This week, students will learn how the Great Lakes and the land around them – called the Great Lakes watershed or basin – are connected. What we do on the land often ends up in our water. We can each do our part to protect the Great Lakes from pollution. For our final H.O.M.E.School video we’re focusing on plastic pollution with a visit from another Alliance staff member.
This activity will take between 30 minutes and an hour.
Ready? Head to the Classroom!
Watch the video below to learn about plastic pollution in the Great Lakes.
Share the Learning
Ask your kids: What do you like best about the Great Lakes? What are some problems that the lake and beaches, and the fish and birds that live around the Great Lakes face? Have you seen pollution on the ground, at the beach, or in the water? What ideas do you have for protecting the Great Lakes and the HOMES of so many fantastic fish and birds?
Take our Plastic Pollution Quiz to test your knowledge on just how long it takes some of the litter found on our beaches to break down!
Watch Nate Drag create the Great Blue Heron he showed in his video. Then make a Great Lakes creature out of plastic litter. Take a photo or video of your creation, and share it on social media. Tag us and we may share it with others!
Want to learn more? Check out these resources!
- Tackle our How Plastic Free Can You Be? challenge. As a household, track how much single-use plastic you use in a day, and decide what is necessary and what isn’t. Then make A Promise to Planet Earth!
- In Beaches Over Time, students use their senses to discover what is at the beach, read a poem to discover how the beach might have changed over time, and discuss what makes the Great Lakes shoreline an important place (Grades K-4).
- Print or write out these “MORE or LESS” cards to think about cause and effect and answer the question: What is the impact of beach litter? (from Ohio Sea Grant and the Center for Great Lakes Literacy, Grades 5 & Up).
- Find out more about runoff and other sources of pollution in our water:
- Great Lakes Aquarium’s lesson plan on stormwater runoff includes a diagram of how runoff is part of the water cycle: see page 10 of A Very Impervious Situation (Grades 5 & Up).
- Learn some simple actions for homeowners to Do Your Part to Protect Water Quality with this infographic and other resources from National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF).
- Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant has resources on How to Dispose of Unwanted Medicine & Personal Care Products and lessons about pharmaceuticals in our water (High School & Up).
- Watch this quick video about nutrient pollution to Learn About Lake Erie’s Harmful Algal Blooms.
Find more Great Lakes lessons at H.O.M.E.School.