Great Lakes Facts: Lesson for Kids

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: History of Big Ben: Lesson for Kids

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:04 The Great Lakes
  • 0:38 Lakes Huron and Ontario
  • 1:15 Lake Michigan
  • 1:40 Lakes Erie and Superior
  • 2:26 Fun Facts
  • 2:47 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Casey Krone
The largest supply of freshwater on Earth lies in the United States, called the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes are all connected by lakes and rivers, and you could travel on the Great Lakes all the way from Minnesota to the Atlantic Ocean. It would be a long trip, but it's possible!

The Great Lakes

Over 20,000 years ago, the temperatures were very cold. This caused a great mass of ice, called a glacier, which covered Canada and the United States. That glacier moved slowly south, scraping the land. When the temperatures warmed, the glacier began to melt and formed the Great Lakes and their many connecting rivers and lakes.

There are five Great Lakes. They are called Lake Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior. One easy way to remember the five Great Lakes is to use the word HOMES. You can use each letter to remember the first letter of the name of each of the lakes.

Lakes Huron and Ontario

Lake Huron is the second largest of the five Great Lakes. It lies just east of Lake Superior. Large ships still pass from Lake Superior to Lake Huron through the Sault St. Marie locks. A lock is a device used for raising and lowering boats, ships, and other watercraft between stretches of water at different levels on rivers and canals.

Lake Ontario is located the farthest east. Ships pass through Lake Ontario, to the St. Lawrence River, and then to the Atlantic Ocean. Lake Ontario is located below the height of Lake Erie, and this is where the Niagara Falls flow. Toronto, Canada lies on Lake Ontario as well.

Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan is the third largest of the Great Lakes. It touches many states, including Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and Indiana. Lake Michigan is home to the world's largest freshwater dunes. A sand dune is a ridge of sand created by wind. The city of Chicago sits on the southernmost tip of Lake Michigan. Because water circulates so slowly in Lake Michigan, it could take up to 99 years to replace water in this lake.

Lakes Erie and Superior

The fourth largest lake, Lake Erie, is the shallowest and warmest of all of the Great Lakes. It receives water from Lake Superior, Huron, and Michigan and touches four states, including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New York. It provides hydroelectric power through turbines at the Niagara Falls, and it only takes about 2.6 years to replace water in Lake Erie.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account