• Views 246
  • Favorites
Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva via Pexels


Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education


4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Civics, Geography, English Language Arts

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans, 40-60 minutes
  • Worksheets
  • Activity - Classroom

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Midwest, Wisconsin



Beings on the Move

Ask a Question

  • This lesson plan includes printables and directions for an activity to teach students about the impact climate change will have on different Wisconsin species that are important to local Indigenous tribes.
  • Students will explore specific Great Lakes species facing the changing climate, learn how climate change can impact important plants and animals in the region, and understand how Indigenous people and tribes may be affected by a changing climate.
Teaching Tips


  • This resource is a well-developed and thoughtful lesson that works for a range of grade levels and abilities.
  • Students will enjoy the pacing and discovery included in the lesson.
  • The included printable resources are eye-catching and easy to understand for readers at many levels.

Additional Prerequisites

  • It may benefit students to explore the backgrounds of the two Indigenous groups mentioned (the Ojibwe and Menominee).
  • Consider reviewing with students how seasons and weather patterns may change as global temperatures increase before beginning this activity.


  • This lesson is meant to be utilized in a science classroom. However, cross-curricular connections can be made in social studies classes learning about Indigenous tribes and their cultures or in language arts classrooms practicing scientific and technical reading strategies.
  •  For elementary students or older students who struggle with reading, try chunking the reading into two or three sections per species or reading in a small group.
  • As an extension, have students create a poster for their species after completing the lesson. Posters can include pictures of the species, threats they are facing due to our changing climate, their importance to cultures, and what people can do to help.
Scientist Notes
This resource provides all the content needed for an activity about how climate change will affect species of plants and animals in the Wisconsin Great Lakes area. The activity also discusses how changes in these species will affect the lives and culture of the Ojibwe and Menominee people. The activity is simple but effective at showing how different species will be affected differently, and the activity has information about each species. The explanations are easy to understand; however, it would be helpful for students to already have an understanding of climate change before doing the activity. The information presented is accurate, and this resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.
      • MS-ESS3-5 Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-4 Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
      • HS-LS2-6 Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to important distinctions the author makes and to any gaps or inconsistencies in the account.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.4 Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 11-12 texts and topics.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.1.9-12 Distinguish the powers and responsibilities of local, state, tribal, national, and international civic and political institutions.
    • Dimension 3: Developing Claims and Using Evidence
      • D3.4.3-5 Use evidence to develop claims in response to compelling questions.
  • Related Resources


    Login to leave a review