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HEART Force Colorado Drought - High School

Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder

In this lesson, students analyze and synthesize data about how drought is measured, how scientists expect drought to change in the future, and how we can mitigate the impacts of drought in our communities.

This lesson takes 155 minutes.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

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

  • Teacher should familiarize themselves with data, videos, and other resources that students will be reviewing and interpreting ahead of time.
  • This lesson connects to a drought game listed on the lesson website.
  • This lesson could be facilitated in a virtual setting.
  • Student handouts, teacher slides, and a plethora of additional resources are provided for the teacher to use.

About the Science

  • In this lesson, students examine environmental and social factors that cause drought, analyze the indicators of drought, describe the impacts of drought on their community, and think about local drought preparation and response using resources such as the US Drought Monitor, NASA, and USGS.
  • A wide variety of background information and resources are provided for students and teachers to dig deep into the topic.
  • Resource developed in collaboration with expert scientists - no CLEAN expert science review was needed.

About the Pedagogy

  • The lesson follows the 5E learning model, and encourages students to develop their own understandings from the scientific data that they analyze. Students share and synthesize information from multiple sources (e.g., news clips, expert interviews, text, data, maps) through several activities, including a jigsaw.
  • The lesson culminates in a writing activity in which students design and present their local drought resiliency strategies in a letter to the editor.
  • Both the teacher guide and student handouts are organized clearly and link to external resources, making it easy for the teacher and students to navigate the lesson.
  • Teacher slides, materials lists, standards alignment, learning goals, key vocabulary, and suggestions for bringing experts into the classroom are all provided.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • All links are active and current. No software is needed other than access to the internet.
  • Lesson materials (student handouts, slides, videos, data, etc.) are provided as website links and are available to download. Lots of background information and resources are provided.
  • Because links to online resources are also provided in the student handouts, prep time on the teacher's part should be minimal.

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

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