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  • Health
  • Climate Action


  • Critical Thinking
  • Social and Emotional Learning

Regional Focus

  • Midwest USA

Laura Burns | Mansfield, Ohio

Author: Our Climate Voices
Grades: 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
Subjects: Science, Social Studies
Resource Type:
  • Article
  • Laura describes the impact that climate change is having on Lake Erie and her family, specifically related to harmful algae blooms.
  • She also explains the way that different aspects of her identity (as a mother, Christian, Republican, and scientist) motivate her to inform others about climate change.
  • The article concludes with information for further reading and action steps the reader can take.

Teaching Tips


  • Students can engage with a first-person narrative and pictures are included to help students engage. 
  • Action steps for reducing the impacts of climate change are located at the end of the article.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with the connection between algal growth and climate change.
  • It might be helpful for students to review the linked information provided in the Further Reading section about harmful algal blooms.
  • The last two links in the document are broken.


  • Reading the article as a class, with frequent checks for understanding may be helpful.
  • Students can view maps of the Great Lakes and images of harmful algal blooms for additional context.
  • Using a graphic organizer can assist students in retaining key information from the article.
  • Students can brainstorm additional ways that they could help take action to prevent climate change.
  • Other resources related to this topic include: Beyond the Dead Zone, Human Impacts on Earth Systems, and Azaria Mendoza

Scientist Notes
The resource explores the environmental problems associated with Lake Erie, one of the Great Lakes. The story is suitable to motivate students to take climate action in their communities. This is recommended.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 5-ESS3-1 Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.12.3-5 Explain how natural and human-made catastrophic events in one place affect people living in other places.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
      • D4.7.3-5 Explain different strategies and approaches students and others could take in working alone and together to address local, regional, and global problems, and predict possible results of their actions.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.6 Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose.


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