The Helping Hands curriculum provides an opportunity to engage upper elementary 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. Each Helping Hands lesson can be downloaded individually, or the entire curriculum is available as one document. The curriculum alignment with State, Next Generation, and National Science Education Standards can be found in the resources section of each lesson.
Lesson 1: What Makes Up My Ecosystem? Get Down and Dirty
Students learn about an environmental cleanup happening in their very own neighborhood. Students pot native seeds that they will grow in their classroom and take to the cleanup site to help restore the environment. They will
Lesson 2: Habitat Woes
Students learn ecological terms and concepts. Students participate in a role-playing activity to understand the effects of pollution and invasive species on native species' habitat. They will
Lesson 3: Knock Out Pollution
Students reflect on a demonstration of bioaccumulation and practice scientific observation skills to identify types of pollution. They will
Lesson 4: Design an Ideal Habitat - Think Like Engineers and Scientists
Students learn how an engineer designs a large project like habitat restoration, working with a team of environmental professionals. They will
Lesson 5: Press Event
Contact IISG for information on press events related to the cleanup and to learn how to participate. Logistics and timing for the press event will be determined months in advance of the event. Students can simply attend the event to listen to VIP speakers, or they could get more involved.