The Great Lakes are essential to the people who live around them. In these lessons, students learn about watersheds, think about how they use water in their daily lives, and how the water cycle happens all around them. 

The free lesson plans below can be taught as part of a unit on “Earth’s Systems.” Each lesson plan includes assessment rubrics and student journal pages. 

Elementary & Middle School

Mapping Our Watershed

 Water Cycle in the Real World

Groundwater & Wetlands

High School

Next Generation Science Standards alignment: 

  • 2nd grade: 2-ESS2-1, 2-ESS2-2 & 2-ESS2-3
  • 5th grade: 5-ESS2-1, 5-ESS2-2 & 5-ESS3-1
  • Middle school: MS-ESS2-4, MS-ESS3-1 & MS-ESS3-3
  • High school: HS-ESS2-5, HS-ESS3-1 & HS-ESS3-4