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For Teachers (Don’t print this page) Students Learning Objectives Students will read important articles relating to water in the southwest and explain them to their peers. Students will understand social and political issues surrounding water in the west. Grade Level 8-12 th

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the colorado river story

For Teachers (Don’t print this page)

  • Students Learning Objectives
  • Students will read important articles relating to water in the southwest and explain them to their peers.
  • Students will understand social and political issues surrounding water in the west.
  • Grade Level
  • 8-12th
  • Younger students may need to highlight words they don’t understand for scaffolded instruction.
  • Time
  • One class period
  • National Standards
  • D: Earth Science
  • F: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
  • Suggested supplemental activities:
  • Part II: How does geography play a role water distribution? – Colorado River watershed mapping
  • Part III: What happens when demand for water exceeds supply? -Data analysis workbook

Part I: Who needs water?

A jigsaw reading activity including articles from magazines and online publications to get the students primed for a deeper investigation into the inner-workings of the Colorado River.

  • Directions - READING JIGSAW ACTIVITY: Water rights and issues
  • Step 1 – Print articles and answer sheet (only one article per student)
  • Article 1: Smithsonian Magazine: The Colorado River Runs Dryhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/The-Colorado-River-Runs-Dry.html
  • Article 2: The New York Times: A Difficult Choice on Water http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/06/a-difficult-choice-on-water/
  • Article 3: Fox News: Perilous New Vegas Water Pipeline Claims Life http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/06/15/perilous-new-vegas-water-pipeline-claims-life/
  • Article 4: Scientific American: Devastating Drought Seems Inevitable for Westhttp://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-coming-mega-drought
  • Step 2 – Assign alternating articles to students.
  • Each student with the same article will also be assigned a a different letter. You may have as many as A-H for each article.
  • Students will read their article and answer questions then briefly discuss their answers with students with the same article.
  • Step 3 – Rearrange students with groups of the same letter.
  • Students will report out about the article they read in turn. Each student will share their article and hear about the others.
  • At the end of the activity, each student should have filled out and answered the entire page.
  • Step 4 – Finish with a classroom discussion identifying the importance of freshwater and people who are affected by the loss of it.

The Colorado River Story

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Article 3: Letter: ___

  • Summarize your article in a few sentences.
  • What was the problem described?
  • What is the cause of the problem and who is most affected?
  • Is there a solution provided to the problem? If not, what’s your solution?

Article 1: Letter: ___

  • Summarize your article in a few sentences.
  • What was the problem described?
  • What is the cause of the problem and who is most affected?
  • Is there a solution provided to the problem? If not, what’s your solution?

Article 2: Letter: ___

  • Summarize your article in a few sentences.
  • What was the problem described?
  • What is the cause of the problem and who is most affected?
  • Is there a solution provided to the problem? If not, what’s your solution?

Article 4: Letter: ___

  • Summarize your article in a few sentences.
  • What was the problem described?
  • What is the cause of the problem and who is most affected?
  • Is there a solution provided to the problem? If not, what’s your solution?