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HEART Force Colorado Flood - High School

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

In this lesson, students analyze and synthesize data, and design local flood preparation strategies to answer the question, "What can we learn from past flood events to prepare for future floods?"

This activity takes 170 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 familiarize themselves with data, videos, and other resources that students will be reviewing and interpreting ahead of time (particularly USGS data in jigsaw station 3 and arcGIS map in activity 4).
  • This lesson connects to a flood 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

  • This lesson focuses on the causes, timing, and magnitudes of historic floods, as well as flood-prone areas in students' own communities.
  • Students synthesize information from local hazard mitigation plans, NOAA, USGS, the National Weather Service, the National Climate Assessment, and GIS maps to build understanding about the causes, impacts, location, and frequency of historic floods, then design possible mitigation strategies for their communities.
  • The lesson also addresses the sometimes misunderstood definition of "100-year 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. Students share and synthesize information from multiple sources (e.g., news clips, expert interviews, text, maps) through a jigsaw activity.
  • The lesson culminates in a writing activity in which students design and present their local flood preparation 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. 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

Entered the Collection: March 2021 Last Reviewed: December 2020

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