Learning Outcomes

- Students will understand the different types of flooding and their causes.
- Students will learn about the consequences of flooding and the types of flooding in their area.

Length of Activity: 1 – 1.5 hour
Grade Level: 5 – 12

Materials List
Internet Enabled Device
Assessment Rubric
Flood:ED Backgrounder

Download Activity

Understand Flooding


Step 1: Introduction to Flooding

Begin by watching the following videos with your students to explore what is flooding. (15 minutes)

In groups, encourage students to research what causes flooding and have a discussion in class sharing findings. (15 minutes)

Step 2: Understand Flooding in Your Area

  • Continue on to explain the types of flooding to your students using the Flood:ED Backgrounder. (15 minutes)
  • Continue on to explaining the following to your students:
  • Extreme weather events are unexpected, unusual, unpredictable, severe or unseasonal weather events. These weather events are considered extreme because they at the rare in the historical record - defined as lying in the most unusual ten percent.
  • 100-year storms refer to the estimated probability of a storm event happening in any given year. A 100-year event has a 1 percent chance (or 1-in-100 chance) of occurring in a year. The term “100-year flood” allows us to place a particular weather event in context with other similar events. These 100-year storms are defined by the severity of the winds - the large amount of rain and the intensity in which it falls and the flooding that results.

These terms are used more and more frequently in the news now, since we are witnessing an increased number of extreme weather events or 100-year storms around the world due to climate change.

Learn more about weather changes and climate change by visiting the GreenLearning’s program page Decoding Carbon.

Study the weather data provided below for Canadian provinces and territories, and discuss the questions below. Click on the province you want to study to open the hyperlink.

Weather averages data:

Alberta | British Columbia | Manitoba | New Brunswick | New Foundland & Labrador | Northwest Territories | Nova Scotia | Nunavut | Ontario | Prince Edwards Island | Quebec | Saskatchewan | Yukon Territory

HINT: Look at Extreme Daily Rainfall (mm) in the data and compare with other provinces and territories

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is the record rainfall in your Province or Territory?
  2. Imagine standing in this much rain - where does it reach on your body?
  3. What might be some of the effects of these storms happening every few years?
  4. Research the rainfall in your community. What is the average rainfall per year? What is the record amount of daily rainfall?

Step 3: What Volume of Water Falls in Your School During a Rain Event?

  • Download the handout linked here: http://www.greenlearning.ca/flooded/Volume.pdf
  • Using the weather averages data linked above for your location, find out how much water falls in your school during a rain event and fill out the handout.
  • Compare answers with your peers!

Step 4: Post Activity Class Discussion

After completing the activity above, break into groups and consider the following questions for discussion:

  1. When was the last big flood you remember?
  2. Where does the rainfall in your area drain to in these floods?
  3. Where are your local waterways (streams, rivers, lakes or oceans)?
  4. Which buildings in your neighbourhood are likely to be flooded?
  5. Have you seen flooding in these areas before?
  6. What areas of a house or building are most likely to be flooded? Why?
  7. What parts of where you live would be affected - and what do you have stored there?
  8. All the litter on the street would go down the sewer. What kind of trash would this be?
  9. Have beaches been closed in your community? Flooding and pollution runoff can eventually lead to closed beaches? What is the connection?
  10. Why does flooding sometimes mean people have to evacuate (leave their home for a safe place to stay)?

Step 5: Consequences of Flooding Case Study

In groups, assign the following case study to students to understand the damages caused by flooding. (30 minutes)
Damages sustained from rising lake water levels and restoration plans for waterfront parks

After reading the article, discuss in groups any 3 of the following questions:

  • What health risks are associated with flooding?
  • What are the effects of flooding on homes, buildings, roads and bridges?
  • Why did this flood cost so much in loss of tourist revenue?
  • Do you believe your family and friends are prepared for a flood? Why or why not?
  • What could the government do to prepare for future flooding?

Resources Referenced: