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. 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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Box Turtles

Size: 8.5 x 14″

Visit the springtime forest floor with the humble Eastern Box Turtle. Box turtles have many different patterns on the scutes of their shell–color your own!

Sea Lamprey Papercraft

Size: 8.5 x 11″ (5 pages; print single-sided) | Difficulty rating: EASY

Build a life-size sea lamprey! As a fun bonus for the holidays, there is also a small Santa hat that fits perfectly on this lamprey’s head. Nothing says “Happy holidays” like a lamprey.

Download Sea Lamprey PDF | Download Santa Hat PDF

Fisheries Techniques

Size: 8.5 x 14″

Check out some of the fisheries gear and techniques used in the Great Lakes connecting channels! Features native and invasive fishes of the Great Lakes.

Download coloring sheet | Download PDF with coloring sheet and guide

Fairy shrimp papercraft

Size: 8.5 x 11″ (2 pages; print single-sided) | Difficulty rating: EASY/MEDIUM

Build the star of the vernal pool: the fairy shrimp! Fairy shrimp are small crustaceans that can be found gracefully swimming upside down in seasonal wetlands called vernal pools. They live short lives, appearing only in spring when water temperatures are cool. These shrimp are indicators of true vernal pools and undisturbed habitats. To learn more about vernal pools in Michigan, visit the Michigan Vernal Pools Partnership.

Download PDF | View preview

Caddisfly papercraft

Size: 8.5 x 11″ (3 pages; print single-sided) | Difficulty rating: EASY

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!

Download stick case  |  Download stone case   |  Download DIY blank case  | View preview

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! Download the accompanying guide to see the names of all the microfauna.

Download coloring sheet | Download guide

Round Goby and Quagga Mussel papercraft

Size: 8.5 x 11″  (3 pages; print single-sided) | Difficulty rating: MEDIUM/HARD

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.

Download full color | Download black and white | View preview

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.

Download coloring sheet | Download guide


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.

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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!

Download coloring sheet and guide

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.

Download coloring sheet | Download guide

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.

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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! Download the guide to see what every creature is.

Download coloring sheet | Download guide

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.

Download coloring sheet | Download bonus activity 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!

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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)!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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