Toward a Fresh and Salt Curriculum

COSEE Great Lakes has a goal of enhancing marine education in Great Lakes classrooms, and at the same time bringing the inspiration and vital contributions of the Great Lakes to marine education nationally.

Our curriculum objectives are to:

  • enhance teacher capabilities for accessing science information in Great Lakes/ocean sciences, and
  • integrate ocean and Great Lakes research into existing high quality educational materials.

Our approach will be to involve teachers in grades 4-10, along with Great Lakes scientists, to connect Great Lakes and ocean science topics, starting with existing curriculum materials and developing new ones to fill topical gaps.

Phase 1

Greatest of the Great Lakes: A Medley of Model Lessons

Existing Great Lakes materials from regional Sea Grant education programs have been rigorously reviewed and tested in schools over the years. Selected classroom activities on topics of Great Lakes Overview, Life in the Water, Habitats, Climate & Weather, Hydrology, Coastal Processes, and Issues constitute The Greatest of the Great Lakes. Selections meet teachers’ needs for classroom utility, quality, and topic coverage. Teachers in the Great Lakes states worked over summer 2006 to align activities to state and national science education standards, ocean literacy principles, and Earth systems understandings.

This set should serve as a starter for curriculum exploration rather than as a definitive end point. Many other activities could certainly have been included. Our activity selections were made with regard to ease of access, reproduction rights, and representation of varied instructional methods. An appendix provides ordering information and a brief synopsis of other Great Lakes lessons that may also be considered for use in the classroom.

Phase 2

Fresh and Salt

To expand the Greatest of the Great Lakes into a Fresh and Salt curriculum for all coasts, the collection will involve a number of processes and people. It will be

  • reviewed by teachers and scientists, with attention to underserved groups,
  • matched with parallel ocean topics,
  • introduced at national and state science teacher conferences, and
  • evaluated by COSEE partners in marine coastal states.

Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS) data and activities will be added as that technology develops. Pilot testing in Great Lakes and marine classrooms will follow. At the end of the project we will disseminate the curriculum nationally as a COSEE product.