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El Nino
Great Lakes
Teacher Info
Great Lakes


We're sorry for the inconvenience, but some parts of the The Great Lakes section are broken and therefore unusable.

The Great Lakes were carved out of the earth by glaciers during the last ice age - about 20,000 years ago.  They have a tremendous impact on many people's lives and health.

The Great Lakes ecosystem is constantly exposed to new imbalances imposed by humans.  The lakes serve as transportation for ship and barge traffic.  The ships and barges often carry animals and plants from other places into the lakes.

Many cities and farms border the lakes.  Fertilizers and weed killers get into the lakes by running off from these farms and cities. 

The water quality of the lakes is directly affected by human activities.  Because the lakes are so large, they have a significant impact on local weather.

What's in this section?

checkmarkGet Info

  • Name the Great Lakes.
  • Determine the distance from student's residence to the Great Lakes.
  • Define "alien" (introduced) species.

checkmarkGather Data

  • Interpret color-coded maps of Great Lakes data.
  • Graph monthly rainfall data obtained from a chart.
  • Determine the effects that imported species have on native animal and plant populations.


  • Determine the relationship between the length of time wind has blown over water and the height of waves.
  • Write a paragraph describing Zebra mussels' economic influences.
  • Determine steps necessary to ensure the recovery of the Great Lakes' ecosystems.


  • Click on the link above to participate in some additional activities.


  • Click on "Links Only" to access a list of all the external sites used in this activity.