Lesson plan

Floods and Droughts and Water, Oh My!

Are your students ready for a challenge? In this science and language arts integrated lesson, students will not only learn about floods and droughts, but they will also brainstorm and develop solutions.
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Students will be able to identify key problems of floods and drought. Students will be able to develop solutions to help people during a flood or a drought. Students will be able to understand the differences between floods and droughts.

(5 minutes)
  • Brainstorm the causes and effects of rain with the students. Potential questions include: What can happen when it doesn’t rain enough? What can happen when it rains too little?
  • Explain the difference between a drought, or a lack of rain, and a flood, or an overabundance of rain.
  • Tell the students that they will be learning more about the differences between floods and droughts and designing a solution to improve conditions when there is a flood or a drought.
(10 minutes)
  • Use the interactive flood model to demonstrate and show the students what happens during a drought.
  • Show the students the important words and phrases found in the text beside the interactive flood model.
(10 minutes)
  • Lead the students in a close read of the Drought and Flood text.
  • Begin brainstorming with the students what could be a solution to the problem to the drought and flood. For example: What can people do to make sure there is enough water during a drought? What could help individuals during a flood?
  • Lead the students in recording these ideas on the graphic organizer and illustrating one of the solutions.
(15 minutes)
  • Divide the students into groups and if desired, assign each group member a role.
  • Challenge the students to work as a group and create an invention or a solution for people who experience either a drought or flood.
  • Tell the students to record the problem it solves and how it works.
  • Circulate around the room as students are working to support groups as needed.
  • Enrichment: As a challenge, assign students the Weather Disasters worksheet and challenge students to figure out which kind of weather disasters are listed.
  • Support: Provide additional visual images of droughts and floods as a support for students who may have difficulty understanding these concepts. Provide examples of materials that people could use in building or creating something to cope with a drought or flood.
(5 minutes)
  • Distribute one index card to each student.
  • Ask students to explain their solutions to the problem of either a drought or flood and how it could make life better for people.
(5 minutes)
  • Gather all groups and students together.
  • Ask the students to reflect on each group’s idea. Guiding questions include: What was something positive? What could be improved?

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