Teacher’s Questions for Lake Bonneville


Before reading:

  1. 1. Have you ever found clues that a landscape was once very different than it is today? For example, have you found seashells in soil far from the ocean?

During reading:

  1. Why do the ancient shorelines of Lake Bonneville stand out from the surrounding landscape?
  2. How big was Lake Bonneville, and where was it?
  3. Describe how the shorelines of the lake left impressions in the mountainsides.
  4. About how long ago did Lake Bonneville exist? What was different about the region then, other than the lake?
  5. How did changes in climate and rainfall over thousands of years affect the lake’s shorelines?
  6. Briefly explain global warming. How can learning about the history of Lake Bonneville help scientists predict future climate conditions for the planet?
  7. How did boulders once covered by Lake Bonneville come to be covered in a light-brown crust?
  8. What are the “bathtub rings” left behind by Lake Bonneville?
  9. Where did the mineral coatings form in the lake, and on what kinds of things did they grow?
  10. As Lake Bonneville dried up, what kind of ecosystem formed on the lakebed?
  11. How can the remains of once-living things help scientists date a lake or a rock?

After reading:

  1. Some scientists predict that the American West will become drier in the future because of global warming. How will a drier West affect both people who live there and people who live elsewhere in the country?


  1. The greenhouse gas carbon dioxide is released into the air when people burn fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal. List three ways you could reduce your carbon footprint — how much carbon you contribute to the atmosphere.