Read Kansas! Middle School - M-37 Big Dam Foolishness
In 1938 the U.S. Congress proposed the building of Tuttle Creek Reservoir near Manhattan. Building the dam and reservoir would disrupt the lives of citizens in 10 Kansas communities, completely destroying five of these, and inundating more than 50,000 acres of prime farm land. Without the protection of the dam, the potential damage during a flood to cities and towns downstream could amount to millions of acres of flooded crop land, transportation facilities paralyzed, and businesses destroyed. In this "fence sitting" activity, students representing Blue Valley residents or the U.S. Corps of Engineers and merchants downstream will use primary sources including videos to persuade classmates who are the politicians to take a stand. The lesson is written for three class periods.
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Kansas History Standards:
- Benchmark 6, Indicator 2: The student describes major flood control projects in the 1950s.
- Benchmark 5, Indicator 1: The student identifies ways in which technologies have modified the physical environment of various world cultures (e.g., dams, levees, aqueducts, irrigation, roads, bridges, plow).
Common Core Reading Standards:
- RH.6-8.2: The student will determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
Common Core Speaking and Listening Standards:
Sl.7.4: The student will present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
Common Core Writing:
- WHST. 6-8.1 (a-e) The student will write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.