Grade 3: Protect Yourself From the Flood! (3-ESS2-1, 3-ESS2-2)

  • Grade: 3
  • Content Area: Earth/Physical Science
  • NGSS Standard: 3-ESS2-1, 3-ESS2-2




This unit was taught in a 3rd grade classroom with diverse academic ability. The class was first introduced to what seasons are and why we have them. Furthermore, this lead to lessons on what is weather versus what is climate. To make this information relatable to the students, we began to focus on the typical weather patterns in our area during the winter season. Moreover, this lead to a guided instruction math lesson on finding the average, so that the students were able to understand what it meant to find the average rainfall over a period of time. Two NGSS standards were met within the next few days of lessons by collecting and graphing the average January rainfall over about 20 years in Chico, California and then doing the same for Sydney, Australia. Finally this lead to the third NGSS standard by introducing the students to what floods are and what the causes and the effects of them are. To fully understand the effects, they participated in a hands-on lab that involved stream tables with rivers made from sand that eventually flooded the houses that were placed around the rivers. After that lab, the students were placed in groups and were able to collaboratively draw their own designs on how to prevent the houses from becoming destroyed in a flood. To end the unit, the students, individually, were able to write an opinion piece revealing what they believed to be the most effective form of protection to protect their community from a flood.