The Great Lakes are five lakes that form a single, naturally interconnected body of fresh water. Located in the upper mid-east region of North America along the United States-Canada border, the Great Lakes are the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth, holding 21% of the world’s fresh water by volume.
There are five lakes belonging to the Great Lakes basin: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior. Of these five, only Lake Michigan is fully within the United States. The remaining four, Lakes Huron, Ontario, Erie, Superior are bisected by the international border separating the United States and Canada.
Learning the names of the Great Lakes can be aided through the use of mnemonics, a learning device that uses patterns to help with recall.
Mnemonic to Memorize the Names of the Great Lakes
To learn the names of the Great Lakes, the acronym HOMES can be used with each letter representing the name of a Great Lake: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior.
Geographic Spread of the Great Lakes Mnemonic
To remember the order geographically that the lakes occur traveling from west to east, learn this phrase: Super Man Helps Every One (Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, Ontario)
Order of Great Lakes According to Size Mnemonic
The mnemonic to remember the lakes in descending order according to surface area is: Super Heroes Must Eat Oats (Superior, Huron, Michigan, Erie, Ontario).
Great Lakes Mnemonics Video
MNEMONIC DEVICE FOR THE FIVE GREAT LAKES
Any technique used for the purpose of either assisting in the memorizing of specific material or improving the function of memory in general.
The basic coding procedure common to most mnemonic strategies is to mentally associate, in some manner, items of new or unfamiliar information with various interconnected parts of a familiar, known whole. Mnemonic devices range from the very simple to the remarkably complex. An example of a very simple mnemonic device is the use of the acronymic word HOMES to remember the names of the Great Lakes (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior). An example of a remarkably complex mnemonic device is the ancient Greek and Roman system of topical mnemonics, in which a large imaginary house, or even a town full of large imaginary houses, is intricately subdivided into thousands of quadrates, or memory places, each of which is available to be associated with an item of material to be remembered. The difficulties encountered in the application of mnemonic strategies appear to increase as the amount of information to be mastered increases, and involve issues such as ambiguity, confusion, and complexity.
There are several commonly employed mnemonic devices. For example, the method of loci is a system where objects to be remembered are imagined to be arranged in geographical locations, or locations in a building, the map or layout of which is well-known. The learner uses this map or layout to remember unordered items, such as a shopping list, by placing the grocery items on the map, and recalling them later in a wellknown order. In this way, no items will be forgotten or missed.
MNEMONIC DEVICE FOR THE FIVE GREAT LAKES
THIS MNEMONIC DEVICE CAN HELP THE LEARNER REMEMBER THE NAMES OF THE FIVEU.S. GREAT LAKES.
O – Ontario
M – Michigan
S – Superior
Higbee, Kenneth. Your Memory: How It Works and How to Improve It. New York: Paragon House, 1993.
Maguire, Jack. Your Guide to a Better Memory. New York: Berkley Books, 1995.
Sandstrom, Robert. The Ultimate Memory Book: Remember Anything Quickly and Easily. Granada Hills, CA: Stepping Stone Books, 1990.
The Great Lakes
Being in Ontario, a main feature that is noticeable, is the vast size of their five Great Lakes. I have been lucky enough to see all of them in a short period of time and they have all astounded me. Being based within a 5 minute walk from the 4th largest of the Great Lakes, Lake Erie is a treat for me coming from Lake Taupo. The five lakes together account for one-fifth of the freshwater surface on the planet at 6 quadrillion gallons. The lakes are relatively young compared to the earth at only 10,000 years old.
The biggest of the Great Lakes is Lake Superior which is also the biggest fresh water lake in the world. Due to its size it’s behaviour is more like an inland sea than a lake due to its rolling waves, sustained winds and string currents. There is an estimated 100 million trout in Lake Superior. While the total number of fish species is believed to be 88. The Lake is so large that it takes two centuries for all the water to replace itself through it’s small outlets.
The second largest of the Great Lakes is Lake Huron. This lake is also home to the world’s largest freshwater lake island, Manitoulin Island. Manitoulin island has several of its own lakes and unbelievably they even have smaller lakes on those islands. Making it a lake on a lake on a lake which is an almost unheard of phenomenon.
During the civil war in 1861, The Keystone State (one of the most prominent vessels used) disappeared. In 2013 it was found under 175 feet of water! Part of the largest salt mine in the world runs underneath Lake Huron, more than 500 metres underground. Lake Huron has massive sinkholes deep underwater that have their own unique ecosystems. This is due to high amounts of Sulphur and low amounts of oxygen. While Lake Huron is second largest of the Great Lakes it only takes around 22 years for the water to replace itself.
Being the third largest of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan is the only Great Lake that is entirely within the borders of the U.S. While also having the largest fresh water sand dunes in the world. While the size of Lake Michigan is very similar to Lake Huron, replacement of the water takes much longer at around 99 years. Lake Michigan has had many mysterious disappearances and alleged UFO sightings. Most from a “triangle” of area similar to that of the Bermuda triangle. And during the mid 19th century there was a pirate problem in which timber was their bounty.
The fourth Great Lake in size, is also the shallowest of all the lakes, which is Lake Erie. With a story similar to that of Scotland’s Loch Ness monster, there has been alleged sightings of a 30 foot long monster named Bessie living in the lake. Due to the shallow nature of Lake Erie and one of its outlets being the Niagara River it only 2.6 years to replace all the water in the basin. Out of all the Great Lakes, Erie is the one surrounded by the most industry of which there is 17 metropolitan areas ranging on both sides of the border. The battle of Lake Erie took place in the War of 1812 were the U.S. beat the British in a naval battle.
The smallest of the Great Lakes is Lake Ontario starting at the bottom of the Niagara Falls. During a game at Hanlan’s Point Stadium in Toronto, Babe Ruth hit his first major league home run. The ball landed in Lake Ontario and is believed to still be there. The Great Lakes run from West to East in terms of size. Lake Superior is the farthest west and Lake Ontario being the farthest east.
Shipping still dominates on the Great Lakes with the Canadian and U.S. lake fleets hauling upwards of 125 million tons of cargo a year. However it used to be of great risk with over 6,000 ships sunk and a loss of nearly 30,000 lives.
There is a wide range of species living in and around the Great Lakes. The biggest fish species being the lake Sturgeon which can weigh over 200 pounds.
Commercial fishing is a massive industry in the Great Lakes with around 50 million pounds harvested per year. Coming from Lake Taupo this seemed crazy to me as our lake would not sustain any level of commercial fishing. As it is, recreational fishing every summer is noticeable.
Large severe thunderstorms are common in summer around the Great Lakes and mainly occur at night. During my time in Canada I have experienced two such storms and the intensity is amazing. Storms arrives quickly with thunder so forceful and loud that it shakes homes, and lightning so bright the whole sky lights up. The lakes tend to affect weather patterns often called Lake Effect. This means that the weather can change quickly and without warning, however it can also disappear just as fast.
The Great Lakes — Superior, Huron, Michigan, Ontario and Erie — make up the largest body of fresh water on Earth, accounting for one-fifth of the freshwater surface on the planet at 6 quadrillion gallons.
The Great Lakes — Superior, Huron, Michigan, Ontario and Erie — make up the largest body of fresh water on Earth, accounting for one-fifth of the freshwater surface on the planet at 6 quadrillion gallons.
Secondly, which is the largest of the 5 Great Lakes? Lake Superior is 1,335 feet deep and 350 miles long. It is the largest of the Great Lakes in both surface area and volume. Lake Superior could contain all the other Great Lakes plus three more lakes the size of Lake Erie.
Similarly, it is asked, what are the 5 Great Lakes in order from largest to smallest?
The Great Lakes Ranked by Size
- Lake Ontario – 7,340 square miles.
- Lake Erie – 9,910 square miles.
- Lake Michigan – 22,404 square miles.
- Lake Huron – 23,007 square miles. Lake Huron is the second largest of the Great Lakes.
- Lake Superior – 31,700 square miles. Lake Superior covers an area of 31,700 square miles and is the largest of the Great Lakes.
What are the depths of the five Great Lakes?
Here is a bathymetric map showing the depths of each Great Lake:
- Lake Superior- Is the Largest and Deepest Great Lake.
- Lake Michigan- (The Great Lake I live the closest to) has an Average Depth of 279 ft (85 m) deep.
- Lake Huron- has a Average Depth of 195 ft (59 m) deep.
- Lake Erie- Is the Shallowest Great Lake.
Which is the dirtiest Great Lake?
Lake Superior, seen from the Park Point beach in Duluth in August. Many people who’ve spent much time around the Great Lakes take for granted that Lake Superior is the largest, coldest and clearest of the lakes.
Which Great Lake is the most dangerous?
The Great Lakes are all dangerous, but Lake Michigan is the deadliest for one big reason. The dangerous secret behind Lake Michigan is the lake’s configuration. It is 307 miles in length north to south, with uninterrupted shores on east and west sides. This exposes the shorelines to deadly longshore and rip currents.
Are there sharks in the Great Lakes?
No shark reports have been scientifically documented in the lake. The Illinois River has seen at least one documented case. Dams now keep any wandering sharks from entering the river. The disadvantages to sharks of a freshwater environment, especially one like Lake Michigan, are clearer, according to Peters.
What is the prettiest Great Lake?
5 Reasons Why Lake Superior Is The Best Great Lake Cleanest and Clearest. As the coldest (it’s refreshing!) and most northern of the lakes, Superior is also the clearest. Iconic Rock Formations, Agates, and Shipwrecks. Secluded Towns and Beaches. Sheer Size. Ojibwe Gichigami.
Which is the shallowest Great Lake?
What is the deepest lake in the United States?
How much water is in the Great Lakes?
The Great Lakes contain 21% of the world’s surface fresh water: 5,472 cubic miles (22,810 km3), or 6.0×1015 U.S. gallons, that is 6 quadrillion U.S gallons, (2.3×1016 liters). This is enough water to cover the 48 contiguous U.S. states to a uniform depth of 9.5 feet (2.9 m).
Why is Lake Huron so high?
The amount of rain and snow that falls in the Lake Huron and Lake Superior watersheds impacts water levels; however, the role of evaporation is sometimes overlooked. Ice cover in the winter reduces the amount of evaporation that occurs. As a result, successive years with high ice cover contribute to higher lake levels.
Who owns Great Lakes?
(4) four of the Great Lakes are international waters and are defined as boundary waters in the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 between the United States and Canada, and as such any new diversion of Great Lakes water in the United States would affect the relations of the Government of the United States with the
Do the great lakes have tides?
True tides—changes in water level caused by the gravitational forces of the sun and moon—do occur in a semi-diurnal (twice daily) pattern on the Great Lakes. Consequently, the Great Lakes are considered to be non-tidal. Water levels in the Great Lakes have long-term, annual, and short-term variations.
How do you remember the Great Lakes?
HOMES is the most popular mnemonic device used to remember the great lakes. Remember “Superman Helps Every One”. S is for Superior. M is for Michigan. H is for Huron. E is for Erie. O is for Ontario.
What is the size of the Great Lakes?
Are the Great Lakes more dangerous than the ocean?
The Great Lakes have more coastline for beaches than the United States’ East and West coasts combined. There are thousands of beaches — and dozens of drownings each year, in part because of dangerous currents that are very different from those found in the ocean. The waves come more frequently in the Great Lakes.
Can you see across the Great Lakes?
Due to the curvature of the Earth, you cannot see across any of the Great Lakes at most locations. West MI, also. When in the very southern part of MI, like New Buffalo, you can see the smog and faint sky line of Chicago. But for the most part, Lake Michigan is 60-90 miles wide.
Tricks to boost your brain power.
Have a hard time remembering names? Frequently lose your keys? There’s no reason to accept this kind of brain fog as status quo. “Anyone can train their brain and improve their memory,” says Dr. Allison Buskirk-Cohen, chair of psychology at Delaware Valley University. People who do well on memory tasks don’t necessarily have better memories–they just use various strategies for remembering things more effectively and may even do so without realizing it, she explains.
So what can you do to improve your memory?
Improving your memory is like forming or changing any other behavior—it’s entirely possible, but it does take time and effort, says Buskirk-Cohen.
If you experiment with the following strategies and techniques, slowly but surely, remembering things should start to feel more natural and automatic.
Focus on the things you want to remember.
“In our busy lives, we’re often trying to do multiple things at the same time, and our brain can’t function well that way,” says Buskirk-Cohen. If you want to remember a conversation, turn off the TV and put your cell phone down. Look the person in the eye and focus on them and what they have to say.
Similarly, it’s important to keep your environment as clutter-free and quiet as possible, if you’re serious about focusing—say, on remembering what you’re reading. “Distractions decrease the brain’s ability to encode and store information,” says Dr. Carla Marie Manly, a clinical psychologist in California.
Develop better habits.
“Repetition builds habit and allows the brain to quickly and accurately recall information, says Manly. If you can never remember where you left your purse, don’t just discard it on your way in the door while you’re setting down five bags of groceries and texting at the same time. Be more mindful: Put the groceries down, then focus on placing your purse in its rightful place—on the hook or the entryway table, for example.
Write everything down.
Writing information on paper can be very helpful, as it allows the brain to “see” the information, “process” the information as it is written, and refer back to it as necessary, says Manly. If you’re trying to memorize a speech, write it out a few different times—you’ll be much more likely to recall your lines.
Studying for a test? Consider doodling.
“We better remember things we find interesting,” says Buskirk-Cohen. “You can improve your memory by considering how information is compelling to you—which is different for each person.” If you’re trying to remember important information for a test and you don’t find the subject material interesting, but you love to draw, consider doodling your notes instead.
When you connect new information with something familiar, you’re creating multiple reference points that help your mind sort and store information, says Buskirk-Cohen. How do you do this? If you’re trying to remember a long list of items (like a shopping list), try connecting each item to a location in your house. Then, when trying to recall the list, just imagine walking through your house and remember each item, says Buskirk-Cohen.
Try mnemonic devices.
“Mnemonic devices are very helpful in remembering information,” says Manly. For example, if you want to remember the five Great Lakes, the acronym HOMES may help you recall them: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior.
Get a little bit silly.
Using a funny visual can greatly increase your chances of remembering something, says Dean Vaughn, creator of The Dean Vaughn Total Retention System. If you want to remember someone named Allison, for example, picture your son running down an alley each time you look at her.
Repeat names over and over again.
“Repetition is key,” says Manly. “On a neurobiological level, whatever is repeated, be it history facts or names, the more likely it is that the data will be recalled.” When you’re first meeting someone, for example, focus on their name and then try it several times in conversation. By addressing them directly multiple times, you’ll have a better shot at forming the connection and remembering their name.
For more stories like this, sign up for our newsletter.
Fast Facts about the Great Lakes
There are five lakes that collectively comprise the largest freshwater system on the planet, known as the Great Lakes. By volume from largest to smallest, the lakes are:
- Lake Superior
- Lake Michigan
- Lake Huron
- Lake Erie
- Lake Ontario
Together, the Great Lakes store more than 20% of the world’s freshwater, covering a surface area of 94,600 square miles; half of the water is in Lake Superior alone (or 3 quadrillion gallons!).
The Great Lakes split the border between Canada and the United States, but Lake Michigan is the only Great Lake that is entirely within the United States. Because of this, that means that the state of Michigan actually has the most coastline of freshwater of any state in the United States.
Thousand Islands at a Glance
Adventure seekers rejoice at all that Thousand Islands archipelago has to offer those hoping for a more active tour. The name “Thousand Islands” underestimates the some 1,800 islands that make up this chain in the St. Lawrence River between the U.S. and Canadian borders.
What was once a getaway for the elite in the 19th century, is now a great place for avid fishers, boaters, and outdoor explorers.
This makes for an exciting day on a cruise of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.
Tell Me More about Niagara Falls
Between Lakes Erie and Ontario on the Niagara River, Niagara Falls is one of the most impressive natural attractions in all of the Americas. Visitors are stunned at the size and power of these waterfalls thundering over the edge.
There are three waterfalls that make up this network – the Horseshoe Falls (aka the Canadian Falls), the American Falls, and the Bridal Veil Falls. Altogether, this is the largest waterfall by volume in all of North America and the strongest and most powerful waterfall in the entire world! Although not the tallest waterfall, a stunning every second, 3,160 tons of water flows over the falls: 75,750 gallons on the American side and 681,750 gallons per second over the Horseshoe Falls.
Because the water is eroding the rock behind it, Niagara Falls is actually the only world wonder that is moving slowly backwards every year.
Visitors can explore Niagara Falls by marveling at it from one of the many viewing decks over the Falls or even by taking a boat right into the mist beneath the Falls. Some tours go behind the Falls too!
Memory tricks to help retain what you and your kids are learning.
Acronyms – a word formed from the initial letters of other words
Mnemonics – a device such as a pattern of letters, ideas, or associations that assists in remembering something.
I’m a very visual person, and it helps me tremendously to use memory devices like acronyms to help remember things. Being a homeschooler, I try to teach my children some of these same memory tricks to remember various facts. Here are just a few of these tricks that have worked for us!
1. To remember the names of the major cultures in MesoAmerica and Latin America, I think of the acronym AMI (pronounced “Amy”). “A” stands for Aztez, “M” stands for Maya, and “I” stands for Inca. This acronym also helps me remember where each of these civilizations were located. AMI runs north to south, with the A (Aztec) in Mexico, the M (Maya) on the Yucatan Peninsula, and the I (Inca) in western South America. You can see a map illustrating their locations here.
2. To remember which is the Black Sea and which is the Caspian Sea, I just remember “B.C.” when I look at the map. The Black Sea is the one on the left (west) and the Caspian is on the right (east).
3. To help me remember the names of the provinces of Canada that border the United States (most of them at least), I use the acronym BASMOQ (pronounced “Baz • Mock”). The acronym lists the provinces from west to east in order: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec. The acronym doesn’t include all the provinces in Canada, but it does help me remember a good number of them. My kids have also picked up on this acronym and use it often themselves.
4. To remember the order in which the great Greek philosophers lived, I recall the acronym SPA — Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.
5. To help my piano students remember the order in which sharps appear in a key signature (FCGDAEB), I use the mnemonic “Fat Cats Go Down Alleys Eating Bananas.” The flats simply appear in the opposite order, BEADGCF, so I teach them to think of the word BEAD and then Great Cat Food (GCF).
6. To remember the Great Lakes, I use the acronym SHO ME (“Show Me”). As you can see, not only does this help to remember the names of the lakes, it also helps to recall the location of the lakes.
So yes, I’m obviously a geek, and I freely admit it. My memory tricks of acronyms and mnemonics are only a tip of the ice berg for increasing your childs retension. I’m sure a few of you out there do the same kinds of things to help your memory. So do you have any memory tricks you’d like to share? I’d love to hear about them! Leave a comment and let me know.
The Great Lakes provide valuable economic and environmental resources to the region.
Can you name the five Great Lakes? How about the eight states that surround the Great Lakes? If you can’t, you are not alone. Many people in and out of the “Great Lakes” region can’t remember their names. However, the Great Lakes – Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior – play a huge role in the economy of the region and the country.
Just how great are the Great Lakes?
The Great Lakes contain 5,500 cubic miles of water covering over 94,000 square miles. It is the largest fresh water system on Earth, second only to the polar ice caps for fresh water. The Great Lakes basin contains 21 percent of the world’s fresh water and 95 percent of all the U.S. fresh water. It is called ‘the third coast” with over 9,000 miles of shoreline – more than the East coast and Gulf Coast combined. Great Lakes water stretches over 1000 miles from its western tip at Duluth, Minnesota to Watertown, New York at its easternmost point.
The Great Lakes is a multi-jurisdictional region. It includes 8 states – Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Michigan in the middle. They are overseen by two countries, nearly 40 Tribal Nations, 158 county governments, 13 major urban areas and 10 US federal agencies, including the US EPA , and Environment Canada. This region is home to 10 percent of the U. S. population (over 27 million Americans) and 31 percent of Canada’s population (nearly 9 million).
This region is also home to 3500 plant and animal species, including the gray wolf, bald eagle, Canada lynx and great blue heron. There are over 170 fish species in these waters. Native species include large and small-mouth bass, lake whitefish, walleye and yellow and white perch.
A 2011 Michigan Sea Grant report conservatively estimated that 1.5 million jobs and $62 billion in wages can be directly related to the Great Lakes. These lakes influence eight industries which translated into 15 percent of Michigan’s jobs in 2009 and an estimated 23 percent of Michigan’s payroll. Industries found in the region include manufacturing (66 percent), tourism and recreation (14 percent), shipping (8 percent), agriculture (8 percent), science and technology (2 percent) and utilities and mining (1 percent each). The Great Lakes region generated 27 percent of the U.S. Gross National Product and 24 percent of the country’s exports in 2009. 38 percent of Fortune 500 companies are found in the Great Lakes Basin.
Boating trips and equipment contribute $16 billion throughout the region and 37 million anglers, hunters and bird watchers visit this region annually. Sport fishing contributed $4 billion annually and commercial fishing catch is 65 million pounds a year adding $1 billion to the region’s economy. One-third of all registered boats in the U.S. are in the Great Lakes region. Annually 200 millions tons of cargo, including coal, iron ore and grain, pass through the Great Lakes system at a transportation savings of one-third the cost of rail and one-tenth of truck transport.
In 2011, Sleeping Bear Dunes on Lake Michigan’s northeast shore was voted the “most beautiful place in America” by Good Morning America viewers. Lake St. Clair, the lake connecting Lakes Huron and Erie was identified as the “best bass lake in the world” by Bass Master Pro Angling magazine. The premier bass tournament, Bass Pro Elite Series, is being held on Lake St. Clair this summer.
For more information about the Greak Lakes region, visit the Michigan State University Extension website under tourism or lakes, streams and watersheds, or read the full Michigan Sea Grant Great Lakes Jobs Report.
This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit https://extension.msu.edu. To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit https://extension.msu.edu/newsletters. To contact an expert in your area, visit https://extension.msu.edu/experts, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).
Did you find this article useful?
Surface area: 82,414 square kms.
Watershed’s surface: 1000 square kms.
Retention time: 6 years
Watershed population: 120.000 inhabitants
The unparalleled, natural beauty of the Great Lakes inspires a sense of wonder and possibility. They are one of the world’s most significant water resources and the most extensive freshwater system on Earth. The Great Lakes — Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario — represent thousands of years of history and continue to play an important role in the physical and cultural heritage of North America. They are critical to the social and economic vitality of the entire North American continent.
The intrinsic, environmental, social, and economic value of this magnificent global asset calls for an equal level of appreciation, responsibility, and protection.
Why are the Great Lakes important?
The Great Lakes are a chain of five large, interconnected bodies of water. These five lakes, together with the St. Lawrence River, contain 20% of the world’s fresh water and form the largest surface freshwater system in the world.
Did You Know?
The importance of the Great Lakes watershed
The Great Lakes watershed, or Great Lakes basin, is defined by watersheds that drain into the Great Lakes. A watershed is an area of land where all of the water that falls on it drains into the same outlet — for example, a stream, river, or lake. For this reason, a watershed is also called a drainage basin or catchment. A watershed is made up of surface water (from lakes, streams, wetlands, and reservoirs) and all underlying groundwater. As water continues to move downward, streams and rivers may join with larger lakes and, eventually, the ocean.
Great Lakes Guide combines the watersheds of the five Great Lakes, the Ottawa River, and the St. Lawrence River to bring you the full Great Lakes basin. The entire basin covers about 240,000 km² (94,000 square miles). The diagram below shows the movement of water as it flows through the connecting channels of the Great Lakes, through the St. Lawrence seaway to the Atlantic Ocean.
Precious resource: The scarcity of freshwater
Water is essential for all life. It makes up 60% of our body weight. Humans can only survive a few days without water, but less than 1% of all Earth’s water is usable freshwater! One out of every three Canadians and one out of every seven Americans rely on the Great Lakes for water.
The Earth appears water-rich, but most of the Earth’s water (97%) is salt water and another 2% is locked away in glaciers and the polar ice caps. That means just 1% of all the water in the world is available freshwater, the building block for most life.
Without access to lakes, rivers, and groundwater, people and societies cannot survive. Freshwater is so important to human survival that 90% of the world’s population lives less than 10 km from a freshwater supply.
The world’s third largest regional economy
The Great Lakes support millions of jobs and contribute billions of dollars to the Canadian and U.S. economies annually.
If we thought about the Canadian provinces and American states surrounding the Great Lakes as its own country, it would rank as the third largest economy in the world with a GDP of USD $6 trillion (CAD $7.6 trillion).
Great Lakes geography: What’s here?
The Great Lakes region is unique: It has one of the richest and most ecologically diverse ecosystems on the planet. It encompasses forest, wetland, and grassland habitats, and is home to over 4,000 species of plants, fish, and wildlife. This ecosystem boasts some of the most impressive and diverse habitats in the world — from rocky peninsulas and towering cliffs, to vast marshlands and immense sand dunes.
A brief history of the Great Lakes
The Great Lakes were formed nearly 20,000 years ago. At the end of the last Ice Age, Canada, as well as the northern part of the United States, was completely covered in ice. As Earth’s climate warmed, the lakes were sculpted by a glacial continental ice sheet — a large, slow-moving mass of ice and compact snow. Its movement was so powerful that it scraped the surface of the Earth and created the lake basins.
Gradually, the glacier continued its retreat. The land it had previously weighed down began to rebound and warp upward. Large chunks of left-behind ice pushed down the soil with their immense weight and melted to create lakes. These forces, combined together, gave the Great Lakes the shape we know them by today.
During this very long process, at least as far back as 15,000 BCE, humans had already migrated to areas within the Great Lakes Basin. Contrary to popular belief, the history of human habitation goes back to at least the close of the last Ice Age.
Did You Know?
Appreciating the Great Lakes
Wildlife, beaches, cityscapes, national parks, islands, recreation, and adventure — the Great Lakes have it all. You can use Great Lakes Guide to find places to visit and take your own stunning images!
Protecting the Great Lakes
In spite of their large size, the Great Lakes are extremely vulnerable.
Each year, only about 1% of the water in the lakes leaves the basin via the St. Lawrence River. Because water exits the system so slowly, the Great Lakes are essentially a closed system. Until European settlement, the Great Lakes ecosystem was also considered “ecologically naïve,” meaning that historically, its vulnerable animal and plant species were isolated. Now, they are left uniquely exposed to stressors such as pollution, invasive species, and habitat degradation.
Past and present neglect of the system — unsustainable use, discharging of harmful chemicals, and climate change — have led to serious consequences for native species and the health of the Great Lakes. The four biggest, ongoing issues facing the Great Lakes are habitat destruction, sewage pollution, river damming and diversion, and land-use runoff.
The Great Lakes have provided us with invaluable resources — drinking water, food, energy, transportation, recreation, and prosperity. It is paramount that we protect this remarkable and vitally important system that we depend on so critically. The first step is to understand and strengthen our connection to the water. So start your journey, as so many others have, by experiencing firsthand the natural, breathtaking beauty of the Great Lakes.
Lake Ontario with the Toronto skyline in the background. Image credit: Andres Garcia Martin/Shutterstock.com
- The formation and location of the Great Lakes is a direct result of ancient glaciation and geology, yet the precise age of the lakes is not known. It is estimated that they formed anywhere within the last 7,000 to 32,000 years.
- The glaciers that formed the Great Lakes once covered 97% of Canada in thick ice.
- The Great Lakes are the source of food, transportation, and drinking water for millions living in Canada and the United States.
The chain of five deep, freshwater bodies known as the Great Lakes make up 20% of the world’s surface water supply. In fact, the Great Lakes are so large they are often referred to as inland seas. For thousands of years these lakes have been the source of food, transportation, and drinking water for populations of First Nations, early European settlers, and, today, millions of people in Canada and the United States. But how and when were the lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario formed? Read on to discover the origins of the Great Lakes.
What Makes The Great Lakes So Great? Their Size
With a larger volume of water, Russia’s Lake Baikal is technically the largest singular lake in the world, but with a combined 94,000 square miles – that’s larger than all of Great Britain – the Great Lakes are the largest surface area of freshwater on the planet. Eight American States border the lakes, from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana in the midwest to Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York in the east, as well as the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario. Plus, there are hundreds of thousands of smaller lakes, rivers, ponds, and connected waterways within the 295,710 square miles of drainage basin that today extends all the way to the Atlantic Ocean via the channels and locks of St. Lawrence Seaway. The Great Lakes form a natural border between Canada and the United States, and since the signing of a 1909 treaty between the two countries, no fortifications or military warships patrol the water border.
Great Lakes Come From Great Glaciers
The icy and cold rocky shore of Lake Erie In Northwest Ohio. Image credit: Michael Shake/Shutterstock.com
The formation and location of the Great Lakes is a direct result of ancient glaciation and geology, yet the precise age of the lakes is not known. Scientists estimate that they are anywhere between 7,000 to 32,000 years old, with the lakes changing in shape and size throughout the millennia. But all agree the process began millions of years before that with the movement of continents and a series of enormous glaciers that cut across the landscape. Beginning in the Palaezoic Era which included the Cambrian, Ordovician, and Silurian Periods wherein new life forms began to appear, large inland seas divided portions of North and South America, submerging the landforms we know today completely under water. As the Palaeozoic seas withdrew, powerful geographic forces continued to shift the continents and alter the landscape.
Although glaciation occurred numerous times during the Earth’s history, it is only the process that took place in the last two to three million years that scientists are the most certain about. During that time, nearly 30% of the Earth was beneath glaciers, during what is referred to as the Pleistocene Ice age. These massive ice sheets formed in mountainous regions along the northern latitudes, and expanded down across continents digging out deep valleys and slopes. These ice age glaciers were so large that approximately 97% of Canada, the second largest country in the world, was covered in thick ice.
The sunset over the coast of the Lake Michigan. Image credit: Ehrlif/Shutterstock.com
It is the process of year round snow accumulating and becoming buried under subsequent layers, with the weight of each new layer compressing previous layers into recrystallized, icy grains that slide forward or recess, depending on the temperature. No one knows how many glaciations took place during the Pleistocene Ice Age, although many researchers suggest there were four major periods of about 100,000 years each, interrupted by warmer periods of melting. The oldest glaciation during this ice age in North America is called the Nebraskan, followed by the Kansan, Illinoian and Wisconsinan. This repeated glaciation resulted in the abrasion and quarrying of the ground below, as well as leaving huge depressions in the bedrock where millions of gallons of icemelt collected into massive lakes. As glaciers continued to retreat, vast amounts of drainage and soil deposits continued to the east. At one time, the waters were so high that Huron and Michigan combined into one large lake, while at the westernmost point both Lake Superior and Lake Duluth drained all the way east to the Mississippi. As drainage continued, sediment and waterflow ultimately reached the Atlantic Ocean and the shape of the Lakes was established.
The Great Lakes Today
One of the most recognizable features on a modern map of North America are the five unique shapes of the Great Lakes. While the movement of glacial ice caused the lakes to form, it is the geology beneath them that gives each its unique shape. The largest, Lake Superior, was shaped by buckles and junctures in its precambrian geology, while the deep trough of the Appalachian geosyncline not only gave Lake Erie its shape but also the vast drop-off and resulting torrent of water known as Niagara Falls. Today, over 30 million people totalling 30% of Canada’s population and 10% of the United States, live close to the Great Lakes and rely on them for drinking water, transportation, and their livelihoods.
Our mission is to help you get outside and connect with the Great Lakes
Our hope is that you will come to love the lakes as much as we do. Welcome to your guide.
Editor’s Picks for May 18, 2022
Your stories from the Great Lakes:
Water is the foundation to how we survive. Without clean
and healthy water, we will not have healthy people, fish, lands or economy.
Pam Tabobonday Washington
Georgian Bay, ON
Destinations near you
See All Destinations
Algonquin Provincial Park
Established in 1893, Algonquin Provincial Park is the oldest Provincial Park.
Antler’s Kingfisher Lodge
(La version française suivra) Many of the hunting and fishing companions or.
Big Sandy Bay – Wolfe Island
Big Sandy Bay is currently closed by the municipality: https://www.kflaph.ca/en/healt.
Bon Echo Provincial Park
Bon Echo Provincial Park offers many remarkable cultural and natural features.
Dorset Lookout Tower
Dorset Scenic Lookout Tower is a must-see in Southern Ontario. This popular.
Frontenac Provincial Park
Termed a “hidden jewel,” Frontenac Provincial Park is a backwoods park in the.
Gord Edgar Downie Pier at Breakwater.
On July 26, 2018 Swim Drink Fish unveiled the Gord Edgar Downie Pier at Breakwater.
Sharbot Lake Provincial Park
Sharbot Lake Provincial Park is hidden away in a quiet corner of the Frontenac.
Stay in the loop!
Get hidden gems and new adventures delivered straight to your inbox.
Sign-up for our monthly newsletter
By signing up to our newsletter, you agree to our terms.
This project has received funding support from the Government of Ontario. Such support does not indicate endorsement by the Government of Ontario of the contents of this material.
Login to your Guide
Save your favourite destinations, activities, and articles to start creating your very own personalized Great Lakes Guide.
Ready to start exploring?
Save your favourite destinations, activities, and articles to start creating your very own personalized Great Lakes Guide.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Get Great Lakes hidden gems and insider information delivered straight to your inbox!
D). Using the acronym \”HOMES\” to remember the names of the five Great Lakes.
Mnemonic devices are exemplified as an approach that assists to enhance the capacity to remember or recall things. It exemplifies a learning technique that helps improve the memorization and retrieving or recalling ability. Among the given options in the question, option D ‘using the acronym \”HOMES\” would help remember the names of five great lakes’ as it illustrates a learning technique that would help to encode the information and making it easy to retrieve or remember it . Thus, option D is the correct answer. “>,<"id":21127200,"content":"
An example of a mnemonic device is D. using the acronym \”HOMES\” to remember the names of the five Great Lakes.
A Mnemonic device is also referred to as a memory device and it simply means a learning technique that is used in the retention of information.
An example of mnemonic device is the way children sing the alphabets ABC in order to remember. Therefore, the correct option is using the acronym \”HOMES\” to remember the names of the five Great Lakes.
In conclusion, the correct option is D.
By Kim Ann Zimmermann published 30 June 17
The Great Lakes — Superior, Huron, Michigan, Ontario and Erie — make up the largest body of fresh water on Earth, accounting for one-fifth of the freshwater surface on the planet at 6 quadrillion gallons. The area of all the Great Lakes is 95,160 square miles (246,463 square kilometers) and span 750 miles (1,200 km) from west to east. The square mileage is larger than the state of Texas.
The lakes, called “the nation’s fourth seacoast,” are on the U.S. and Canadian border, touching Ontario in Canada and Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York in the United States. As of 2017, more than 30 million people live in the Great Lakes basin, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This equates to 10 percent U.S. residents and 30 percent Canadian residents. More than 3,500 species of plants and animals inhabit the Great Lakes basin, as well, including 170-plus species of fish.
Today, the Great Lakes are popular recreation spots for boating, fishing and other recreational activities, and they still serve as an important mode of transportation of goods, but they have not always been in their current form. About 14,000 years ago, the Great Lakes area was covered with a glacier that was more than a half-mile (1 km) thick. As the glacier melted, it slowly moved toward Canada and left behind a series of large depressions that filled with water. These formed the basic shape of the Great Lakes, and about 10,000 years ago the Great Lakes took the form that is familiar today.
While the area had been inhabited for a very long time before European explorers arrived, Étienne Brûlé (circa 1592-1632), an advance man for the French explorer Samuel de Champlain (circa 1567-1635), is generally credited as the first European to discover the Great Lakes. Brûlé is believed to have reached Lake Huron around 1615, and went on to explore Lake Ontario, according to the Canadian Museum of History.
There are a number of rivers and tributaries connecting the Great Lakes. The Straits of Mackinac connect Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, and there is such a steady flow of water between these two bodies that they could be considered one lake. Lake Erie and Lake Ontario are connected by the Niagara River, including Niagara Falls. The St. Lawrence River connects Lake Ontario to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which leads out to the Atlantic Ocean.
The Great Lakes are dotted with more than 35,000 islands. While many of the islands are small and uninhabitable, the largest is Lake Huron’s Manitoulin Island (1,068 square miles or 2,766 square km), which is also the largest island in any inland body of water on the planet.
There have been a number of shipwrecks on the Great Lakes, as storms and reefs can make navigation treacherous. The last and one of the most famous shipwrecks was that of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, a freighter that sank in Lake Superior during a storm on Nov. 10, 1975, killing the crew of 29.
The lakes have been changes considerably from pollution and invasive species. Currently, there are more than 140 federal programs designated for environmental restoration and management of The Great Lakes, according to the EPA. Eight U.S. states, Canada and 40 Tribal Nations are part of the initiative to clean up and protect the lakes.
Quick facts about the five Great Lakes:
Lake Erie: The name was derived from erielhonan, the Iroquoian word for “long tail,” which describes its shape. It is the fourth largest of the Great Lakes when measured in surface area (9,910 square miles / 25,700 square km.) and the smallest by water volume (116 cubic miles / 484 cubic km).
Lake Huron: Named for the Wyandot Indians, or Hurons, who lived there. Lake Huron is the second largest Great Lake by surface area (23,000 square miles / 59,600 square km) and has the longest shoreline (3,827 miles / 6,157 km), taking into account its many islands.
Lake Michigan: This is truly a great body of water, as the name is derived from the Ojibwa Indian word mishigami, meaning “large lake.” However, it is only the third largest of the Great Lakes when measured by water surface (22,300 square miles / 57,800 square km). It has an unusual water flow that goes in almost a cul-de-sac formation, moving slowly in a circular pattern. It is also the only Great Lake located entirely in the United States. Michigan and Huron are actually two halves of one body of water, though, according to the University of Wisconsin.
Lake Ontario: Ontario is the Huron word for “lake of shining water.” This lake is the smallest of the Great Lakes when measured in surface area (7,340 square miles / 18,960 square km). While it is similar in width and length to Lake Erie, it is much deeper and holds about four times the water volume (393 cubic miles/1,640 cubic km). Situated downstream from Lake Erie, Lake Ontario is at the base of Niagara Falls.
Lake Superior: At 31,699 square miles (82,100 square km), it is the largest in surface area and in water volume (2,903 cubic miles / 12,100 cubic km), thus earning it the name Lake Superior. The name comes from the French word lac supérieur, meaning upper lake, as it is north of Lake Huron.
Additional reporting by Alina Bradford, Live Science Contributor.
Of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan is the only one that is entirely in the US; the other four are cross-border lakes.
The Great Lakes is a series of five interconnected freshwater lakes located in North America. The lakes span across Canada and the United States. The five lakes, Lake Huron, Superior, Michigan, Erie, and Ontario form the largest freshwater hold of 21% of the Earth’s fresh water. They cover a combined area of 94,250 square miles and hold 5,439 cubic miles of water. Their vast size and volume, rolling waves, great depths, and strong currents have acquired them the nickname “inland seas.” The lakes formed about 14,000 years ago, at a time the Earth was experiencing a glacial age. They are a major transportation route connecting inland states and provinces to the Atlantic Ocean. Manmade channels, canals, and rivers join the lakes to each other. Lake Ontario connects the lakes to the Gulf of St Lawrence through the Saint Lawrence River and Seaway.
5. Lake Superior – 31,700 square miles
Lake Superior covers an area of 31,700 square miles and is the largest of the Great Lakes. The lakes extend to Ontario in Canada as well as the US states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is the world’s second largest lake after the Caspian Sea and the world’s largest freshwater lake by area. It is also North America’s largest lake. The lake lies at the North West end of the Great Lakes chain. Lake Superior empties into Lake Huron through the St. Marys River and the Soo Locks system. Lake Superior covers an area of 31,700 square miles which is nearly the size of Austria or the State of South Carolina. Its maximum length is 350 statute miles while its maximum width is 160 statute miles. It has an average depth of 483 feet and is 1,333 feet at its deepest point. The lake holds 2,900 cubic miles of water. It is an essential route for transporting grains, iron ore, and manufactured materials. Lake freighters and ocean-going freighters transport these products through St. Marys River into Lake Huron. Between January and March, the lake is deserted because of the cold temperature that freezes the surface of the water rendering it unsuitable for transportation.
4. Lake Huron – 23,007 square miles
Lake Huron is the second largest of the Great Lakes. It occupies the eastern portion of the Lake Michigan–Huron and has the same elevation as Lake Michigan. A 5-mile-wide, 120 feet deep trait of Mackinac connects the two lakes. It is shared by the state of Michigan and the province of Ontario. It was named “Huron” after the local Huron people by early French Explorers. The lake covers an area of 23,007 square miles, of which 13,904 square miles lie in Ontario while 9,103 square miles lie in Michigan. The lake holds an average of 850 cubic miles of water. The water surface lies at an altitude of 577 feet above the sea level. Its average depth is 195 feet while its deepest point is 750 feet. Its maximum length is 206 statute miles while its width is 183 statute miles. The Georgian Bay protrudes from the Northeast end of the lake while the Manitoulin Island separates the bay and the North Channel from the main lake. On the southwest part of the lake lies the Saginaw Bay. The St. Marys River is its primary source and connects the lake to Lake Superior while St Clair river drains it.
3. Lake Michigan – 22,404 square miles
Lake Michigan is the third largest lake of the Great lakes by area and second by volume. It is the only lake that is entirely in the US; the other four are cross-border lakes. It occupies the western portion of Lake Michigan–Huron. The lake is connected to Lake Huron through the Straits of Mackinac. The lake covers an area of 22,404 square miles and extends to the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois. The lake is 307 miles long and 118 miles wide. It has an average depth of 279 feet and is 923 feet at its deepest point. Lake Michigan holds 1,180 cubic miles of water. On the Northwest corner lies Green Bay while the Grand Traverse Bay occupies the northeast. The deepest part of the lake is Chippewa Basin in the northern half. The Fox River, Grand River, St. Joseph River, and the Milwaukee River are its major inflows while the strait of Mackinac and the Calumet and Chicago rivers are its primary outflows.
2. Lake Erie – 9,910 square miles
Lake Erie ranks fourth in of the great lakes in size. It is the smallest lake by volume. The lake is the southmost of the five lakes. The lake is also the shallowest of the five lakes with an average depth of 62 feet and a maximum depth of 210 feet. It covers an area of 9,910 square miles extending to the Canadian province of Ontario and the US states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio. The lake was named after the Erie people who are natives of its southern shore. It holds 116 cubic miles of water. The Detroit River is its primary inflow while its natural outflow is the Niagara River. The Welland Canal connects the lake to Lake Ontario.
1. Lake Ontario – 7,340 square miles
Lake Ontario is the smallest of the great lakes by area. It is shared by the province of Ontario and the state of New York. The lake was named after the Canadian province of Ontario. Niagara River is its primary inlet. The lake is the outlet of the Great Lakes chains and connects to the Atlantic Ocean through Saint Lawrence River. The lake covers an area of 7,340 square miles and holds 393 cubic miles. It has the lowest elevation of the Great Lakes at 243 feet above the sea level. Its length is 193 statute miles while its width is 53 statute miles. Its average depth is 283 feet.
Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Great Lakes
- National Wildlife Federation – Great Lakes, North America
- LiveScience – Great Facts About the Five Great Lakes
- The Canadian Encyclopedia – Great Lakes
- Great Lakes – Children’s Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11)
- Great Lakes – Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up)
The Great Lakes are a chain of deep freshwater lakes in east-central North America comprising the lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario.
The present configuration of the Great Lakes basin is the result of the movement of massive glaciers through North America, a process that began about one million years ago during the Pleistocene Epoch. The glaciers undoubtedly scoured existing valleys, widening and deepening them and radically changing the drainage of the area.
Lake Superior is the largest of the five Great Lakes of North America. It is also one of the world’s largest bodies of fresh water. It is 350 miles (563 km) long (east to west), and at its greatest width it is 160 miles (258 km) from north to south.
The Great Lakes receive their water supply from precipitation, which increases from west to east and from north to south. The average annual rainfall in the Lake Superior basin is 30 inches (760 millimeters), 31 inches in Lakes Huron and Michigan, and 34 and 36 inches in Lakes Erie and Ontario, respectively.
The Great Lakes modify the climate of the surrounding region by absorbing a large quantity of heat in the warmer months, which is then lost to the atmosphere during the colder months. This causes cooler summers and warmer winters than would otherwise occur in the region.
Great Lakes, chain of deep freshwater lakes in east-central North America comprising Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario. They are one of the great natural features of the continent and of the Earth. Although Lake Baikal in Russia has a larger volume of water, the combined area of the Great Lakes—some 94,250 square miles (244,106 square kilometres)—represents the largest surface of fresh water in the world, covering an area exceeding that of the United Kingdom. Their drainage basin of about 295,710 square miles (which includes the areas of the lakes themselves and their connecting waterways) extends approximately 690 miles . (100 of 4048 words)
The Great Lakes are one of the greatest riches of the United States. They spread across the border with Canada and throughout 8 states. They are made of 5 lakes, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Huron and Superior. All together they represent the biggest formation of freshwater on Earth and their volume contains 21 percent of the world’s total surface fresh water. Lake Superior is the second largest lake in the world, while Michigan is the largest lake on the territory of one country. Lake Erie is the warmest and shallowest, while Lake Huron has the longest shoreline. The Great Lakes are the main transition, transportation, and trade routes in the area. They are also connected with the Atlantic Ocean by the St Lawrence River.
There are 35,000 islands in the Great Lakes and its water is a home to over 260 different species of fish. The water from the lakes are good for drinking too, supplying over 40 million people every day. For decades now the Great Lakes were the main economic engine to the Midwest region of the United States, bringing around 15 percent of American GDP. Almost 80 percent of the lake’s shoreline is privately owned and not accessible to the public.
Lake Superior is shared by the United States and Canada. It is considered the largest lake in the world by area and the third largest by volume. It spreads over 31,700 square miles with a maximum length of 350 statute miles and breadth of 160 statute miles. Its maximum depth is 1,333 feet, while the average depth is around 480 feet. The temperature of the lake varies over the seasons, but at a depth of 660 feet it is constantly around 39 degrees Fahrenheit. Winds, combined with the current, create waves during the entire year. Occasionally, thunderstorms can make waves up to 30 feet in height. Over 200 rivers feed Lake Superior. It drains into Lake Huron via St Mary’s River and Soo Locks, which were built to help ships overcome height difference of 25 feet between Superior and Huron.
Lake Michigan is the only one of the Great Lakes which is not shared with Canada. It is the third largest of the five lakes by the surface area and the second largest by volume. Some people consider Lake Michigan and Lake Huron one lake because the Straits of Mackinac connect the two lakes and gives the appearance of one, single water surface. Its 22,400 square miles puts it to the fifth position of largest lakes in the world with 307 miles length and 118 breadth. The average depth of the lake is 279 feet while the deepest bottom lays on 923 feet. Lake Michigan is well known for its clear water with an average temperature around 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
Covering the area of 23,000 square miles, Lake Huron is the second largest of the Great Lakes. On the bigger picture, Huron is a third largest lake in the world both in surface area and volume. Length of the lake is 206 statute miles while its 183 statute miles breadth makes it widest of all Great Lakes. Maximum depth of the lakes is around 750 feet while the average depth is 195 feet. The average temperature of the water is around 54 degrees Fahrenheit, but during the summer it can go up to 75 degrees. Lake Huron is fed by the water from Lake Superior through the St Mary’s River, water then flows south through the St Clair River.
The fourth largest out of the five Great lakes, Erie is also the shallowest and the smallest in volume. In terms of surface area, Erie takes thirteenth place in the world. Niagara River is its biggest natural outflow, providing a huge amount of hydroelectric power to both the United States and Canada. Over the decades, Lake Erie has experienced many environmental problems due to its size, with the main issues being pollution and overfishing. The lake covers the surface of 9,990 square miles with a maximum depth of 210 feet. Since Erie is the shallowest, its waters stay the warmest with an average temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Thanks to its low depth, Lake Erie is the first of the Great Lakes to freeze during the winter and is the easiest to be stirred by waves.
A Great Lakes Quiz to test your knowledge of these freshwater lakes on or near the Canada/U.S. border? Ok, we’ll give it a go.
Along the way, you might learn a thing or two about the importance of these lakes that connect to the Atlantic Ocean via the Saint Lawrence River.
Take the Great Lakes Quiz for Kids Challenge!
Are your pencils ready? Let’s begin.
1. Can you name all five Great Lakes? If I told you “HOMES” is a good way to remember, would that help?
ANSWER: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior. Hint: The mnemonic device to remember is “HOMES.”
2. What is the biggest of the Great Lakes?
a.) Lake Michigan
b.) Lake Erie
c.) Lake Huron
d.) Lake Superior
ANSWER: d.) Lake Superior is the world’s largest freshwater lake and the biggest of the Great Lakes. It is 350 miles wide and 160 miles long. It has an average depth of 500 feet.
3. How many miles of driving does it take to circle the Great Lakes?
a.) 1,200 miles
b.) 3,350 miles
c.) 6,500 miles
d.) 8,200 miles
ANSWER: c.) 6,500 miles. The circle tour of the Great Lakes was established in 1988.
4. How many islands are there in the Great Lakes?
a.) Over 5,000 islands
b.) Over 15,000 islands
c.) Over 30,000 islands
d.) Over 35,000 islands
ANSWER: d.) The Great Lakes contain more than 35,000 islands. The largest island is Manitoulin in Lake Huron. It has a population of over 12,000 people.
5. What is the largest species of fish found in the Great Lakes?
a.) Lake Sturgeon
ANSWER: a.) Lake Sturgeon. Lake Sturgeons can weigh over 200 lbs.
6. True or False: Waves of 40 feet in height have been recorded on Lake Superior.
Lake Michigan is no slouch either with 23 feet waves.
7. True or False: Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Huron, and Lake Michigan would all fit inside Lake Superior.
8. True or False: It takes about five years for the water in Lake Superior to replace itself.
ANSWER: False. It takes about two centuries which is 200 years!
9. Which Great Lake is entirely within the borders of the United States?
a.) Lake Huron
b.) Lake Michigan
c.) Lake Erie
d.) Lake Superior
ANSWER: Lake Michigan.
10. True or False: Massachusetts borders one of the Great Lakes.
ANSWER: False. The following states border at least one Great Lakes: Ohio, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.
11. About what percentage of the world’s freshwater supply does Lake Superior contain?
a.) One percent
b.) Two percent
c.) Five percent
d.) 10 percent
ANSWER: 10 percent. It covers an area of 31,700 square miles. It’s estimated that it would take 551 billion gallons to raise the lake’s water level one inch.
12. Why do few people swim in Lake Superior?
a.) Restrictive swimming laws
c.) Ferocious piranhas
d.) The water is too cold
ANSWER: d.) It’s too cold! The average water temperature is between 36 and 39 degrees Fahrenheit.
Determine how many correct answers you had on the Great Lakes Quiz and compare it to our key below.
9 – 12 Correct: You earned your Great Lakes Expert badge. Congratulations!
6 – 8 Correct: Good knowledge, or you’re a good guesser.
3 – 5 Correct: Keep studying. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
0 – 2 Correct: So, you had a bad day? Shake it off. It’s now how you start, but how you finish!
A closing question for you to consider: Some of the captains on ships refer to the Great Lakes as inward seas because they have the majestic qualities of seas. How do you think the Great Lakes are like seas?
By Greg Johnson and Mike O’Halloran
Greg and Mike are cofounders of ListCaboodle.
By Carol Stiffler
Like every family, the family of Kathi Gray had enough reasons to remember the year 2020. But they wanted more. Something bright.
Gray and her daughter, Lindsey Lombardo, had been mulling over a whirlwind trip that took them to all five Great Lakes – Erie, Huron, Michigan, Ontario, and Superior – in one day.
“As we were looking things up to plan it, everything was going through the Canadian side,” said Lombardo, who lives in Dundee, Michigan, by Lake Erie. “We waited, with border restrictions. Then we decided we can do this, being socially distanced, the U.S. way.”
Gray, who lives just north of Newberry, said they realized with a jolt that, since Lombardo is a teacher and must start preparing to return to the classroom, it was either now or next year.
Over the weekend of August 8, they committed to the trip. They left Monday, August 10, driving toward Fort Niagara. Along with Gray and Lombardo, they brought Lombardo’s five children: Christian Koszka-Lombardo, 15; Daniel Lombardo, 6; Luke Lombardo, 5; Makenna Lombardo, 4; and Evelyn Lombardo, 2.
They rented a van, and to practice safe social distancing, they packed all the food they’d need for the trip and stopped only for gas and picnics at rest areas. The family brought dozens of rocks Gray had painted with “5 Great Lakes in One Day!” and planned to leave them at every single place they stopped.
It had all the makings of an epic trip, and they did it.
“Everybody got in each lake,” said Lombardo. “My oldest son went all the way under the water in every lake. He was our designated diver to go under the water.”
Christian, the designated diver, said Lake Ontario was the warmest, then Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, and the coldest was Lake Superior. Interestingly, that is the same order in which they visited each lake.
“At Lake Erie, we went to the beach we always go to that is by our house,” said Lombardo. “That was special.” Lombardo’s husband, Louis, who was unable to make the trip, met them there for a brief visit.
Seeing all the lakes in one day helped the kids knit together the family of lakes, Lombardo said. And they intentionally visited beaches they were already familiar with, except in the case of Lake Ontario, where none of them had been.
“You could see their recognition of it,” Lombardo said. “It’s not just Lake Erie or Superior. I go to these places. It’s part of Michigan, where I’m from.”
The family event attracted attention at each beach, except for Lake Ontario, which they dipped into at 2:31 a.m. Brandishing signs that proclaimed what they were doing, they had a lot of explaining to do.
“People were asking what we were up to,” Lombardo said. “It was a neat way to connect with people and share information, and still be distanced from them. We could still be six feet apart.
The group left Lake Ontario and splashed into Lake Erie at 9:58 a.m. After a long drive, they were in Lake Huron from a Mackinaw City beach at 5:17 p.m. The family crossed the Mackinac Bridge and waded into Lake Michigan at 6:08 p.m. At 7:49 p.m., they were in Lake Superior, and their mission was accomplished.
Each beach was different, and each kid collected sand and rocks from each beach for a later project.
The lakes also came with lessons of respect and caution for the water. The lakes are strong, the children understood.
“We never hurried anybody,” said Gray. “This wasn’t a time thing; it was a journey thing. When we got to each place, we just enjoyed that.”
It was a relatively affordable venture, too. Gray tallied up expenses and said it had cost them about $330, including gas (the biggest expense), food, park fees, and tolls.
What it brought them was something much bigger than that. They enjoyed the happy energy in the car, the chance for mother and daughter to talk, and learning about each other’s tastes in music and more.
“Each family has milestones in their lives as a growing family,” said Gray. “Birth, deaths, marriages, and events, like a new car or somebody graduates. This was one of these things where we all just stuck another pole in our family ground, and said ‘This marks a “remember when”’. It’s now ‘before this’ or ‘after this’ for a lot of things. It’s a huge point in our lives.”
Gray and her husband are planning more adventures around the Great Lakes. They’ll do the Canadian route when it’s possible, though not in one day.
The Great Lakes are one of the biggest blessings in Gray’s life, she said. “I lived out of state for a while because I had to. I always wanted to be back here,” she said. “When people just drive through on US-2, it’s like they’re just getting a breath of a whole thing that they haven’t even seen yet. They can’t imagine what’s behind all the trees. The beauty, the rivers, Kitch-iti-kipi… We are blessed to be up here.”
Share this activity with your students.
Read the Following Selection
Read the following selection, or click on the play button below to listen aloud.
The Great Lakes
Map of the great lakes
No wonder these lakes in northeastern North America have received the name the Great Lakes. They are the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth!
The Five Lakes
The five great lakes are located along the border between Canada and the United States. The lakes border on the province of Ontario, as well as on the American states of Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
It is easy to remember the names of all five lakes. Just remember the word HOMES and it will remind you of the first letter in each of the names of the lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior.
Great Water, Shining Water
The largest Great Lake is Lake Superior. It is the largest inland lake anywhere on Earth. Its name comes from the fact that it lies above, or superior to, the other Great Lakes. Indigenous Peoples called it Gitchigumi (pronounced Git-chee-goo-mee), which means “great lake.”
Lake Michigan lies entirely within the United States and is the world’s largest lake that is completely within one country. The lake’s name comes from the Indigenous word mishigami (pronounced mih-shi-ga-mee), which means “great water.”
Lake Huron was named by French explorers for the Huron Indigenous Peoples who lived in the area.
A neighbouring Indigenous group also gave its name to Lake Erie.
Toronto skyline on Lake Ontario
Lake Ontario gets its name from an Indigenous word that means “shining water.”
Between the Lakes
Between Lake Huron and Lake Erie is Lake St. Clair. It is so much smaller than the lakes around it that it is not considered one of the Great Lakes. Between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario is Niagara Falls, one of North America’s largest waterfalls.
Ships moving grain and other supplies from Canada’s prairies to countries in Europe are loaded in Thunder Bay, up on Lake Superior. They travel across Lake Superior, Lake Huron, and Lake Erie, but they have to bypass Niagara Falls by sailing through the Welland Canal. They finish their trip by sailing the length of Lake Ontario, then down the St. Lawrence River to the Atlantic Ocean.
Picture of stormy weather on Lake Superior
Because the Great Lakes are so large, they are known for their rolling waves, blustery winds, and strong currents. Storms on these waters can be very dangerous. In the fall, bad weather can blow up suddenly. There are also hidden reefs in the Great Lakes that can wreck a ship.
Hundreds of ocean-going vessels have been shipwrecked in the Great Lakes. Most of them lie deep below the dark waters of Lake Huron, where the eastbound and westbound shipping lanes cross. There is also an area farther up in Lake Superior that has become known as the “Graveyard of the Great Lakes.”
Now, show what you know!
Complete some questions about the reading selection by clicking “Begin Questions” below.
All kinds of rhymes to help you learn about the earth. For example, the order of the Great Lakes.
Mnemonic Device: General Eisenhower’s Oldest Girl Rode A Pony Home Yesterday Variations: George Eats Old Grey Rats And Paints Houses Yellow George Eliot’s Old Grandmother Rode A Pig Home
Wind Directions: North, East, South, West
Mnemonic Device: Naughty Elephants Spray Water Variations: Never Eat Salty Worms Never Eat Shredded Wheat Never Eat Slimy Worms Never Eat Soggy Waffles Never Ever Smoke Weed Never Eat Soggy
Mnemonic Device: HOMES Explanation: to remember the names of the Great Lakes Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior
Students, Pretty Pretty Please, Remember Your Jackets
Mnemonic Device: Students, Pretty Pretty Please, Remember Your Jackets Explanation: The first letters of the words remind us of the major rivers of the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay.
Mnemonic Device: North America married South America, and they went to Europe for their honeymoon. Soon after they had quadruplets who all had A names: Africa, Australia, Asia (who
“Sally Made Henry Eat Oreos” or SMHEO
Mnemonic Device: “Sally Made Henry Eat Oreos” or SMHEO Explanation: To geographically place the Great Lakes: Lake Superior is the Great Lake farthest to the west, to the right
Eat An Apple As A Nighttime Snack
Mnemonic Device: Eat An Apple As A Nighttime SnAck Explanation: to remember the 7 continents Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, Antarctica, North America, South America
Big Gorillas Eat Hotdogs, Not Cold Pizza
Mnemonic Device: Big Gorillas Eat Hotdogs, Not Cold Pizza Explanation: to remember the countries in Central America from North to South. Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama
eVeNING ARCTIC SNOW CAN NUMb MAMMOTH MIKe’S LIP, KNee AND eVeN Me. FeW eWe MOW Me.
Mnemonic Device: eVeNING ARCTIC SNOW CAN NUMb MAMMOTH MIKe’S LIP, KNee AND eVeN Me. FeW eWe MOW Me. Explanation: to remember all the states in America. Ignore all of
Many African Tourists Like Elephants
Mnemonic Device: Many African Tourists Like Elephants Explanation: to remember the five countries across North Africa, from West to East Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt
Forming an acronym is a good strategy to use to remember information in any order. An acronym is a word that is formed from the first letter of each fact to be remembered. It can be a real word or a nonsense word you are able to pronounce.
Here is how to form an acronym.
- Write the facts you need to remember.
- Underline the first letter of each fact. If there is more than one word in a fact, underline the first letter of only the first word in the fact.
- Arrange the underlined letters to form an acronym that is a real word or a nonsense word you can pronounce.
“HOMES” is an example of an acronym that is a real word you can use to remember the names of the five Great Lakes: Michigan, Erie, Superior, Ontario, Huron: In HOMES, H is the first letter of Huron and helps you remember that name; O is the first letter of Ontario, and so on.
“Telk” is an acronym that can be used to remember the following animals: tiger, lion, elephant, kangaroo. “Telk” is not a real word, but you can easily pronounce it. You could also have used “kelt” as an acronym. Notice that in this example, you cannot form a real word using the first letter of each fact to be remembered.
Sometimes two or more of the facts you must remember each begin with the same first letter. For example, the acronym “capp” can be used to remember the following fruits: pear, apple, peach, cherry. You can use the first letter “p” in the acronym to remember either “pear” or “peach” and the second letter “p” to remember the other.
Use the acronym strategy as a way to remember information.
How-To-Study.com was acquired by StudySkills.com in 2018 as a part of our ongoing commitment to provide study skills resources for students, teachers, and parents. They continue to add new content to the site, so keep coming back.
Learn more about Founder/Author Susan Kruger.
There’s no place like H.O.M.E.S. If you don’t get the reference, that’s the acronym some people use to help them remember the names of North America’s Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior. (Although technically, Huron and Michigan are the same lake.) Together, these vast bodies of water enrich our world on countless fronts; here are five reasons why everybody should love them.
5: They Contain Much of the World’s Fresh Water
Technically the Great Lakes hold one-fifth of the world’s fresh surface water. That’s a lot of water, especially when, one in five people around the world don’t have reliable access to safe drinking water. It’s a badly-needed resource. Some 97 percent of all the water on our planet is saltwater. And most of the globe’s freshwater supply is either frozen in glaciers or buried underground. One reason why the Great Lakes are so important is they harbor 20 percent of all the liquid water on Earth’s surface. All the more reason to keep them pollution-free.
Exactly how much water are we talking about here? Put together, the five Great Lakes have 6 quadrillion gallons of it. For metric system fans, that’s 22.7 quadrillion liters. With this amount of H2O, an aspiring supervillain could cover the contiguous United States in 10 feet (3 meters) of standing water.
4: 150 Fish Species Are Native to the Region
The Great Lakes were born when glaciers receded from this part of the world at the end of the last ice age. As the icy bulldozers went northward, they carved out deep troughs in the earth that later filled with water. Paleontologists think that the Great Lakes’ native fish species migrated into the area from drainages like the Hudson Bay and the Upper Mississippi River. Of these indigenous fish, none can match the lake sturgeon in size. Adult sturgeon can be more than 7 feet (2.13 meters) long and weigh 240 pounds (108 kilograms). Other well-known species include the muskellunge, rock bass and northern pike.
But not all the fish are locals. Several game species like Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout were deliberately introduced. Other exotic fish, such as the sea lampreys, just snuck in. Either way, some of these newcomers are killing or out-competing the native species — which is a huge problem.
3: Migratory Birds Use the Lakes as Waystations
Not into fishing? Try birdwatching. Millions of hawks, geese and other birds take biannual pit stops in the Great Lakes basin every year as part of their migration cycles. The wetlands, forests and islands here are terrific places for the flyers to rest and feed before moving on. Some then fly as far north as the Arctic Circle or as far south as Argentina. Their visits are a boon for cities and towns in the Great Lakes area. In Ohio alone, more than 68,000 birdwatching tourists drop by each spring to see the winged travelers arrive. The influx generates $40 million annually for the Buckeye State’s economy.
2: The Microclimate Is Ideal for Wineries
Water and land have different relationships with heat. By comparison, water takes longer to warm up and cool down. On the shores of a large lake, this fact is readily apparent. When springtime comes, the lake’s temperature will rise more slowly than the land that surrounds it. As a result, air around the coastline tends to be cooler than inland air every spring. You’d think this would hurt farmers who live by the shoreline, but it can actually help them. The chillier temperatures cause fruit trees to blossom later in the season. As a result, apples, peaches and other fruits are less likely to get killed by sudden frosts.
Fruits that don’t tend to fare well up north can thrive by the Great Lakes. Accordingly, the region has a huge fruit-growing industry. One nice byproduct of weather is the abundance of wineries around Lakes Michigan, Erie and Ontario. The microclimate and loamy soil in those areas makes them well suited for viticulture. That’s part of the reason why Ontario produces more wine than any other Canadian province.
1: They Preserve Shipwrecks Really Well
Just about every type of boat or ship you can imagine — from wooden canoes to mine-laying submarines — has deployed on the Great Lakes at some point in time. And this is to say nothing of the naval battles that broke out here during the War of 1812. So it’s not surprising that the lakes contain an estimated 8,000 shipwrecks, with new ones being discovered on a regular basis.
Quantity is nice, but so is quality. Many of these vessels are almost perfectly preserved. The Great Lakes contain cold, fresh water. That allows shipwrecks to last longer than they would in the ocean. In saltwater, iron-based metal corrodes more rapidly. Also, the ocean’s home to shipworms that feast on wooden wrecks. Finally, there’s coral, which thrives in warm waters and can encrust itself all over submerged vessels.
Conditions in the Great Lakes make it a lot easier for archaeologists to study shipwreck sites. There are also strict anti-looting laws which help prevent the artifacts on these ships from being stolen. However, that being said, there’s still one big threat to the sunken vehicles: Invasive zebra mussels. It’s thought that when the mollusks latch on to boat hulls, they end up damaging wooden and metallic wrecks alike. The situation has historians scrambling to document important ships before too much harm befalls them.
On Lake Huron, there’s a Canadian landmass called Manitoulin Island. With an area of 1,067 square miles (2,765 square kilometers), it’s the largest island in the world that resides in a freshwater lake. And get this: Big old Manioulin has 108 lakes of its own — some of which contain tiny islands. So in summary, a visitor could theoretically stand on a little island in a little lake that’s on a big island in a big lake. Neat!
Boating in the Great Lakes
Boating in the Great Lakes: A Guide from the Safety Experts
It’s no secret that the Great Lakes live up to their name in terms of size, as they cover 94,000 sq miles and accommodate 210,000 recreational boats .
These lakes are also home to over two hundred fish species, including 160 native species, and offer fishermen an ocean-like experience but with a different variety of fish to catch. If you are starting to plan a fun fishing trip with friends, even your furry ones, or a family boating adventure, there is no place like the “Boating Capital of the World,” otherwise known as the Great Lakes. From diving, fishing, swimming, and other watersports, to exploring historical sites, encountering unique wildlife, admiring the stunning scenery, or accessing urban areas by boat, there are endless opportunities for fun. Similar to the ocean, boating, surfing, paddle boarding, fishing, etc. should be enjoyed with caution, due to the vast size of the Great Lakes and their sometimes less than favorable wind waves.
Why Boating (and Fishing) on the Great Lakes is “Nothing but a Dream”
With easy access from Detroit and Windsor, Lake Huron is often a hotspot for fishermen or boaters out for a cruise. Everyone can enjoy the scenic nature of the limestone peninsula, fishing islands, and Mackinac Island, home to one of the world’s largest suspension bridges. Fishermen flock to Lake Huron to take advantage of the marvelous whitefish population and experience the best bass fishing in North America .
Another popular spot that is often crowded with boaters and fishermen, is Lake Michigan. This hub for watersports is known as the windiest of the Great Lakes , making it ideal for windsurfing and parasailing. Underwater, divers can marvel at the abandoned ruins of wrecks and above water, you might enjoy catching a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis.
Among the five Great Lakes , Lake Erie proves to be one of the best for fishing. As its waters are warm and shallow, Lake Erie is home to the greatest variety of fish and is wonderful for swimming, boating, and watersports.
If you had to choose between boating or fishing on Lake Ontario, we recommend boating. Many have dubbed this lake a “playground” for recreational boating, although the coastline caters best to smaller watercraft. The large collection of marinas and easy access to the Atlantic Ocean and St. Lawrence Seaways makes Lake Ontario easy and convenient to cruise the day away with friends, family, or your fur-babies .
As the largest and most northern of the Great Lakes, Lake Superior experiences a shorter boating season with a smaller variety of fish for fishermen. Although swimming and watersports are less popular in Lake Superior, with its deep waters and cool temperatures, “Graveyard of theGreat Lakes,” or “ Shipwreck Coast ” prove to have fascinating locations for divers in the summer months. Boaters cannot help but adore this lake’s pure beauty, and adventure can be found nearby at Isle Royale National Park , which is only accessible by boat.
Safety Tips for Boating on the Great Lakes
While the Great Lakes are a breathtaking destination for a family trip or fishing with your friends, safety is of extreme importance when it comes to these waters. High waves reaching over six feet, rip currents, and other dangerous conditions often occur in the Great Lakes, especially during the early spring. Ice storms and high winds are common this time of year, even as the region experiences increasingly warmer and sunnier days. If you do plan to venture to the Great Lakes this time of year, be extra cautious and keep a close eye on the weather and water conditions so you can be prepared. If you are unsure if it is a safe day for boating, it may be best to stay on land and enjoy another activity, like visiting a lakeside town or touring lighthouses.
When it comes to the types of boats that are allowed in the Great Lakes, you can find everything from large speed boats, fishing boats, sailboats, jet skis, and even small ski boats. As conditions among the Great Lakes vary, it is important to be aware of the unfavorable wind, wave, and weather patterns that are not suitable for your type of boat or watercraft. For example, small boats should always be cautious and steer clear of heavy winds and large waves, while large boats need to be prepared with extra fuel and shorelines with shallow waters. All boats on the Great Lakes, especially sailboats, need to be on the lookout for jet skis, water skiers, and wakeboarders as well as pay close attention to wind predictions. Remember to brush up on basic boating safety tips and supply appropriate life jackets to everyone on board.
How to Protect Your Boat on the Great Lakes with NBOA Boat Insurance
Although the Great Lakes are fresh bodies of water, it is imperative that you rinse and wash your vessel after pulling it ashore. Zebra mussels have been infesting and spreading among the lakes and can cause harm if not properly taken care of. Aside from maintaining the cleanliness of your boat, keeping your watercraft protected from the conditions of the Great Lakes also means having the best boat insurance in Michigan . Here at NBOA, we make it easy to both purchase and protect your boat, with marine financing and NBOA membership benefits . Between the wind waves, tides, currents, storms, and reefs, the Great Lakes should be treated like the ocean, taking preventative measures in the event of a rough day on the water.
Experiencing the Great Lakes is an unforgettable excursion that everyone should have the pleasure of enjoying. Even if you were to sail and cruise the Great Lakes for a lifetime, you still may never be able to see it all. If you go far enough on each lake, you can lose sight of the shoreline in any direction and truly feel like you are in the middle of the ocean. However, with its large size comes a larger threat of dangerous conditions. Always be wary of winds, waves, and other watercrafts to ensure everyone’s safety on the Great Lakes.
Want to keep exploring our fabulous Great Lakes, even though you’re hanging around the house? Check out H.O.M.E.S. at Home! The acronym is an easy way to remember our five Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior. While it may be harder for us to dip our toes in the lakes right now, we’ve got lots of ways for you to enjoy and learn about our freshwater seas right from your own home.
Longing to take the family to the Great Lakes, but not able to get to the shore? Then this series is for you! Join us for a series of fun-filled, family-friendly videos jam-packed full of Great Lakes fun facts, activity suggestions for your family, and daily challenges. Each video provides a high-energy experience that engages people of all ages in learning about the Great Lakes and activities you can do right at home!
These videos were originally live streamed in March and April 2020 via Zoom and Facebook Live. The recordings are available with closed captions on our YouTube page and are embedded for easy viewing below. The first 20 minutes of the video are activities and fun, engaging content, followed by 10 minutes for Q&A — as well as a family challenge!
Earn a certificate!
Folks that complete 5 of the challenges will be emailed a Great Lakes Jr. Scientist certificate for you to print and proudly display at home. If you want, we can also add your name or names to our Great Lakes Hall of Science Heroes! Just fill out this Google Form to let us know that you’ve completed the challenges.
What will we learn about?
Click the links to watch the episodes on YouTube! Captions are available in the YouTube player.
Birdventures! Explore the fascinating birds of the Great Lakes
Great Lakes, Great Films, Great Writers
Lake Effect! The crazy winds of the Great Lakes
Lake Sturgeon: Dinosaurs in the Great Lakes
Exploring Herpetology: Fun with Amphibians and Reptiles
Painting and Watercolors: Be Inspired by the Great Lakes!
Great Lakes Bioblitz: Get outside and explore nature!
Great Lakes Invaders
Terrific Turtles of the Great Lakes
Cruise the Great Lakes
Hits from YouTube
Here are some highlights from Michigan Sea Grant’s YouTube channel:
Watch the videos from the #LakeEffects Film Series!
The #LakeEffects Film Series is a five-part livestreamed event hosted by Michigan Sea Grant and sponsored by Great Lakes Now and the University of Michigan Great Lakes Theme Semester. Did you miss previous nights in the film series? Never fear — most of the content is available online for free! Check out the links below for fascinating Great Lakes clips and documentaries:
Water covers about 70% of the Earth’s surface. The oceans contain most of the water. However, there are many lakes throughout the world. A lake is a large body of water surrounded by land. There are about 117 million lakes in the world covering about 3% of the Earth’s surface, but only 5 of those lakes can be called the Great Lakes.
The five Great Lakes are located in North America between the United States and Canada. They make up the largest body of fresh water on the Earth. The area is over 95,000 square miles.
The lakes touch Ontario and Toronto, Canada and border eight states: Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. The Great Lakes were formed about 14,000 years ago by a large glacier (a sheet of ice) as it melted.
The Great Lakes are used for many reasons such as boating, fishing, and many other recreational activities. The lakes are also used for transportation of goods and people with many rivers connecting the lakes. There are about 30,000 islands spread throughout the lake system, though many do not have people living on them.
The largest of the lakes is Lake Superior. It can hold the water from the other four lakes. It is also the deepest of the lakes and the coldest. The city of Duluth, Minnesota is an international port located on Lake Superior. The shoreline of the lake is very rocky. Besides Canada, it borders the states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.
The third largest of the lakes is Lake Michigan, bordering Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. It is the only lake completely inside the United States. The name comes from an Indian word meaning large lake (mishigami). The city of Chicago, Illinois is at its southern tip. Lake Michigan connects to Lake Huron at the Straits of Mackinac. People can travel from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River.
The second largest lake, which has the longest shoreline at 3,287 miles is Lake Huron. There are three different extending out of Lake Huron. It was named for the Wyandot Indians, also called the Hurons who lived there. The lake borders Ontario, Canada; and the state of Michigan.
The lake with the shallowest and the warmest waters of all the Great Lakes is Lake Erie. Lake Erie is the fourth largest of the five lakes and receives water from Lakes Superior, Michigan, and Huron. The water is constantly changing in the lake, and it empties into the Niagara River. The lake is bordered by Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New York. During the 19 th century, ships used the Erie Canal entering the Buffalo River and travel eastward to Albany, NY and then along the Hudson River to New York City. Ship traffic is the highest in Lake Erie, which has the roughest waters. There are more shipwrecks in the lake than any of the other four lakes.
The final and the smallest of the lakes, Lake Ontario, connects to the St. Lawrence River into the Atlantic Ocean. The lake lies below Lake Erie and receives the water from Niagara Falls. The lake borders Toronto, Canada; as well as the state of New York.
One of the best methods to remember the names of the five lakes is to use HOMES. Each letter is the beginning letter of the names of the Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior.
The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin is the single largest watershed in the world, ranging from Trois-Rivières, Québec to beyond the western point of Lake Superior. It contains more than 20% of the world’s supply of surface fresh water and about 84% of North America’s surface fresh water.
The Basin is located within the U.S. States of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, as well as the Canadian Provinces of Ontario and Québec. It contains over 94,000 square miles of surface water, and is the world’s largest inland waterway system, extending over 3,800 miles.
More than 40 million people rely on the Basin for their primary water source. This is roughly 10% of the U.S. population and more than 30% of the Canadian population.
If it were its own country, the region would be the world’s third largest economy, generating about US$6 trillion annually. For more than a century, the region has been a center for manufacturing, international shipping, and innovative research and development.
The region alone accounts for more than 50% of all U.S./Canadian bilateral border trade and sees over 200 million tons of cargo shipped annually. The region is also home to more than 51 million jobs.
Many schoolchildren are taught to remember the names of the five Great Lakes by using the mnemonic device HOMES.
An example of a mnemonic device is D. using the acronym “HOMES” to remember the names of the five Great Lakes.
A Mnemonic device is also referred to as a memory device and it simply means a learning technique that is used in the retention of information.An example of mnemonic device is the way children sing the alphabets ABC in order to remember. Therefore, the correct option is using the acronym “HOMES” to remember the names of the five Great Lakes.
In conclusion, the correct option is D.
Read related link on:
D). Using the acronym “HOMES” to remember the names of the five Great Lakes.
Mnemonic devices are exemplified as an approach that assists to enhance the capacity to remember or recall things. It exemplifies a learning technique that helps improve the memorization and retrieving or recalling ability. Among the given options in the question, option D ‘using the acronym “HOMES” would help remember the names of five great lakes’ as it illustrates a learning technique that would help to encode the information and making it easy to retrieve or remember it. Thus, option D is the correct answer.
elise is writing a literary analysis of a biographical essay about emily dickinson.
which of the following should elise use in order to provide a strong claim statement in the introduction to her analysis?
“a life apart” by julia golding maintains that emily dickenson wrote over a thousand poems during her life.
jefferson introduced the idea that one does not change a government for “light” causes because he wanted to emphasize the seriousness of colonists’ reasons for declaring independence.
Using mnemonic devices is an excellent way to help elementary students learn and retain important information. If you’re not already familiar, these are memory devices that rely on language or numbers as a strategy to trick your brain into remembering facts. The mnemonic device that begins with “Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November. ” for example, can help students remember which months have 30 days and which have 31. Types of mnemonic devices for elementary students include rhymes, acronyms, mini-stories, and associations.
Looking to use mnemonic devices to enhance your student’s learning? Here are four mnemonic devices for elementary students:
Mnemonic device #1: rhymes
For some students, it can be far easier to remember lyrics than facts from a textbook. Rhymes are great mnemonics in part because they’re closely connected to songs and often include catchy wording that’s easy to recall. Teaching your student common rhyming mnemonics can help them remember key facts that will be useful throughout their education. Examples of rhyming mnemonic devices include:
A rhyme to help with a common spelling confusion: “I before E, except after C, or when sounding like A, like in neighbor and weigh.”
A rhyme for remembering Alaska and Hawaii’s statehood: “‘59 was the date when Alaska and Hawaii became new states.”
Mnemonic device #2: acronyms
An acronym uses the letters in a specific word to form a new keyword—such as NASA or ATM. Remembering the keyword can help your student to recall each aspect or step in a group or concept. During a test, for example, knowing that the terms they’re trying to remember begin with certain letters can help jog their memory and relieve test-day stress. Examples of acronyms that students may encounter include:
The helpful way to remember colors in a spectrum in order is “ROYGBIV,” which stands for red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.
“HOMES” can help you remember the names of the five Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior.
Mnemonic device #3: mini-stories
This strategy uses a silly sentence to help students remember a concept. Each first letter in the phrase corresponds to an aspect of the concept they need to remember. Similar to acronyms, the difference between the two lies in the phrase itself. Acronyms are almost exclusively a single word or a very short word grouping. Mini-stories, in contrast, include wording that appears as a short sentence. Examples of these mini-stories include:
“Never Eat Sour Watermelon,” which can help children remember north, east, south, and west.
Roman numerals are often difficult to recall, but the phrase “I Value Xylophones Like Cows Dig Milk” can help students remember this key: I=1, V=5, X=10, L=50, C=100, D=500, and M=1,000.
A common math mnemonic is “King Henry Died Drinking Chocolate Milk,” which corresponds to kilo, hecto, deca, deci, centi, and milli in the metric system.
Mnemonic device #4: associations
Associations rely on the connections we make between sounds, letters, and word meanings. It makes a match between words that start with the same letter—for example, students can remember that Memorial Day happens during the month of May because the two begin with the letter m. To remember the homonyms principal and principle, for instance, students can remember that a principal is your pal, but a principle is a rule.
While there are common mnemonic devices students can use, students can also develop their own phrases and connections based off of items that pertain to their everyday life. Encourage your student to identify aspects of their studies that they find challenging and to create associations that may help them better recall the facts. You and your student can use a keyword that needs to be remembered and make an acrostic poem out of it, or you can think of visual or verbal personal connections related to a word.
For more help with mnemonics, ask your child’s teacher for ones that they use in class, or any others they might be familiar with—especially in the areas that your student struggles with or that require more memorization skills.
Memory tools and strategies improve information retention
Mnemonic devices can help students remember important facts and principles. Mnemonic devices commonly employ a rhyme, such as “30 days hath September, April, June, and November,” so that they are recalled easily. Some use an acrostic phrase where the first letter of each word stands for another word, such as “Practically every old man plays poker regularly,” to remember the geologic ages of Paleocene, Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene, Pliocene, Pleistocene, and Recent. These two techniques effectively aid memory.
Mnemonics work by associating easy-to-remember clues with complex or unfamiliar data. Though mnemonics often seem illogical and arbitrary, their nonsensical wording is what can make them memorable. Teachers should introduce mnemonics to students when the task requires the memorization of information rather than to have a student understand a concept.
Acronym (Name) Mnemonic
” data-caption=”” data-expand=”300″ data-tracking-container=”true” />
PM Images / The Image Bank / Getty Images
An acronym mnemonic forms a word from the first letters or groups of letters in a name, list, or phrase. Each letter in the acronym acts as a cue. For example, ROY G. BIV helps students remember the order of the colors of the spectrum: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet
Other examples of acronym mnemonics include:
- HOMES, which provides an easy way to remember the five Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior
- OIL RIG, which helps chemistry students remember the difference between these two terms: Oxidation It Loses (electrons) Reduction It Gains (electrons)
- FANBOYS, which helps learners remember the seven coordinating conjunctions: For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So
Expressions or Acrostic Mnemonics
” data-caption=”Acrostic Mnemonic: An invented sentence where the first letter of each word is a cue to an idea you need to remember.” data-expand=”300″ data-tracking-container=”true” />
In an acrostic mnemonic, the first letter of each word in a sentence provides the clue that helps students recall information. For example, music students remember the notes on the lines of the treble clef (E, G, B, D, F) with the sentence, “Every Good Boy Does Fine.”
Biology students use King Philip Cuts Open Five Green Snakes to remember the order of taxonomy: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species.
Budding astronomers might proclaim, “My Very Earnest Mother Just Served Us Nine Pickles,” when reciting the order of the planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto.
Placing Roman numerals gets easier if you use the acrostic mnemonic, I Value Xylophones Like Cows Dig Milk, as follows:
- I =1
- V =5
- X =10
- L= 50
” data-caption=”Rhyme Mnemonic: rhymes are one of the simplest ways to boost memory. The end of each line ends in a similar sound, creating a singsong pattern that is easier to remember.” data-expand=”300″ data-tracking-container=”true” />
A rhyme matches similar terminal sounds at the end of each line. Rhyme mnemonics are easier to remember because they can be stored by acoustic encoding in the brains.
An example might be the number of days in a month:
Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November;
All the rest have thirty-one
Excepting February alone:
Which hath but twenty-eight, in fine,
Till leap year gives it twenty-nine.
Another example is the spelling rule mnemonic:
“I” before “e” except after “c”
or when sounding like “a”
in “neighbor” and “weigh”
A learning labor from Science Buddies
“data-newsletterpromo_article-image=”https://static.scientificamerican.com/sciam/cache/file/4641809D-B8F1-41A3-9E5A87C21ADB2FD8_source.png”data-newsletterpromo_article-button-text=”Sign Up”data-newsletterpromo_article-button-link=”https://www.scientificamerican.com/page/newsletter-sign-up/?origincode=2018_sciam_ArticlePromo_NewsletterSignUp”name=”articleBody” itemprop=”articleBody”>
Have you ever needed to remember a long list of words, such as state capitals or items on a shopping list? Even if a list can be full of interesting facts, it can still be hard to remember. But there are some memory techniques that can help a person to better recall a list. In this science activity you’ll try out a technique called mnemonics—a memory boosting strategy. You’ll investigate whether using mnemonics can help you and your friends or family members remember lists of words.
Sometimes it can be difficult to remember long lists of words, which is where memory techniques can help. Any memory trick that can help somebody remember information is called a mnemonic. Mnemonics can use systems of rhymes, acronyms, diagrams or other techniques to aid a person in recollecting names, dates, facts, figures and more. An example of a mnemonic is the rhyme, “i before e except after c, or when sounding ‘a’ as in ‘neighbor’ or ‘weigh.'” This mnemonic was designed to help a person remember the order of the letters “i” and “e” in different words. As was mentioned, mnemonics can also use acronyms, which are words where each letter of the word stands for something. For example, a mnemonic for remembering the names of the Great Lakes uses the acronym HOMES, where each letter stands for one of the lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior. People also use mnemonics by mentally turning a list of words into a memorable sentence or a mental image that incorporates all of the words.
• At least six volunteers, in addition to the person who will be running the activity
• Quiet room for testing
• At least eight scraps or sheets of paper
• Stopwatch or timer
• Develop a list of words that is at least seven words long. Your list is only limited by your own imagination—you can come up with one by taking inspiration from the world around you, such as making the list correspond to a grocery list or thinking of a group of objects or items.
• Make a corresponding mnemonic for the list of words. When trying to come up with a mnemonic, you can look at the examples given in the Background section, above. For example, you could come up with an acronym that uses the first letter of each word on the list. Alternatively, if you make a list of words that are descriptive, you could think of a funny sentence or image that incorporates all of those words. How well do you think your mnemonic will work?
• On one sheet of paper, write the list of words, but do not include the mnemonic. On a second sheet of paper, write the list of words and include the mnemonic (if it is something that can be easily written down).
• In a quiet room, hand one of the sheets of paper (with the list of words) to a group of at least three volunteers. Hand the other sheet of paper (with the list of words and its mnemonic) to a different group of at least three volunteers. To the group that received the list along with the mnemonic, tell or show them how the mnemonic works. (If you are concerned that the other group might hear/see the mnemonic, put the groups in two different rooms or test them at different times.) Make sure that the group that didn’t receive the mnemonic does not try to make up one to help them memorize the list.
• Give both groups five minutes to study the lists. How confident do both groups seem about knowing the words at the end of the five minutes?
• After five minutes have elapsed, take away the lists and have the groups do something else for 45 minutes. They can watch TV, talk, listen to music or perform some other activity.
• After 45 minutes have elapsed, test each member of each group separately. Have each person go back into the quiet room and either recite the words they read on their list or write them on a blank piece of paper. If you want, you can time how long it takes each person to recall the words. How many words can each person recollect correctly? How long does it take each person to recall their list?
• Does it seem like the people who were given a mnemonic could more quickly remember more of the words on their lists with greater accuracy? Overall, does it look like the mnemonic helped people remember their lists of words?
• Extra: Try increasing the wait time from 45 minutes to one hour, five hours, one day and/or longer. How long does the mnemonic help a person remember their word list?
• Extra: There are many different types of techniques that people use as mnemonics to memorize something. For some examples, see the Background section, above. Try this activity again, but this time use a different type of mnemonic, such as an acronym, a funny sentence that uses all of the words on a list and/or words that rhyme. Do some types of mnemonics seem to be more effective for memorizing a list of words than others?
• Extra: Instead of testing two random groups of volunteers, try testing four groups of volunteers—two who are relatively young and two who are relatively old (with half of the younger people and half of the older people each receiving the plain lists and the other halves getting the lists with the mnemonic device). Does using the mnemonic technique help older people recall their lists better than it does for younger people?
Observations and results
Did the people who were given a mnemonic (along with their lists of words) more effectively recall the words than the people who weren’t given a mnemonic?
Overall, in this activity you should have seen that people who were given a mnemonic generally recalled their lists of words better than the people who weren’t given one. Specifically, the people who received a mnemonic should have remembered more of the words on their lists, and with greater accuracy (making fewer mistakes in recalling what the exact words were) than people who didn’t receive a mnemonic (and didn’t make up one on their own). The people with mnemonics should have also recalled their entire lists of words more quickly. With the small sample size of volunteers used in this activity, however, the results may not have been as pronounced as they would be in a much larger study. Additionally, some mnemonic techniques can be more effective than others (and certain types work better for some people than others), so that could also affect the outcome of this activity.
More to explore
Nine types of Mnemonics for Better Memory, from Dennis Congos, University of Central Florida
Mnemonics—Memory Techniques, from Meg Keeley, Bucks County Community College
How Many Words Can You Remember?, from About.com Psychology
Memory Mnemonics, from Science Buddies
This activity brought to you in partnership with Science Buddies