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Climate Change, Life Literacies and Key Skills


3rd, 4th, 5th


Science, Earth and Space Sciences, Career Readiness, Life Literacies, and Key Skills


90 minutes

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New Jersey


Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Facing the Flood

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Feb 21, 2024
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In this lesson, students learn about how climate change is affecting flood risk in New Jersey. 

Step 1 - Inquire: Students share their experiences with flooding and watch a video about how climate change has caused increased flooding in New Jersey in recent years.

Step 2 - Investigate: Students build model houses with flood mitigation features and test their designs.

Step 3 - Inspire: Students learn more about flood mitigation tactics and write a short summary of their knowledge.

Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • This lesson creates a collaborative learning environment for students as they build model houses and test their flood mitigation tactics.
  • Students will develop a strong connection to self and community through viewing the impact of increased flooding in New Jersey.
  • This lesson allows for creativity, design, engineering, and free thinking.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Prior to the lesson, the teacher must have:
    • Cardboard 
    • Scissors 
    • Tape/glue 
    • Modeling clay 
    • Sand 
    • Cement 
    • Sponges
    • Plastic wrap 
    • Plastic tubs 
    • Pitchers of water
  • These materials can be recycled or donated. Possible substitutions include Play-Doh instead of modeling clay, buckets/cups instead of pitchers, tinfoil instead of plastic wrap, etc. Materials are not set in stone and can be substituted with similar materials as needed.
  • You can explain more about the causes of sea level rise prior to the lesson. This video may be helpful to show before teaching this lesson.


  • Groups of students with mixed abilities can collaborate on their section of the flood management article.
  • Groups of students with mixed abilities can collaborate on their section of the flood management experiment.
  • The flood management experiment could be done as a demonstration in front of the whole class if time, ability, or materials are limited. You can use different materials and flood the tub multiple times.
Scientist Notes

In this lesson, students will learn about the common causes of flooding, how towns and cities can mitigate the effects of flooding, and how climate change is partially impacting flooding. As a note, another way climate change will impact flooding is by increasing the rates of prolonged drought and heavy rainfall. The videos and articles included in this lesson are accurate. The final article touches a lot more on emotions and a teenager’s perspective but includes key facts with references on the side. This resource is recommended for teaching.


This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

Primary Standards

  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 3-ESS3-1. Make a claim about the merit of a design solution that reduces the impacts of a weather-related hazard.
    • LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
      • 3-LS4-3. Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
      • 3-LS4-4. Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals that live there may change.
  • Career Readiness, Life Literacies, & Key Skills
    • Life Literacies and Key Skills
      • 9.4.5.CI.2: Investigate a persistent local or global issue, such as climate change, and collaborate with individuals with diverse perspectives to improve upon current actions designed to address the issue (e.g., 6.3.5.CivicsPD.3, W.5.7).
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