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Gulf of Maine Research Institute


6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Physics, Earth and Space Sciences, Mathematics

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans, 45 minutes
  • Articles and Websites
  • Worksheets
  • Activity - Classroom
  • Charts, Graphs, and Tables
  • Games
  • Interactive Media

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, Maine, Coastal


Google Docs, PDF

Lake Ice-Out Lesson 3 - Ice-Out Day

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  • This lesson explores what ice-out day is, how it has changed in Sebago Lake and across the country since 1905, and how changes in Sebago Lake are impacting the local ice fishing derby.
  • Students will engage with interactive media in order to answer multiple choice and free-response questions, create and analyze dot plots, and draw their own trend line.
Teaching Tips


  • This lesson provides plenty of opportunities for student-centered learning.
  • The interactive media has a text-to-speech option.

Additional Prerequisites

  • For the interactive media, you must click on the words "Tap text to listen" if you want to utilize text-to-speech.
  • Students have to make a copy of "Lake Ice-Out Student Sheet: Lesson 3" in order to complete it.


  • Before administering the lesson, the teacher could ask questions about ice-out days in order to gauge misconceptions and prior knowledge.
  • Teachers could create a summative assessment based on the main concepts of this lesson.
  • Before administering the lesson, the teacher could clarify some words in the glossary.
  • This lesson could supplement a classroom discussion on how changes in ice-out days can impact local economies.
  • Consider using this lesson before a lesson about the three states of water, the importance of hydrogen bonds, or lake ecosystems.
Scientist Notes
This lesson plan from the Education Development Center and Gulf of Maine Research Institute provides teachers with everything they need to walk students through data from the start dates for ice-out days over the years. Students can then analyze this data and work on their data analytics and forecasting skills. The data provides evidence of climate change. This lesson would be a great addition to a math class discussion about analyzing trends or to a science classroom for analyzing the effects of climate change, and it is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Mathematics
    • Statistics & Probability (6-8)
      • 6.SP.A.3 Recognize that a measure of center for a numerical data set summarizes all of its values with a single number, while a measure of variation describes how its values vary with a single number.
      • 6.SP.B.4 Display numerical data in plots on a number line, including dot plots, histograms, and box plots.
      • 8.SP.A.1 Construct and interpret scatter plots for bivariate measurement data to investigate patterns of association between two quantities. Describe patterns such as clustering, outliers, positive or negative association, linear association, and nonlinear association.
  • Science
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • MS-ESS2-5. Collect data to provide evidence for how the motions and complex interactions of air masses result in changes in weather conditions.
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