Coloring Sheets

These coloring and activity sheets are available for educational, non-profit, or personal use and may not be modified for any reason without written permission. Click the image to download the high-resolution version. Most of these are intended to be printed on 8.5 x 14″ legal size paper, but the “Zooplankton of the Great Lakes” can be printed on standard 8.5 x 11″ letter size paper. If you use one of these coloring sheets or have suggestions for others, feel free to drop me a line!

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Caddisfly papercraft

Size: 8.5 x 11″ (3 pages; print single-sided)

The caddisfly larva builds its own house from riverine debris, and now you can build your own papercraft caddisfly complete with two different case options: one made of sticks or one made of stones. Want to design your own caddisfly case? Download the blank one and color it in yourself!

Difficulty rating: EASY

Download stick case version  |  Download stone case version  |  Download DIY blank case version

Moss Microfauna

Size: 8.5 x 11″ 

Tardigrades, tardigrades, tardigrades! Finally, a coloring sheet with my favorite animal. Explore the world of moss where water bears, rotifers, nematodes, mites, springtails, and others roam!

Round Goby and Quagga Mussel papercraft

Size: 8.5 x 11″  (3 pages; print single-sided)

For something a little different, here is a round goby and quagga mussel papercraft kit! Print out the pages, grab some craft glue, and fold up your own Great Lakes invasive species! Papercraft kit is available in full color or black and white (which you can color yourself before putting together). Note: Some of the folds might be difficult to see on the black and white version–if needed, use the color version’s PDF as a reference for fold positions.

Difficulty rating: MEDIUM-HARD

Download full color | Download black and white

Sea Lamprey

Size: 8.5 x 14″  

I’m not sure why I didn’t make this one sooner! Here is the life cycle of the sea lamprey, which is invasive to the Great Lakes! Sea lamprey start out as small filter-feeding ammocoetes and grow into large parasitic adults that feed on fish such as lake trout.


Size: 8.5 x 14″  

Love giant, slimy underwater salamanders? Who doesn’t?! This coloring sheet focuses on the Hellbender’s life cycle in the swiftly moving waters of its rocky riverine habitat. 

Non-native Phragmites

Size: 8.5 x 14″  

This coloring sheet was produced for the Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative and can be downloaded from their blog. It provides an overview of non-native Phragmites (common reed), the effects it can have on the ecosystem, and ways it can be managed. The back has a guide to what you see on the front!

Wetland Plants

Size: 8.5 x 14″  

Get lost in the world of Midwestern wetland plants and see some animals along the way. This guide to the plant species will help you identify what you see.

Lake Sturgeon Life Cycle

Size: 11 x 8.5″  

This sheet highlights the life cycle of the Lake Sturgeon, from spawning, to egg, to larvae, to fry, to juvenile, to adult.

Creatures of the Vernal Pool

Size: 14 x 8.5″ 

Explore the temporary spring-time habitat of the vernal pool. Find swamp cabbage, spotted salamanders, a spotted turtle, fairy shrimp, seed shrimp (ostracods), zooplankton, water bugs, wood frogs and spring peeper, dragonfly nymph, caddisfly larvae, ribbon snake, egg masses, duckweed, and fingernail clams!

Great Lakes Lake Sturgeon

Size: 14 x 8.5″

Starring everyone’s favorite living fossil. This sheet highlights the life cycle of the Lake Sturgeon and other inhabitants of the spawning reef.

BONUS: Here’s an activity sheet you can print on the back of the coloring sheet.

Little Creatures of the Great Lakes

Size: 14 x 8.5″ 

Featuring small and large invertebrates of the lake bottom including: amphipods, isopods, crayfish, mites, mysis, and more!

Great Lakes Insects

Size: 14 x 8.5″ 

Featuring mostly larval forms of aquatic insects like caddisflies, stoneflies, and dragonflies, with special appearances by other invertebrates (snails, amphipods) and vertebrates (larval fish and turtle)!

Creatures of the western rivers

Size: 14 x 8.5″ 

An alternate version of the “Great Lakes Insects” coloring page that represents the ecosystems of the salmon rivers of the western United States. Salmon parr!

Zooplankton of the Great Lakes

Size:  8.5 x 11″ 

An introduction to everyone’s favorite tiny invertebrates: the zooplankton!! Includes calanoids, cyclopoids, chydorids, and more!

MORE Zooplankton of the Great Lakes

Size:  8.5 x 14″ 

Many more forms of zooplankton than in the previous sheet, including baby zooplankton (nauplii), predatory zooplankton, the invasive spiny water flea (Bythotrephes), Daphnia, and harpacticoids!