Helping Hands: Restoring Great Lakes Habitat

This curriculum project provides an opportunity to engage upper elementary and high school students in Great Lakes environmental stewardship. The lessons and hands-on activities apply to schools located in Great Lakes communities where large scale environmental cleanup and restoration projects are taking place. These places are called Areas of Concern due to years of degradation and pollution.

Through participation in the curriculum, students will be connected with local aquatic habitats and improve scientific and Great Lakes literacy. Students will learn ecological concepts such as water quality, pollution, and habitat restoration, while gaining an understanding about significant environmental cleanups happening near their school. The curriculum is available online, along with additional resources to carry out lessons, such as PowerPoint files and alignment to standards. Specifically, each lesson has been aligned with National Science Education Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and Great Lakes Literacy Principles.

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Teachers interested in learning more about implementing this curriculum in their classrooms can contact Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant. This curriculum was initially implemented with schools in the Grand Calumet River Area of Concern in northwest Indiana by Caitie Nigrelli.

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