The Flood Module, How will flood risks and impacts change over the next 100 years?, consists of five activities to be implemented over approximately five 45-minute class periods. Students investigate environmental factors that contribute to inland river flooding (topography, surface permeability, water table, and precipitation) using the embedded Flood Explorer model. Students apply what they learn to real-world case studies. Students also learn about the hazards that floods bring and the impacts that floods can have on people living and working in flood-prone areas. Finally, students investigate the role that rising global temperatures may play in future flood events. By the end of the module, students will be able to explain the factors that play a role in flooding and consider future flood risks and impacts if the climate continues to change. 

Sequence overview:

Activity 1: Go With the Flow

In this introductory activity, students investigate the phenomena of inland river flooding and are introduced to four key environmental factors that influence flooding with the Flood Diamond. Using the Flood Explorer model, they investigate the first factor, topography. They also begin to examine real-world data on the frequency and extent of flooding in the midwestern part of the United States. 

Activity 2: Here Comes the Flood

Students experiment with the Flood Explorer model to investigate the factors of storm duration, amount of rain, and starting water level to see how they influence flood severity. Students also learn about flood warning systems and how stream gauges are used to help predict when and where floods are likely to occur.

Activity 3: Permeability Problems

In this activity, students use models to explore how permeability affects flooding. Students compare flood risks and impacts in areas with different types of land cover (rural, suburban, and urban) and are able to observe differences in the timing and extent of flooding during heavy rainfall.

Activity 4: Flood Hazards

Students explore the two main hazards of flooding inundation, and strong currents. They use the Flood Explorer model to consider the impact of these hazards as well as investigate mitigation methods to reduce the impact. Students investigate how  mitigation methods can have both positive and negative consequences to people living and working along the river.

Activity 5: Future Floods

The future of flood risk is complex and is being actively researched by scientists. In this final activity, students investigate how climate change correlates to projected changes in flood frequency, intensity, risk, and impact. Students model flood occurrence in a future that includes more extensive human development along waterways as well as more frequent and extreme rain events. 

Accessing the Module

  1. Go to learn.concord.org/geo-flood for the interactive Teacher Edition of the Flood Module and other teacher resources. You will need to have a teacher account to access the teacher materials. Registration is free.
  2. Set up a class on the Concord Consortium Learn portal (learn.concord.org/geo-flood). Assign the Flood Module.
  3. Have your students register for student accounts on the Learn portal. Students will join your class with the “class word” you selected.
  4. Use the embedded teaching tips and discussion tips in the Teacher Edition to help facilitate your students’ investigations in the Flood Module.

Formative Assessment

Teachers can use the real-time Class Dashboard to track students’ progress through the module and give students feedback on their responses. The module contains multiple choice, drawing, and free response items. Correct responses, rationales, and exemplar answers are available in the Teacher Edition of the module at learn.concord.org/geo-flood.

Summative Assessment

The Flood Module includes pre- and post-assessments. Use these to assess your students’ understanding of the scientific factors that drive flooding as well as the socio-cultural implications of the risks, hazards, and impacts that floods bring to people and their communities. The Class Dashboard can also be used to track student’s progress through the assessments.

The assessments contain multiple choice and free response items. Correct responses and exemplar answers are available in the Teacher Edition of the assessments at learn.concord.org/geo-flood.



  Funded by the National Science Foundation

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DRL-1812362. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.