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Gulf of Maine Research Institute


6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, English Language Arts

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans, 45 minutes
  • Ebooks
  • Interactive Media
  • Assessments

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, Maine


Google Docs

Lake Ice-Out: Lesson 1 - On Thin Ice

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  • This online lesson is the first of four lessons about the changing timing of ice-out day for a lake in Maine and how it has affected the people and events in that community.
  • Students are guided through readings, an interactive map, and comprehension questions that they answer online.
Teaching Tips


  • This lesson is easy to implement and provides a glossary for students.
  • Students will be able to practice their critical thinking and reading comprehension skills.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students will need access to devices and the Internet, although they can work in pairs or groups.
  • You may need to have students expand the interactive map to the full screen view in order to read the text.


  • This lesson would connect well to a geography lesson about the climate conditions common at various latitudes.
  • Have students think about how elevation and latitude can affect ice-out day, then have them look at global maps of biomes that can reveal the locations of similar environments to the lake in this lesson.
  • The answers to the questions can be printed off or used in class discussions after the lesson is complete.
  • Have students write out the vocabulary terms and definitions in a student notebook before beginning the lesson to enhance their understanding of the content during the lesson.
Scientist Notes
Climate change is affecting many different parts of the globe adversely. One such effect is the thinning of lake ice in Maine. This resource is a lesson for students to explore how and why the winter lake ice in Maine is thinning. The links within the lesson plan all connect to accurate and well-cited information. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-2 Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.2.6-8 Use maps, satellite images, photographs, and other representations to explain relationships between the locations of places and regions, and changes in their environmental characteristics.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.7 Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
    • Writing: History, Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas clearly and efficiently.
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