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HEART Force Colorado Flood - Middle School

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

In this hazard lesson, students build an understanding of flooding in Colorado by exploring case studies, authentic data, and online resources. After completing this lesson, students will be able to understand the basic causes and impacts of floods, analyze case study and current flood data in Colorado, and summarize the main preparedness steps and response strategies for flood events.

This activity takes 135 minutes.

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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 look at graphs, videos, and other resources that students will be reviewing and interpreting ahead of time.
  • This lesson connects to a flood game listed on the lesson website.
  • This lesson could be facilitated in a virtual setting.
  • Student hand-outs, teacher slides, and a plethora of additional resources are provided for the teacher to use.

About the Science

  • This lesson focuses on the causes and effects of floods, including natural causes such as weather and climate, and human causes such as land use changes.
  • Students analyze data from NOAA's Western Water Assessment, USGS, Google Maps, and the National Weather Service to build understanding about the location and frequency of floods, trends and patterns, and severity of flooding.
  • Students synthesize information and share it with each other and in a news story educating their local community about how to be "flood wise".
  • Students collect information from various resources to build an understanding of how to prepare for and respond to a flood.
  • 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.
  • Most of the lesson is accomplished using online resources and could be facilitated in a virtual/hybrid format, and will likely appeal to students who enjoy utilizing online resources.
  • Students will need some previous experience interpreting and understanding scientific graphs. The teacher guide is organized clearly, and links to external resources and data. Websites are all provided in the lesson, making it easy for a teacher to navigate.
  • Student worksheets, teacher slides, materials lists, standards alignment, learning goals, guiding questions, and key vocabulary 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 worksheets, slides, videos, graphs, etc.) are either provided or are website links. Lots of background information and resources are provided.
  • Because links to online resources are also provided in the student worksheets, prep time on the teacher's part should be minimal.
  • Materials included in both PDF and Google Drive formats.

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

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