TOPIC: REASONS FOR FLOODING
This topic can be used to highlight: - different types of flooding - what causes flooding - climate change - effects of climate change - why do some places flood more than others This topic sheet can be used as an introduction to other ‘Flood’ sheets
EXAMPLE CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES:
What is flooding? Discuss/Research the types of flooding that can occur (river flood, urban flood, flash flood, coastal flood, etc). What might be different about each one? How might different floods affect people depending on where they live? Use the images to show the effects of flooding. Compare to images (or any personal experiences pupils might have) from the UK. What is climate change and how does it contribute to flooding? Visit the ‘Climate Choices – Children’s Voices’ website, www.climatechoices.org.uk for a wealth of activities and information about climate change to be used in a classroom. Example Activities: 1. Place two thermometers outside on a sunny day, one underneath a jar (the ‘greenhouse’). Check the temperature of both thermometers every 15 minutes. Discuss the ‘greenhouse effect’ - hotter climate leads to increased precipitation which leads to increased rainfall / increased risk of flooding. 2. Put some water into a tiny plastic cup, carefully tie the cup inside a clear plastic bag. Attach the bag to the inside of a window where the sun shines through. Observe how the sun heats the water in the cup causing it to form droplets on the inside of the bag. This is precipitation. More heat (global warming) = more droplets (increased precipitation) = more rain = increased chance of flooding. 3. Make a wall display or poster about the process of the greenhouse effect and how it can contribute to flooding. (See link to ‘Geography At The Movies’ website below). Flooding obviously causes many problems for people but ask pupils to research into the positive benefits of flooding. These include the benefits to biodiversity and the enrichment of fertile land through alluvium deposits on floodplains/deltas (e.g. Egyptians have historically enjoyed fertile soil for farming due to naturally occurring annual flooding along the Nile which deposits nutrients in the soil from the river water). Are there any other positive benefits to flooding? Why do some places flood more than others? Which countries in the world are prone to flooding? E.g. 80% of Bangladesh is a floodplain, 70% of it is less than 1m above sea level and the Himalayas are in the north, making it prone to flooding from rising sea levels/mountain runoff. Looking at climate change caused by increased emissions as a reason for flooding-discuss that the countries which will experience the worst effects of climate change produce the least emissions. Is this fair? What could we do to help?
FURTHER HELPFUL WEB RESOURCES:
http://www.geographyatthemovies.co.uk/climatechange.html short movies for teachers re climate change http://www.foe.co.uk/learning/educators/index.html Friends of the Earth educators page http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/on-line/energy/site/EIZInfogr9.asp Science Museum ‘Greenhouse Effect’ animation video www.oxfam.org.uk/education/resources/climate_chaos Oxfam resources and activities about climate change for primary schools
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