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How to Make a Lake

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Summary

Students will explain the effects of glaciers on land and will draw conclusions about the formation of the Great Lakes.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • 50 State Quarters

Objectives

Students will explain the effects of glaciers on land and will draw conclusions about the formation of the Great Lakes.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Science

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Art
  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies

Grades

  • Second grade
  • Third grade

Class Time

Sessions: Three
Session Length: 30-45 minutes
Total Length: 91-120 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Pairs

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • The scientific method
  • Bodies of water

Terms and Concepts

  • Quarter
  • Reverse (back)
  • The Great Lakes
  • Glaciers
  • Investigation
  • Hypothesis
  • Procedures
  • Data
  • Conclusion

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector (optional)
  • 1 overhead transparency (or photocopy) of the Michigan quarter reverse
  • 1 class map of the United States
  • Copies of the Michigan quarter reverse
  • Blue and green crayons and/or colored pencils
  • Chart paper
  • Markers
  • Copies of an age-appropriate text that relates to glaciers, such as:
    • Glaciers by Larry Dane Brimmer
    • Glaciers by Roy A. Gallant
    • Glaciers by D.V. Georges
    • Glaciers by Wendell V. Tangborn
    • Glaciers and Icebergs by Jenny Markert
    • Icebergs and Glaciers by Seymour Simon
  • Copies of the “What Did the Ice Do?” lab sheet
  • Lunch trays (1 per pair)
  • Plastic wrap
  • Sand (1 cup per pair)
  • Ice cubes (1 per pair)
  • 1 timer (optional)
  • Copies of the “All About Glaciers” research guide
  • 1 Copy of the “All About Glaciers” key

Preparations

  • Make an overhead transparency (or photocopy) of the Michigan quarter reverse.
  • Make copies of the Michigan quarter reverse (1 per student).
  • Locate copies of appropriate texts that relate to glaciers (see examples under “Materials”; 1 per pair and 1 for teacher use).
  • Prepare materials for the investigation.
  • Make copies of the “What Did the Ice Do?” lab sheet (1 per student).
  • Make copies of the “All About Glaciers” research guide (1 per pair).

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/276.pdf.

Session 1

  1. Describe the 50 State Quarters® Program for background information, if necessary, using the example of your own state, if available. Then display the transparency or photocopy of the Michigan quarter reverse. Locate Michigan on a classroom map. Note its position in relation to your school’s location.
  2. Distribute a copy of the Michigan quarter reverse to each student.
  3. With the students, examine the design on this coin’s reverse. Have the students point out the water and the land on this design. Instruct them to color the water blue and the land green on their copy of the coin design.
  4. Ask students what this image tells us about the state of Michigan. Answers should relate to the idea that Michigan is mostly surrounded by water. As a class, orally generate a list of different types of bodies of water. Students should then identify any bodies of water that are close to their state or home town.
  5. Give students a very basic introduction to the Great Lakes, explaining that they are five extremely large freshwater lakes. Explain that freshwater is not salty like the water that they’d find in the ocean, and that these lakes were formed by melting ice (called glaciers) about a million years ago.
  6. With the entire group, create a K-W-L chart to examine what students Know and Want to know about glaciers. Leave the Learn column empty for now.
  7. Introduce students to the selected text about glaciers. As a group, preview the text and illustrations to generate observations about what is occurring at different points in the book.
  8. Read the selected text to the class and attend to any unfamiliar vocabulary.
  9. As a class, compete the Learn column of the K-W-L chart.
  10. Explain that the following day you will be conducting a science investigation about glaciers.

Sessions 2 and 3

  1. Review the K-W-L chart from session 1 and examine the Great Lakes on a map of the United States.
  2. Ask the students how they believe the glaciers could have created the Great Lakes. Take ideas from students, listing them on the board.
  3. Explain that you will be conducting a science investigation based on this question. Place students into teams of two, so that everyone has a lab partner.
  4. Distribute a “What Did The Ice Do?” lab sheet to each student. As a class, read the procedure of the investigation.
  5. Explain that a hypothesis is a guess that you will test to see if it proves to be true. Ask the students to develop a hypothesis about what they believe will happen during the investigation. Students should record their hypotheses on their lab sheets.
  6. Model the basic procedure of the investigation for the students.
  7. Direct the students to collect all necessary materials and begin their investigation. Alert them when it is time to record their observations at the 20 and 40 minute marks.
  8. Distribute an appropriate children’s text about glaciers and an “All About Glaciers” research guide to each pair. During the time interval between observations, students will read the text with their partners and record all important facts on their “All About Glaciers” research guide.
  9. Regroup at the end of the investigation and discuss the results. As a class, discuss the information that the students discovered in their readings about glaciers. Referencing their “All About Glaciers” research guides, have students add any newly learned facts to the “L” column of the class K-W-L chart.
  10. Based on their observations, how do the students think the Great Lakes were formed? Student responses should reflect the idea that glaciers moved and carved holes in the earth which held water.

Differentiated Learning Options

If possible, take digital photos of the investigation at 5 minute intervals so that there is no rush for slower artists. This way artists can still take their time in completing their illustrations by referring to the photos. Referring to these photographs is also a good way to keep absent students from missing out on the investigation.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Ask students to produce a simple book describing how the Great Lakes were formed.
  • Look at a world map to locate where other examples of freshwater lakes might have been created in this same way.
  • As a class or in small groups, study other natural events and/or forces that changed the geography of the land. Have students create models to demonstrate these events.

Use the worksheets and class participation to assess whether the students have met the lesson objectives.

There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.2 Language
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.2.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Use collective nouns (e.g., group).
    • Form and use frequently occurring irregular plural nouns (e.g., feet, children, teeth, mice, fish).
    • Use reflexive pronouns (e.g., myself, ourselves)
    • Form and use the past tense of frequently occurring irregular verbs (e.g., sat, hid, told).
    • Use adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.
    • Produce, expand, and rearrange complete simple and compound sentences (e.g., The boy watched the movie; The little boy watched the movie; The action movie was watched by the little boy).
  • L.2.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Capitalize holidays, product names, and geographic names.
    • Use commas in greetings and closings of letters.
    • Use an apostrophe to form contractions and frequently occurring possessives.
    • Generalize learned spelling patterns when writing words (e.g., cage --> badge; boy --> boil).
    • Consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and correct spellings.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.3 Language
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.3.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Explain the function of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in general and their functions in particular sentences.
    • Form and use regular and irregular plural nouns.
    • Use abstract nouns (e.g., childhood).
    • Form and use regular and irregular verbs.
    • Form and use the simple (e.g., I walked; I walk; I will walk) verb tenses.
    • Ensure subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent agreement.
    • Form and use comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.
    • Use coordinating and subordinating conjunctions.
    • Produce simple, compound, and complex sentences.
  • L.3.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Capitalize appropriate words in titles.
    • Use commas in addresses.
    • Use commas and quotation marks in dialogue.
    • Form and use possessives.
    • Use conventional spelling for high-frequency and other studied words and for adding suffixes to base words (e.g., sitting, smiled, cries, happiness).
    • Use spelling patterns and generalizations (e.g., word families, position-based spellings, syllable patterns, ending rules, meaningful word parts) in writing words.
    • Consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and correct spellings.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.2 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RI.2.1. Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
  • RI.2.2. Identify the main topic of a multi-paragraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text.
  • RI.2.3. Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text. 

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.2 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RI.2.7. Explain how specific images (e.g., a diagram showing how a machine works) contribute to and clarify a text.
  • RI.2.8. Describe how reasons support specific points the author makes in a text.
  • RI.2.9. Compare and contrast the most important points presented by two texts on the same topic.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.2 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RI.2.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 2 topic or subject area.
  • RI.2.5. Know and use various text features (e.g., captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text efficiently.
  • RI.2.6. Identify the main purpose of a text, including what the author wants to answer, explain, or describe.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.3 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RI.3.4. Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.
  • RI.3.5. Use text features and search tools (e.g., key words, sidebars, hyperlinks) to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently.
  • RI.3.6. Distinguish their own point of view from that of the author of a text.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.3 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RI.3.7. Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).
  • RI.3.8. Describe the logical connection between particular sentences and paragraphs in a text (e.g., comparison, cause/effect, first/second/third in a sequence).
  • RI.3.9. Compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.3 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RI.3.1. Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
  • RI.3.2. Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.
  • RI.3.3. Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.2 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Standards:

  • W.2.7. Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., read a number of books on a single topic to produce a report; record science observations).
  • W.2.8. Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
  • W.2.9. begins in grade 4.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.3 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Standards:

  • W.3.7. Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.
  • W.3.8. Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.
  • W.3.9. begins in grade 4.

Discipline: Science
Domain: K-4 Content Standards
Cluster: Earth and Space Science
Grade(s): Grades K–4
Standards:

  • Properties of Earth materials
  • Objects in the sky
  • Changes in earth and sky

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: Science, Technology, and Society
Grade(s): Grades K–4
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • enable learners to identify, describe, and examine both current and historical examples of the interaction and interdependence of science, technology, and society in a variety of cultural settings
  • provide opportunities for learners to make judgments about how science and technology have transformed the physical world and human society and our understanding of time, space, place, and human-environment interactions
  • have learners analyze the way in which science and technology influence core societal values, beliefs, and attitudes and how societal attitudes influence scientific and technological endeavors
  • prompt learners to evaluate various policies proposed to deal with social changes resulting from new technologies
  • help learners to identify and interpret various perspectives about human societies and the physical world using scientific knowledge, technologies, and an understanding of ethical standards of this and other cultures
  • encourage learners to formulate strategies and develop policy proposals pertaining to science/technology-society issues

Discipline: Visual Arts and Music
Domain: K-4 Visual Arts
Cluster: Standard 6: Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines
Grade(s): Grades K–4
Standards:

  • Students understand and use similarities and differences between characteristics of the visual arts and other arts disciplines
  • Students identify connections between the visual arts and other disciplines in the curriculum

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: Time, Continuity, and Change
Grade(s): Grades K–4
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • assist learners to understand that historical knowledge and the concept of time are socially influenced constructions that lead historians to be selective in the questions they seek to answer and the evidence they use
  • help learners apply key concepts such as time, chronology, causality, change, conflict, and complexity to explain, analyze, and show connections among patterns of historical change and continuity
  • enable learners to identify and describe significant historical periods and patterns of change within and across cultures, including but not limited to, the development of ancient cultures and civilizations, the emergence of religious belief systems, the rise of nation-states, and social, economic, and political revolutions
  • guide learners in using such processes of critical historical inquiry to reconstruct and interpret the past, such as using a variety of sources and checking their credibility, validating and weighing evidence for claims, searching for causality, and distinguishing between events and developments that are significant and those that are inconsequential
  • provide learners with opportunities to investigate, interpret, and analyze multiple historical and contemporary viewpoints within and across cultures related to important events, recurring dilemmas, and persistent issues, while employing empathy, skepticism, and critical judgment; and enable learners to apply ideas, theories, and modes of historical inquiry to analyze historical and contemporary developments, and to inform and evaluate actions concerning public policy issues.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Use of Spoken, Written, and Visual Language
Grade(s): Grades K–4
Standards:

  • Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

Discipline: Visual Arts and Music
Domain: K-4 Visual Arts
Cluster: Standard 1: Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes
Grade(s): Grades K–4
Standards:

  • Students know the differences between materials, techniques, and processes
  • Students describe how different materials, techniques, and processes cause different responses
  • Students use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories
  • Students use art materials and tools in a safe and responsible manner

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Research
Grade(s): Grades K–4
Standards:

  • Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and nonprint texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience. 

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Strategies to Text
Grade(s): Grades K–4
Standards:

  • Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound–letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Effective Communication
Grade(s): Grades K–4
Standards:

  • Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.

Discipline: Science
Domain: K-4 Content Standards
Cluster: Science as Inquiry
Grade(s): Grades K–4
Standards:

  • Ability necessary to do scientific inquiry
  • Understand scientific inquiry

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: People, Places, and Environment
Grade(s): Grades K–4
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • Enable learners to use, interpret, and distinguish various representations of Earth such as maps, globes, and photographs, and to use appropriate geographic tools
  • Encourage learners to construct, use, and refine maps and mental maps, calculate distance, scale, area, and density, and organize information about people, places, regions, and environments in a spatial context
  • Help learners to locate, distinguish, and describe the relationships among varying regional and global patterns of physical systems such as landforms, climate, and natural resources, and explain changes in the physical systems
  • Guide learners in exploring characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on Earth’s surface
  • Have learners describe how people create places that reflect culture, human needs, current values and ideals, and government policies
  • Provide opportunities for learners to examine, interpret, and analyze interactions of human beings and their physical environments, and to observe and analyze social and economic effects of environmental changes, both positive and negative
  • Challenge learners to consider, compare, and evaluate existing uses of resources and land in communities, regions, countries, and the world
  • Direct learners to explore ways in which Earth’s physical features have changed over time, and describe and assess ways historical events have influenced and been influenced by physical and human geographic features

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