Supplement for Classroom Teachers - The Great Lakes
Everything is Connected to Everything Else
With 18 percent of the world's surface fresh water, the Great Lakes are a vast resource that people and wildlife depend upon. Our actions on the surrounding land, including how we manage pests, affect the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem. In this issue of Conservationist for Kids (C4K), readers are challenged to consider the roles that different living things play in the environment and whether it is appropriate to manage a particular pest or to accept it as part of an ecosystem that includes many kinds of organisms.
Within an ecosystem, everything is connected to everything else. Actions that directly affect one component of the system affect other components indirectly. The Great Lakes basin demonstrates this principle well. The cover photo of this issue of C4K was taken along Lake Ontario's eastern shore. The water surrounding the girls' feet may have traveled from Lake Superior's tributaries and through the downstream lakes on its way to the Atlantic Ocean. Everything added to the water en route from surrounding lands-good or bad-may be swirling between their toes.
While not all New Yorkers live within the Great Lakes basin, we each live in a watershed. The pest management choices we make can affect the quality of nearby waters as well as those downstream. If not used properly, some pesticides can enter our waterways. Along with other pollutants, they have the potential to harm the ecosystem within our watershed and in the greater basins beyond.
This Issue's "Outside Page"
The pest patrol activity described on page 8 can be done in a schoolyard, at home or in a local park. Springtime is ideal for monitoring new plant growth and increased activity by insects, spiders and other animals. Review vocabulary related to the Great Lakes and pests with the Great Lakes Crossword.
For teachers who have participated in a Project WILD, Project WET or Project Learning Tree workshop, the activities listed below complement this issue of C4K. Get information about workshops and about how to obtain curriculum and activity guides.
What Did Your Lunch Cost Wildlife?
Project WILD Aquatic:
What's in the Water?
Where Does Water Run?
Project Learning Tree:
Project WET & WET 2.0:
The Incredible Journey
Rainy Day Hike
Sum of the Parts
Do you have an interactive white board in your classroom?
If you use a SMART Board or a similar interactive white board or projection system, consider downloading a PDF of C4K and using it in your classroom, along with the printed copies enclosed in this mailing. This issue and all of our back issues are available online.