant impact the environment. Make habitats for wildlife in your yard, at a local school, or somewhere else in your community.
WILDERNESS CLASSROOM: NORTH AMERICAN ODYSSEY
On Earth Day (April 22) of 2010 Dave Freeman and Amy Voytilla of the Wilderness Classroom Organization began a three year, 11,700 mile journey across North America by kayak, canoe, and dogsled. Their goal is to use their journey as a platform for gaining support and protection for North America’s waterways, and promote living “green and simple”.
With a free registration you can get access to their wonderful curriculum guide full of wonderful information on ecosystems & North America.
WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE
Most Americans take an endless supply of drinkable water for granted. This is not so in all parts of the world. The goal of this lesson is to familiarize students with the realities about water supply in other nations, as well as in the United States, and what the future holds.
THE WATER CYCLE
In this lesson, students build upon their previous investigations of water—and its different forms—by learning about the water cycle and its continuous flow around us. Students begin by reviewing what they already know about water and how it can freeze into ice or turn into a gas depending on how low or high temperatures become. They then learn about the water cycle and its key processes that affect our lands, oceans, and atmosphere. The ongoing need for fresh-water conservation is also highlighted.
WATER BREIFING PAPER TEMPLATE
This student reproducible, from an Xpeditions lesson, presents a template for students to use when doing research into an assigned water issue.
ECOSYSTEM SERVICES – WATER PURIFICATION
This lesson was developed by Dr. Penny Firth, a scientist, as part of a set of interdisciplinary Science NetLinks lessons aimed at improved understanding of environmental phenomena and events. Some of the lessons integrate topics that cross biological, ecological, and physical concepts. Others involve elements of economics, history, anthropology, and art. Each lesson is framed by plain-language background information for the teacher, and includes a selection of instructional tips and activities in the boxes.
CONTAMINENTS IN THE WATER CYCLE
Students will review the water cycle and investigate how a region’s water supply can become contaminated. They will look at a list of the Environmental Protection Agency’s maximum contaminant levels for drinking water, and sketch the water cycle of a fictitious town that is affected by several pollutants. Students will conclude by writing paragraphs explaining what a group of concerned citizens in this hypothetical town might do to improve the quality of its water supply.
COMPARING WATER ACCESS & ATTITUDES
Use this tool to take notes on the information you read about water supply in different nations of the world. What are the similarities and differences among geographical attributes, customs, and cultural attitudes in countries with adequate water supply and those without? Use the notes tab on each item you add to cite your information sources.
You can use the articles below as a starting point, and then visit National Geographic News to find more.
Arizona Water Resource: Global Weather Shortage Looms in New Century
University of Wisconsin: Water Woes—Not All Wet
Great Lakes Environmental Directory: Drought Afflicts Much of the Nation
Science Central News: Wet Water Shortage
In this activity, you and your child will use Google Maps to first find your school, and then find and learn about the closest body of water to your school.
Working with maps helps children to build visual literacy and begin to develop awareness of geography. By finding a local body of water, children can begin applying their knowledge of maritime history to their own lives.
CREATE A WETLAND SCENE
In this lesson, students will learn about the importance of wetlands. They will learn about the different types of freshwater wetlands, and the things that threaten their health. Finally, they will study specific examples of wetland areas of the U.S., and what is being done to protect them.
CAN WE KEEP THE LAKE CLEAN
This lesson introduces students to the water cycle by having them help draw a picture of a lake ecosystem, adding human impacts that affect water quality. Students will help fill in the components of a drawing of a water system. They will conclude by creating their own illustrations of human-induced changes to the freshwater habitat of a lake ecosystem.
POND LIFE 1
This lesson is the first in a two-part series on microorganisms. It is designed to be used in conjunction with the second lesson, but it can also stand alone. In order to learn about the living environment, young children should begin with direct observation of their immediate surroundings, such as a backyard, schoolyard, or local pond. As students observe their environment, they should have many opportunities to record and communicate their findings using words and pictures.
POND LIFE 2
This lesson is the second in a two-part series on microorganisms. It is designed to follow the first lesson, but it can also stand alone.
In order to learn about the living environment, young children should begin with direct observation of their immediate surroundings, such as a backyard, schoolyard, or local pond. As students observe their environment, they should have many opportunities to record and communicate their findings using words and pictures.