The Great Lakes are our H.O.M.E.S. They’re also the HOMES of many plants and animals. The places we enjoy visiting – like beaches, dunes, forests and wetlands – are home to fish, birds, insects, plants and other creatures. This week, your kids will be learning about Great Lakes creatures and making a diorama of a Great Lakes habitat!
This activity will take between one and two hours.
- Cardboard box
- construction paper
- Other art supplies
- Optional: printer
Ready? Head to the Classroom!
Watch the video below to learn about Great Lakes animals and habitats.
Share the Learning
Discuss with your kid(s): Which Great Lakes habitats have you visited or seen photos of? What types of plants and animals live there? Why do you think they live there (e.g. habitat, food)?
Print out a creature card, or draw a native Great Lakes species, and make a diorama. Check out our example!
Parents: Share your kid’s Great Lakes habitat diorama on social media! And if you tag the Alliance for the Great Lakes, we might share it, too.
Want to learn more? Check out these resources!
- Creature Cards Games and Activities: These 66 Great Lakes Creature Cards include an image of a Great Lakes creature on the front and information on the back. The cards could be used as flashcards or as a tool for charades, or have kids sort them into various groups (by type, kingdom, class, habitat, role in food web, etc.). If you print two copies of some of the fish or birds, kids can play a variety of card games such as Memory, Go-Fish, Old Maid or Rummy.
- Take a virtual tour of a Great Lakes habitat.
- The National Parks Service has created a virtual tour using maps and photograph of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
- Have you heard of Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior?
- Pure Michigan created a 5-minute video tour of Isle Royale National Park.
- CBS This Morning created this 5-minute video of Isle Royale.
- Create a habitat in your own yard! Rain gardens act as protectors of water AND habitats for butterflies and other pollinating insects:
- Check out LakeDance’s Rain Garden photos to hear how students solved a flooding problem in their schoolyard.
- View this Rain Garden Video from Cranbrook Institute of Science’s Great Lakes Watersheds Education page.
- Want to design your own rain garden? Earth Partnership has a lesson plan for Grades 3 and up.
Find more Great Lakes lessons at H.O.M.E.School.