Great Lakes Activities for Kids

Check out these Great Lakes activities and learning links. These lakes are huge! Your kids will love learning about Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario.

Great Lakes Activities

In my class, students explore geography, geology, and hydrology of the Great Lakes. I hope your students enjoy these activities too. To explore these links (and more) in one handy place, go to Great Lakes for Kids.

Great Lakes Activities – Geography

Our unit begins with a little geography. Students use Internet resources to complete a Great Lakes scavenger hunt then practice with this Quizlet practice set.

Great Lakes Activities

More resources, including the scavenger hunt, quiz, answer key, and spelling resources can be found in Great Lakes Geography. For more practice (and some fun), try to identify large lakes in the USA.

Facts About the Great Lakes

My students love digging into short research projects. This year, they’ll collaborate with four others to make a booklet with information about the Great Lakes states. Here’s an example for Lake Michigan. For safe and easy data collection, this clickable page takes kids directly to the correct pages of the GLIN (Great Lakes Information Network) site.

Great Lakes Activities

Geology of the Great Lakes

Glaciers carved out the Great Lakes Basin. Watch this video (3:43) for an overview. To understand what lies beneath our feet, my students will first study geological eras, then use the maps below to see how the glaciers revealed layers created millions of years ago. After that, they’ll learn about two ways scientists study the past: core sampling and fossils.

Great Lakes Activities

These maps were taken from The Great Lakes: An Environmental Atlas and Resource BookThis free resource was created by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Just click to get your copy.

Hydrology of the Great Lakes

The Great Lakes are huge, but water in them doesn’t move like an ocean. They experience no tides. Like other lakes, stratification occurs in winter and summer, and the water turns over in spring and fall. Water flows from Lake Superior in the northwest to Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, through Lake St. Clair to Lake Erie, over the Niagara Falls to Lake Ontario, and down the St. Lawrence River into the Atlantic Ocean.

Great Lakes Activities

In addition to studying water movements, my class plays with water to make generalizations about its properties, explores the water cycle, experiment with eutrophication, and discover the differences between salty and fresh water.

All of these links and activities are stored in one website: Great Lakes for Kids. Related activity sheets and assessments may be purchased in my Great Lakes Unit.

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