Mar 082013


Using a simple inquiry exercise, a short presentation, readings, and discussion, you will explore how water and winter interact in temperate lakes and ponds. From the properties of solid and liquid water to the effects of biannual nutrient turnover through freezing and thawing, this lesson will highlight how winter dictates the ecology in temperate lakes. It ends with current event tie-ins that will get your students excited about ice in their daily lives.

At the conclusion of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • List the unique properties of water
    • Hydrogen bonding
    • Ice is less dense than water
    • Water is most dense at 4°C
  • Explain how turnover affects nutrients, plants and animals in a lake
  • Explain how the density of water at certain temperatures causes turnover to happen

To complete this lesson in full will take two 50-minute periods. The lesson could be shortened to focus only on water properties, how turnover works, or how turnover affects living things in the lake.


Lesson Plan created by GK-12 Fellows Anne Royer and Raffica La Rosa, 2009