Is this deep water a chance for deeper learning?

I am curious whether any teachers have enough flexibility to tap into the flooding for a science lesson once school resumes tomorrow. (At least I hope it resumes Wednesday.)

The heavy flooding would be an ideal way to teach about precipitation and soil types. (And also about  why two feet of water can float a car and 6 inches of fast-moving flood water can knock you off your feet.)

In researching with my own kids,  I was surprised to learn that flash floods are the No. 1 weather-related killer in the U.S.  And nearly 80 percent of flash flood deaths are auto related.

It seems like a great teaching moment, as they say.

Are the days  so tightly scripted that you won’t be able to use the rain and floods as a topic? (I realize that there will be today’s missed lessons to make up.)

Or are you already planning to discuss?

7 comments Add your comment

MS Science Teacher

September 22nd, 2009
3:20 pm

When I taught Earth Science I always used current weather events in my teaching – current meant the kids were curious, and it fit with my curriculum. Now 8th grade science is physical science, so I fit it in if I can. For example, we are currently doing forces & motion, potential & kinetic energy, speed, velocity, and acceleration – all of that can be applied to talking about the momentum of the flood water and why it’s dangerous. My students are 2 -3 years from having driving licenses, so if I can fit a safe driving lesson in and spin it on the science I’m currently teaching, then I do. I can’t say if I taught math or English I would find a way to fit it in, though.


September 22nd, 2009
3:39 pm

You gotta be kidding! Unless it is a GPS, and unless it is your grade’s GPS, and unless it is WHEN the curriculum map SAYS to teach it, it won’t be able to be done.


September 22nd, 2009
4:10 pm

You bring up a perfect example of what’s wrong with our politicians’ testing mentality. As catlady said, if it’s not on the test it is not taught. Regardless of how good a lesson it would make.

A good teacher will find ways to get the event included in the current topics allowed by the curriculum, but too many people have been forced into slavery because of the tests. There are simply too many curriculum police that have no clue how powerful the “teachable moment” is for student learning.

The only answer – repeal NCLB and abolish CRCT.


September 22nd, 2009
8:48 pm

I don’t feel totally forced into the curricular decisions by the GPS. I feel forced by the micromanaging idiots who are our “leaders”. Those same “leaders” want us to follow a certain curriculum map they made up (which does not go with the book, for example.) That way, we are all in unison on what we are teaching. Even though it makes sense to teach multiplying whole numbers BEFORE you teach multiplying with decimals, doesn’t mean we would DO that. Besides, the first is a GPS that should have been mastered last year. However, 80% of the 4th graders did not master it in 4th grade, and guess what–they can’t do the decimal multiplication this year!

Just as we missed Obama’s speech in our county (teachable moment), we missed the flooding. But don’t worry. If it is a GPS for your grade, your kids will get to look at pictures “when it’s time/”


September 22nd, 2009
10:51 pm

I found I do “seize the moment teaching” and still cover testing objectives…took a lot of work at the Middle School level , but between me, the science teacher and math teacher the bases were covered.


September 23rd, 2009
9:48 am

To catlady – Curriculum Maps don’t necessarily “go with the book,” nor should they. A book is a teaching tool, not a curriculum. And in science especially, the book would hopefully not be the primary teaching tool.


September 23rd, 2009
12:46 pm

So what is so horrible about going “with the book?” We did it years ago and the kids seemed to learn well enough.