U.S. Department of the Interior
Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»
See how this Simulation/Interactive supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 2 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 3 Science and Engineering Practices
High School: 2 Science and Engineering Practices
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing 5b
Other materials addressing 7b
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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy |
- Adding a set of assessment questions/prompts for each sections could turn this resource into an inquiry-based experience for students.
About the Science
- Visualizations document (via text, maps, graphs, satellite images) the role that the Colorado River plays in water supply and hydropower to the Southwestern US and Northwestern Mexico. Current drought (since 2000) has and will continue to have a major impact in these areas.
Comments from expert scientist:
- Describes the Colorado River in many different ways: lifeline, geographic location, control structures, storage capacity and water supply
- Explains characteristics/statistics of the current drought, more development leads to higher demand, impacts on Lake Mead and Lake Powell, and what is being done to mitigate the drought
About the Pedagogy
- Visualization is a self-directed, click-through primer on the importance of the Colorado River to the extensive area that it touches.
- Through text divided into 11 subheadings, and a series of 13 interactive illustrations, graphs, and figures, the story of the drought in the Colorado River basin is told in an engaging and logically organized way.
Next Generation Science Standards See how this Simulation/Interactive supports:
Disciplinary Core Ideas: 2
MS-ESS2.D1:Weather and climate are influenced by interactions involving sunlight, the ocean, the atmosphere, ice, landforms, and living things. These interactions vary with latitude, altitude, and local and regional geography, all of which can affect oceanic and atmospheric flow patterns.
MS-ESS3.A1:Humans depend on Earth’s land, ocean, atmosphere, and biosphere for many different resources. Minerals, fresh water, and biosphere resources are limited, and many are not renewable or replaceable over human lifetimes. These resources are distributed unevenly around the planet as a result of past geologic processes.
Science and Engineering Practices: 3
MS-P4.1:Construct, analyze, and/or interpret graphical displays of data and/or large data sets to identify linear and nonlinear relationships.
MS-P4.4:Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for phenomena.
MS-P8.1:Critically read scientific texts adapted for classroom use to determine the central ideas and/or obtain scientific and/or technical information to describe patterns in and/or evidence about the natural and designed world(s).
Science and Engineering Practices: 2
HS-P4.1:Analyze data using tools, technologies, and/or models (e.g., computational, mathematical) in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims or determine an optimal design solution.
HS-P8.1:Critically read scientific literature adapted for classroom use to determine the central ideas or conclusions and/or to obtain scientific and/or technical information to summarize complex evidence, concepts, processes, or information presented in a text by paraphrasing them in simpler but still accurate terms.