Difference Between a Lake & a Pond: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Rayna Cummings

Rayna has taught Elementary Education for 12 years (in both 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades) and holds a M.Ed in Early Childhood Education from The Ohio State University

Our world is made of different bodies of waters with special features. In this lesson, you'll look at two specific bodies of waters known as lakes and ponds. You'll explore the special features that help with telling lakes and ponds apart.

What Are Features?

Try quickly grabbing a mirror and looking at yourself. Then, have your brother, sister, or friend look at themselves in the mirror. How do you look alike, and how do you look different?

Each one of you has special features that makes you who you are and unique, even though you are both human beings. Features are distinct characteristics of an object, place, or person in your case. Now, what if I asked you to do the same thing with two bodies of water, such as a lake and a pond? You would have to know each one's features to be able to tell them apart.

Bodies of Water

Lakes and ponds are only two of our world's bodies of water. Bodies of water are the parts of our planet Earth that are covered in water. There are different types of bodies of water - oceans, rivers, bays, seas, canals, lakes, ponds, and so on. We're going to pay particular attention to how to determine the difference between two bodies of water: lakes and ponds.

The Great Lakes seen from Space
Great Lakes

Examples of Lakes

Lakes are bodies of water that are surrounded by land. They are formed by basins, or bowl-shaped depressions filled with water in our Earth's surface. Lakes come in many different sizes and shapes and can be found all throughout our world.

The largest lake is the Caspian Sea found in the continents of Europe and Asia. It's over 143,000 square miles, which is almost as big as the state of California. Imagine that for a minute - a lake as big as a state!

Lakes not only vary in size but in depth as well. Lake Baikal in Russia is over a mile deep. It's the deepest lake in the world - you would have to swim close to seventeen football fields down to get to the bottom of this lake.

Lakes can be very big

How Ponds Are Different from Lakes

Like lakes, ponds are bodies of water that are surrounded by land. However, ponds are less deep and smaller in size than lakes. Ponds also stay relatively warm when it's hot outside, since sunlight can reach all the way down to the bottom of the shallow water. In lakes, the water tends to be warmer on the top and cooler at the bottom because the sunlight can't penetrate that far into the deeper water.

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