Episode 2206 Lesson Plans: The Great Lakes “Vampire”

Episode 2206 Lesson Plans: The Great Lakes “Vampire”
June 30, 2022 GLN Editor
Photo courtesy of GLFC.

This lesson will explore the phenomenon of invasive species in the Great Lakes, specifically the sea lamprey, to help students learn how predator-prey relationships affect populations in an ecosystem, why invasive species like the sea lamprey pose a threat to the Great Lakes, and which efforts can most successfully control them.

Lesson Objectives

  • Know why sea lamprey pose a threat to the Great Lakes ecosystem
  • Understand what measures have been taken to try and control the sea lamprey population
  • Be able to research and defend the best possible solutions to the sea lamprey threat in the Great Lakes

View the entire lesson plan including teacher background information, worksheets and more below or download for free here.

Activity 1

This activity is a video discussion of a Great Lakes Now episode segment that features the invasive sea lamprey species in the Great Lakes and what is being done to control it. During the video students need to jot down four things they took away from it.

Watch a Great Lakes Now Segment

Activity 2

The challenge of eliminating an invasive species from an ecosystem is complex, but could be achievable using genetic engineering. This activity introduces students to the way that genetic alteration technology is being used to control—and possibly eliminate—the sea lamprey population in the Great Lakes.

Read About Genetic Engineering

Activity 3

In order to learn about DNA and develop technologies with it, scientists first need to be able to get DNA out of an organism in the first place to study it and work with it. So, how does that happen? Using a lab technique called DNA extraction.

DNA Extraction From Strawberries 

Activity 4

This activity invites students to research existing solutions, or generate novel ideas for potential solutions, for sea lamprey population control. As part of their research project, they will design a proposal for what they think is the best solution possible and defend their proposal in a town hall presentation to a group of stakeholders.

Research and Design Lamprey Solutions

Check out Great Lakes Now’s segment on sea lamprey and the other segments featured in Episode 2206: Homes, Invaders on this month’s landing page.

If you use this lesson or any of its activities with your learners, we’d love to hear about it! Contact us with any feedback or questions at: GreatLakesNow@DPTV.org

Find all the Great Lakes Now educational materials HERE.


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