Climate/Dust Bowl

Climate/Dust Bowl

Course(s)/Subject(s): Science; cross-curricular with English

Grade Level(s): 7 or 8

Key Words: Science, Technology, Dust Bowl, Climate, Land Management, New Deal

Developer(s) Name: Janice Bruns

School: Kilmer Middle School

Approximate Time Frame: 3 to 4 days

Materials/Equipment Needed: Computer/2 students, floppy disc/2 students, Internet access, TV and monitor for the final presentations.

Description of Lesson (includes context): Students will read the novel Out Of the Dust in English classes. They will select a topic pertaining to the Dust Bowl with a partner; research the topic on the Internet and save to a disc; prepare a slide show using ClarisWorks Draw; and present their slide show with narrative to a selected audience.


  1. What is the objective of this lesson?

FCPS POS Standards: Science 2 & 3

FCPS POS Benchmarks: Science 8.2.1, 8.3.1

FCPS POS Indicators: Science 8.2.1-1, 8.2.1-6, 8.3.1-1, 8.3.1-4

VA SOL(s) (including Computer/Technology): Science 2, 3, & 5. C/T8.2



  1. What will we examine as evidence of students' knowledge and/or skill?

Product(s): Slide show presentation with oral narrative

Performance(s): Standard rubric for grading a slide show from the Science POS

Other: See my web page at ( Go to school pages; Dust Bowl


  1. What exactly will the students and teacher do during the lesson?

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Directions to students for proceeding with the lesson:

  1. Read and discuss the novel Out of the Dustby Karen Hesse in English classes.
  2. Discuss environmental issues that were presented in the novel and select a topic to
    research with a partner.
  3. Days 2-3/4 will be spent in the computer lab researching the topics on the Internet and
    producing the slide shows.
  4. Presentations of the slide shows with oral narratives will be completed in the classroom
    using a monitor and central computer.

Directions to teacher/administrator using this lesson?

  1. Purchase sufficient floppy discs using 1/every 2 students.
  2. Prepare a list of Science issues or topics related to the Dust Bowl.
  3. Reserve the computer lab for 4 days for student work on the Internet and to prepare
    the slide shows.
  4. Plan sufficient class time for presentations.


  1. What options in presentation(s) and/or response(s) are suggested in order to provide the opportunity for all students to demonstrate achievement of the benchmark(s) and indicator(s)?

In order to accommodate all learning styles and students, I would suggest that the instructor
assign the partners, taking care to "buddy" those students who might require extra help with
the Internet or developing a slide show with someone with experience in both. The
presentation could be divided with one student presenting the slides while the other student
controlled the slide timing.