Saturday, May 30, 2015

Mighty Missouri

published on: 2/28/2003

Contributing Teacher(s): Etolia Stever

Subject Area: Science/Life

Grade Range: Middle Grades (6-8), High School (9-12)

Materials Needed:

  • NOVA video: Flood! A number for the NOVA video is  1-800-949-8670 . It is video # WG2307 and the cost is $19.95. The lesson plan to go with it can be found at NOVA''s Web site:
  • Various internet resources - contained 
  • Floods: Destructive Forces of Nature by Pat and Barbara Ward (Publisher Mark Twain Media Publishing Co.)


  1. Students will be able to develop a solution to prevent the flooding of a river and outline this strategy.
  2. Students will choose and defend a position on the restoration of the community after a flood.

Process Standards:

  • Goal 1.5 comprehend and evaluate written, visual and oral presentations and works
  • Goal 3.2 develop and apply strategies based on ways others have prevented or solved problems

Content Standards:

  • Communication Arts 1. Speaking and writing standard English (including grammar, usage, punctuation, spelling, ...)
  • Science 4. Changes in ecosystems and interactions of organisms with their environments

    Time Allowance: about one week

    Description: Students develop a solution to prevent the flooding of a river and outline this strategy.

    Comments: This lesson can be as short as 2 days, plus one to share in class, or longer. Mine was about a week. We had a guest speaker from the Corps of Engineers, watched the NOVA video, and did a little research prior to the project.

    Classroom Component:

    Steps Needed to Implement:

    1. Students will need an introduction to flooding and the consequences of such a natural disaster. (Required)
    2. Watch the video by NOVA: Flood! (Recommended)
    3. Have students research the Flood of ''93 or share information you have collected. Be sure to emphasize the area the flood covered, the economic impact, and the environmental impact. There are several excellent Internet sites. I have included a list of some. (Recommended)
    4. Students really benefit from having a guest speaker from the Corps of Engineers. They can tell the stories kids don''t imagine—like coffins floating down a river because a cemetery flooded. (Recommended)
    Accommodations for Students with Diverse Learning Needs:
    1. The assignment can be shortened, as the teacher feels is appropriate.
    2. The students can work in pairs.
    3. The rubric could be altered so that spelling, etc., were not penalized.

    The Mighty Missouri

    Student Prompt/Scenario:

    You live in Jefferson City, Missouri on the banks of the mighty Missouri River. After an unusually rainy season, the river has swollen and flooding seems inevitable.

    1. Describe three strategies that could be used to prevent the river from overflowing its banks and flooding the state''s capital.
    2. Choose one of these strategies and outline how you would complete it. Be sure to include the resources you would need to help you. Who would you have to contact?
    3. Unfortunately, your attempts to prevent the flooding have failed. What are 3 tasks you must do to ensure the safety of yourself and your family? Describe the resources you could use to assist you with these jobs.
    4. Two months later the water recedes. The damage is extensive and the city is demolished. Your town holds a meeting to decide the future of your community. You are given the following three options:
    5. Rebuild the town at its current location.
    6. Move the town to a location 2 miles away that is located above the 100-year floodplain.
    7. Abandon the town.

    Choose the option you feel is the best overall choice. Argue your position in a letter to the city council. Be sure to discuss at least two advantages to your plan and two probable disadvantages.

  • This is the list I gave my students. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has several excellent pages.

    Supplemental Internet Resources:



    For additional information contact :
    Etolia Stever
    Osceola Jr.-Sr. High
    (417) 646-8144

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    Thank you!

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    0 - No paper
    1 - Attempted to answer; used sentences; no reasonable answers
    2 - Has 1 reasonable strategy and used sentences
    3 - Has 2 reasonable strategies and used sentences
    4 - Has 3 reasonable strategies and used sentences
    Total Possible Points: 4
    0 - No paper
    1 - Attempted to answer; used sentences
    2 - Provided steps in a logical sequence; used sentences. Steps have a definite beginning and end, but may be missing middle or resources
    3 - Provided steps in a logical sequence; used sentences. Steps are not left out—includes who to contact, where to get materials OR how to find out this information.
    Total Possible Points: 3
    3. 0 - No paper 1 - Attempted to answer; used sentences; no reasonable answers 1 additional point for each reasonable task and appropriate resource-
    • credit for 1 resource per task only · maximum additional points 7
    • must be in sentences
    • must be immediate need (i.e. shelter, medication, clean water, food)
    Total Possible Points: 7
    4. 0 - No paper