Floodplain Modeling Coherence Outline

Floodplain Modeling
Lesson Coherence Outline
What Students Are Doing
Students draw on their prior knowledge and experiences to begin discussing weather that
causes extreme flooding. Students explore these ideas deeper by engaging in an article about
floods that focuses on both the positive and negative impacts of flooding, along with
characterizing a hundred-year flood.
Students discuss how scientists develop and use models to predict future flooding events.
Students identify the component of the system of a river that they will include in their models to
test flow conditions and flooding.
Students use a river template to create their riverbed out of clay.
Students test flow conditions and flooding of their model of a river system and record their
observations as an engineering sketch that utilizes colors and symbols to represent their
Students apply their understanding of flow conditions and flooding of their model of a river
system to create a proposal for the construction of vacation houses, farms, and businesses along
a river by using what they have learned. They will be proposing construction of the buildings for
an area that typically has normal rainfall and water flow conditions, but that may face hundredyear flood conditions if there is unusual, excessive rainfall. Therefore, when creating their
proposal, they will have to keep the observations from both sets of their models in mind.