mystery The answer to the clues may be found at the bottom of this column.    Teachers and Parents: Enter to win an entire set of Dawn’s nature books of one title for your home or classroom. It's fun and easy!
Just read the clues below. They describe an aspect of nature—a plant, animal, mineral, habitat, or natural process.
When you're ready to make your guess about who or what I am, click ENTER NOW.
Who Am I?
spacerglass1 Clue 1:  I'm a member of the "dog family."
glass1 Clue 2:  I live throughout North America in deserts, prairies, forests, and even in towns and cities.
glass1 Clue 3:  You might hear me howling at night to communicate with my pack.
glass1 Clue 4:  Don't let me trick you—I am NOT a wolf.
Do you think you know who I am? ENTER NOW.
Entries should be submitted no later than noon on Friday.
If you guessed correctly, you’re automatically entered into the monthly drawing for a set of nature books from Dawn Publications.
A contest winner will be announced at the end of September.
Throughout the school year, clues for a new Who Am I are posted no later than Sunday night, so you can use them with your class on Monday morning.Good luck!
The answer to last week's mystery was: SEASHELLS Although Inside Outside Nature blog is changing it's focus, this weekly "Who Am I?" will remain the same! Teachers, click here to get ideas about how to use the contest with your students.  

Monthly Archives: October 2013

Super Superior

imagesIn addition to the colorful trees, spending a day on Lake Superior was one of the highlights of my recent trip to Michigan. One definition for SUPERIOR is “greater in amount, number, or degree.” That perfectly describes record-setting Lake Superior.

Some super stats:

  • Largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area.
  • Third largest lake by volume (Lake Baikal in Siberia and Lake Tanganyika in East Africa contain more water).
  • Holds three quadrillion gallons—enough water to cover North and South America in one foot of water. It could hold all the water in the other Great Lakes, plus THREE MORE Lake Eries.

The Great Lakes make up 20 percent of the Earth’s available (not in the ice caps) surface fresh water and half of that water is stored by Lake Superior. Superior is the cleanest and clearest of the Great Lakes. Thanks to low amounts of nutrients, sediments, and organic material, you can see about eight feet under the water – great for exploring. (Source: Environmental Education for Kids—EEK!)


Inside: Creating the Great Lakes

pic.great_lakesGlaciers gouged out Lake Superior and the other four Great Lakes as a ice sheet moved across North America 2.5 million years ago. Give your students a kinesthetic experience by having them “become a glacier” slowly moving forward and then receding.

The following directions are from  How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate Teacher Guide:

  1. Pantomime several actions, such as eating a banana, reading a book, and ice skating on a pond. Ask your students to guess what you’re doing. Explain that you demonstrated human actions, and either pantomime or ask for volunteers to pantomime natural events, such as the sun rising, a flower opening, and a tree in autumn dropping its leaves (props are OK).
  2. Tell students that they’re now ready to pantomime a more complicated natural event—the life of a glacier. Begin by having students brainstorm adjectives that describe a glacier. Create a definition from their adjectives. [Definition: A glacier is a large, slow moving river of ice, formed from compacted layers of snow.] Explain that glacier ice is the largest reservoir of fresh water on Earth and is second only to the oceans as the largest reservoir of total water.
  3. Divide the class into three groups and assign each group to develop a pantomime that demonstrates one of the three phases in the life of a glacier: (1) Growing, (2) Moving, and (3) Retreating. Use the information Life of a Glacier. To avoid any injuries, you may want to establish some guidelines, such as “No climbing on another student’s back.” Encourage the use of props.
  4. Give groups time to develop and practice their pantomime. It’s best if groups can practice out of the view of  other groups.
  5. When all groups are ready, have them act out their pantomime while you read the information about each of the phases. Have students acknowledge each “performance” with enthusiastic applause!

Then find out more about the Watch a Flash movie about how the Great Lakes were formed by glaciers.


Outside: Making a Waterscope

WaterscopeinStream_NWF_219x219An easy-to-make waterscope allows your students to get a look beneath the water’s surface—get directions from Susie Caldwell Rinehart, author of Eliza and the Dragonfly. Students can use their scopes at a lake, pond, creek, or even a big puddle.



More Facts and Fun about Lakes

Discover more Super Facts about Lake Superior at Minnesota Sea Grant.

What’s a LAKE? Find out more about ponds, lakes, and the freshwater biome.

CLIMT_StoreGlaciers are on the move today! Get more information about glaciers and other changes happening to the earth’s water from How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate.