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Develop a Flood-Prevention Plan

Students will identify a threatened coastal city and conduct research to learn more about its landscape and how people there have dealt with flooding in the past. They will draw plans and/or write a proposal identifying ways the city can prevent flooding in the future.

PROCESS:

  1. As a class, discuss reasons why rising sea levels are a threat to coastal areas. Then have students review the article to summarize what different cities are doing to deal with the problem. 
  2. Discuss the merits of each approach. Challenge students to explain why the same idea will not work in every location. Discuss how studying the landscape and history of an area allows engineers and architects to find the best solution. 
  3. Have students select one threatened coastal city. Instruct them to conduct research to learn about the city's landscape and how people in the area have dealt with flooding in the past. Then challenge students to identify what they think would be the best way for the city to deal with rising water levels in the future. Encourage students to draw plans and/or write a proposal about their ideas.

ASSESSMENT: 

Invite students to share their ideas with the class. Encourage classmates to discuss the merit of each solution. Challenge them to identify evidence in the area's landscape or history to explain why they think their proposed solution will work.
 

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:     
 

Grades 3-4:
As a class, select one threatened coastal city. Have students conduct research in small groups to learn about the city. Rejoin as a class to share the results. Brainstorm ideas to identify a solution to the city's flooding problem. Encourage each student to draw a picture of his or her proposed solution.
 
Grades 5-6:
As a class, select one threatened coastal city. Then divide the class into small groups. Instruct each group to conduct research to learn about the city. Tell students to pay particular attention to the area's landscape and how people there have attempted to deal with flooding in the past. Challenge each group to identify a solution for the city's flooding problem. Encourage them to draw detailed plans of their ideas. Compare and contrast the results.
 
Grades 7-8: 
Divide the class into small groups. Instruct each group to select one threatened coastal city. There can be repeats. Have groups conduct research to learn about their cities. Remind them to pay particular attention to the area's landscape and how people there have attempted to deal with flooding in the past. Challenge each group to identify a solution for their city's flooding problem. Instruct them to draw detailed plans and write a proposal outlining their ideas.
 
Grades 9-10:
Divide the class into pairs. Instruct partners to select one threatened coastal city. There can be repeats. Have students conduct research to learn about their cities, including landscape issues that can impact flooding and how people there have attempted to deal with flooding in the past. Challenge pairs to identify one way the city can adapt to rising water levels and one way it can defend itself against future flooding. Instruct students to draw detailed plans and write a proposal outlining their ideas.