Colorado Flood (Middle School)

Colorado Flood (Middle School)

Students build an understanding of flooding in Colorado using multiple data sources in a jigsaw format. 

Context for Use

This lesson is best used as part of the HEART Force curricular unit. Potential lessons to follow include:

This lesson could also be a stand-alone lesson to introduce students to flood in Colorado.

Big Thompson Flood image

Aerial scene of Big Thompson Flood of 2013 along Hwy. 34

Photo Credit: U.S. Air National Guard, Capt. Darin Overstreet

Goals Header
What Students Will Do

  • Analyze flood data to identify patterns of flood history and risk in Colorado. 
  • Communicate information about historic causes and effects of floods in your community. Explain what community members should do to be safe in the event of a flood.


Teaching Materials

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In this lesson, students will build understanding about floods in Colorado through the following learning activities:

  • Part 1 – Engage (20 minutes) An Introduction to Flood Concepts & Case Study

As a class, watch news clips about floods in Colorado and have a brief class discussion.

  • Part 2 – Explore (50 minutes) Flood Data Analysis Jigsaw

In groups, analyze flood information and data to build understanding of the causes, impacts, locations, and frequency of floods.

  • Part 3 – Explain (65 minutes) Community Flood Risk & Response

In teams, students create a local news story for their community to share information about flood causes and impacts, and how people prepare for, respond to, and rebound from floods.




Additional Resources