Why is there so much water? Education resources that help you teach and talk about floods
Teaching students about floods – particularly when they’re still occurring – requires sensitivity, scientific facts and engaging lesson ideas. To bring these elements together, the ClickView team have curated video playlists, educational resources, and a few smart teaching ideas to help you engage students in the most recent Australian natural disaster.
Many students and schools in Queensland and New South Wales have been personally affected by the dramatic ‘once in a century’ flooding in late February and throughout March 2022. Although these events have been traumatic and challenging, they present a fresh and relevant opportunity for students to learn about a real and increasingly frequent weather phenomenon that is changing how we live.
Questions and activities to get your class thinking
The topic of flooding – which includes studying weather (in particular the La Niña weather system we’re currently experiencing), disaster preparedness and climate change – connects with engineering, physics, geography, biology, civics and social studies. This offers teachers a great cross-curriculum learning opportunity.
A simple way to connect subjects is to ask questions that require thinking from multiple disciplines. Questions you could ask your class include:
- Why do floods occur? You can look at sources of water, environmental factors, built environment, and geographic factors
- What different types of floods are there?
- Why do people live on floodplains?
- Why are floods becoming more problematic?
- What is the role of climate change in flooding?
- What is the impact of floods on people, jobs and education?
- What is the impact of floods on the local environment?
- What impact do floods have on farmers and our food supply?
- What is the La Niña weather system and what role did it play in the recent flooding crisis?
- How can we better prepare for disasters like floods?
- How can we better help people recover?
- How do floods impact local fauna and flora? Do certain species thrive?
- What could policymakers do differently to support people and the environment?
You could also try these activities:
- Research the role engineers, geologists, meteorologists and government play in planning and using man-made structures to mitigate flood damage such as levees, flood gates, seawalls, drainage canals, sewer/water/storm drainage systems, bridges, concrete riverbanks.
- Research sustainability measures that may help us battle climate change and floods and present a list of candidates
- Using BOM rainfall maps to chart monthly rainfall in your area and then compare them to areas that have flooded recently
- Create posters about disaster preparation and flood safety to help children learn about what their families can do before or during a flood
The following websites provide educational resources and information on flooding and disaster management and are a great starting point for you and your students:
- ClickView’s climate change and sustainability page.
- Your local council website
- The State Emergency Service (SES) website for your state
- Australian Institute of Disaster Resilience (lesson plan here)
- Red Cross (disaster preparedness and recovery education)
- Geoscience Australia
- CSIRO Sustainable Futures
- Bureau of Meteorology
ClickView videos and resources to help you teach students about floods
ClickView has curated a range of video content and interactive resources that give your students a visual way to explore this topic, and help you bring theoretical concepts about weather, engineering and sustainability to life.
1. Extreme weather and flooding playlist
This playlist, available to ClickView customers*, includes 17 videos that explore the impact that flooding and extreme weather have had on Australia, our responses to floods, and the effect of rising sea levels on future flooding events.
*Not a ClickView customer? Take a free trial today to explore this playlist and much more.
2. La Niña teaching resources
The La Niña weather system normally brings more cyclones, an early start to the wet season and a soggy summer. The Queensland and New South Wales floods can be partially attributed to this system so exploring it is key in understanding how flooding occurs.
3. Free sustainability teaching resources
Sustainability and climate change are increasingly pertinent players in discussions around floods. These free resources promote critical thinking, conversation and global citizenship among your students while encouraging proactive climate action in the classroom and beyond.
The sustainability-focused video content has been curated to complement the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s innovative WebAR experience, Mt Resilience.