Western Upper Michigan Science Center
Michigan Tech

Archive 2010

Whitefish Point Lighthouse &
Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

K-8 Lessons Plans


Great Lake Maritime Transportation Lesson Plans
(Whitefish Point Teacher Workshop ~ November 2010)

1. BIF’s Journey to Dearborn
Candace Kawatsu

Grade 3, Social Studies

The students will watch two short DVDs about the Tilden mine in Michigan’s upper peninsula and the Edmund Fitzgerald. They will listen to a book and song about the Edmund Fitzgerald. Next,  students  will view a powerpoint presentation connecting iron ore mined in the UP to Ford trucks made in Dearborn. Lastly, students will construct boats and trace the shipping route of iron ore from Lake Superior ports on their Michigan maps. PPT


2. Oh Christmas Ship, Oh Christmas Ship
 Gary Lindstrom

Grade 4, English Language Arts

After listening to the story The Christmas Tree Ship, students will write a journal (diary) entry of one-half to a full page, in cursive, from someone waiting for the Rouse Simmons at the docks. Students will describe a shared experience that the people in the story lived through (before, during, or after the wreck) while applying knowledge from their Michigan history text and other stories of life on the Great Lakes.


3. Learn About the Great Lakes for Goodness Sakes
Pamela J. Skokan

Grade 4-8, Social Studies, English Language Arts

Students will work together in small groups to research, organize and present information about the Great Lakes in a variety of formats.  Students will share the information found on the “Individual Data Collection Form” with their class. 


4. Shipwreck Sleuths: Becoming Marine Archaeologist
 Valerie Martin

Grade 5-7, Science and Social Science

Students will investigate shipwrecks using skills of nautical archaeology to make inferences about past events. Students will respond to the focus question: “How do marine archaeologists use artifacts and observations to draw inferences about shipwrecks?”


5. A Historical Look at Lifesaving as a Career
Jody Lehman

Grade 7-9, Social Studies, Careers

Students will explore the historical lifesaving career based on the legendary heroes of the Great Lakes who were employees of the original U.S. Life-Saving Service.  Students watch a PowerPoint presentation about the US Lifesaving Service on the Great Lakes, read two stories about the career of lifesaving from the book Wreck Ashore by Frederick Stonehouse, and complete a student page and learning assessment. PPT


6. What’s So Great About The Great Lakes?
    Kathy Keeney

    Grade 6 – 8, Earth Science, Math, Geography, Language Arts

Students will compare/contrast the information about the five Great Lakes including location, volume, surface area, water depths and shoreline geology.

7. Nautical Archeology – Mapping Using Trilateration and Triangulation
     Laurie Lindstrom

     Grade 9-12, Geometry

Students will apply knowledge of triangles, especially the Side-Side-Side Theorem to generate a scaled map of a simulated shipwreck, as well as understand the forces of motion and speed in the context of protecting and preserving a shipwreck.


8. Impact of Decreasing Great Lakes’ Water Levels on the Shipping Industry
Donald E Hill

Grade 9-12, Algebra, Geometry, Advanced Algebra

Students will estimate the surface area of Lake Superior using Pick’s Theorem and then determine how many gallons of water is lost if Lake Superior drops 1” and how much money a 1000’ ship loses due to lower water levels in Lake Superior using dimensional analysis.


This workshop is supported with a grant from the Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute (http://www.glmri.org)

Co-Sponsors and Contributors include:
♦ Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education
♦ Whitefish Point Lighthouse & Shipwreck Museum ♦ Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society

Contact the WUP Center

Last Update: 09/22/2008

Copyright © 2008 Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education
Michigan Technological University
Educational Uses Permitted, giving credit to WUP Center