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Through this set of lessons, students learn about the impacts of water shortages due to drought, make connections to climate patterns, and explore community resiliency solutions. The lessons engage students in evaluating solutions for a particular case study community. Students will need to do additional research on solutions, but by the end of the lesson, students will be able to articulate how drought, although a localized problem, has far-reaching impacts, and to suggest solutions to a problem that is projected to intensify as the climate continues to change.

This learning activity takes four 45 minutes class periods.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Activity supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 1 Performance Expectation, 2 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 1 Cross Cutting Concept, 1 Science and Engineering Practice
High School: 1 Performance Expectation, 3 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 2 Cross Cutting Concepts, 1 Science and Engineering Practice

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Teachers will want to facilitate or scaffold student research around solutions.
  • Preview all videos and slideshows beforehand.
  • Also, consider small groups for the case studies and how students will access media. Students will need to conduct independent research on solutions they choose to explore from the list/menu provided.
  • Assessment ideas would be helpful (rubrics for student presentations)

About the Science

  • In this activity, students learn about impacts of drought through news videos of communities facing serious water shortages, analyze drought data and models, and research and evaluate potential solutions.
  • Drought videos are from 2012 but the issue is evergreen so it might not be an issue.
  • The Drought Basics slideshow and Drought Data and Projections media provide up-to-date and credible data.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • The lesson follows a 5E instructional model, through which students will identify and describe the impacts of drought on individuals and communities, interpret drought data to make connections between patterns in the data and the impacts of drought felt by people and communities, and create an argument based on selected criteria about whether various solutions may be effective in addressing the impacts of drought in a given community. Students will need to conduct independent research for the solutions part of the lesson.
  • This lesson uses several instructional methods: videos are used to engage students, a slideshow is included to help explain concepts, and then students research solutions on the internet.
  • Links to national standards, all multimedia resources and data necessary for the lesson, and worksheets/handouts are provided.
  • This lesson works well as a component within a larger unit on climate change, its impacts, and ways to address the resulting issues.
  • Impacts of drought are often made worse for underserved communities. The videos in this lesson discuss and explore these ideas. This activity may be more relevant to underserved groups because of these connections.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • If the videos in the slideshow have problems playing teachers may skip these or try to find them elsewhere.
  • Links to all multimedia resources and worksheets/handouts are provided.

Related URLs These related sites were noted by our reviewers but have not been reviewed by CLEAN

Part of Collection: Climate Change Impacts and Solutions: Drought https://mpt.pbslearningmedia.org/collection/climate-change-impacts-and-solutions/

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Activity supports:


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