(Contenido disponible en Español está marcado abajo)
As Chicagoans, we’re in a really unique position! We live close to several different types of bodies of water, including lakes, ponds, and rivers. But what is the difference between them? And what types of animals live in them? Let’s take a closer look!
What is the difference between a lake, a river, and a pond?
- Lake: A lake is a body of water that is surrounded by land. Generally, lakes are freshwater.
- River: A river is a large body of fresh, flowing water. Although some rivers are large and deep, they can also be narrow and shallow. Small rivers are often called streams.
- Pond: A pond is a small body of freshwater surrounded by land. Like lakes, ponds don’t have moving water. Instead, that have still water. Ponds are smaller than lakes.
Guiding Question: What is our nearest lake? River? Pond? Do you think the animals that live in those areas might be the same or different? Why?
Let’s make a model!
(Disponible en español)
How can we better understand the differences between lakes and river? By making a model! Click here for instructions in both English and Spanish.
Teaching Tip: Tie today’s learnings back to our email about another freshwater creature, mollusks!
“Fish Eyes” Story Time
Marjorie has a great book for today’s Story Time! Not only does it include lots of colorful fish, it’s a great introduction to counting for young readers! Click here to watch it.
Teaching Tip: Keep Story Time going with our reading of “My River.”
Blanding’s turtle feeding!
In the wild, Blanding’s turtles live in and near ponds, lakes, and streams. That type of habitat influences their diet. Click here to watch our team feed our Blanding’s turtle hatchlings and learn more about them.
Guiding Question: What kinds of things were the Blanding’s turtles eating? What can you find in bodies of freshwater? What other things do you think the turtles might eat?
Conserving water at home
Did you know that Lake Michigan is the largest public drinking water supply in the state of Illinois? Even though the lake is large, it’s not an unlimited supply. There are some simple steps we can all take to help conserve water at home! In addition to installing a low-flow showerhead and limiting showers to less than 5 minute, you can also sign up to learn more about the Friends of the Chicago River’s Overflow Action Days to help minimize the amount of water that goes into the sewer system. Click here to learn more.
Guiding Question: What are some ways we can conserve water at home? Are there ways that we can reduce how much water we’re using?
Webinar Highlight: Community science at home
Even while at home, we can remain connected and actively engaged with the nature and science right outside (and inside) our doors through community science. The Nature Museum’s own manager of teen and young adult programs, Dave Bild, shared how you can engage in community and citizen science projects from home in a recent webinar. Click here to check it out.
Webinar Highlight: Fresh water in the time of COVID-19
Even in a city like Chicago, one sitting on the shores of the world’s largest source of fresh water, access to drinking water is far from equitable, and far too often, it is blocked, restricted, or denied to the most vulnerable. Dr. Rachel Havrelock, founder and director of the UIC Freshwater Lab, shared how this environmental justice issue has been impacting Chicago residents during the COVID-19 pandemic in a recent webinar. Click here to watch the recording.
Behind the Scenes
What is it like to clean our Blanding’s turtle tank? A little like this! Click here to check out more behind-the-scenes moments on our Instagram stories.