On the Verge of Displacement

By having scholars tackle this interdisciplinary lesson, they'll see how social studies and environmental science are related as they explore the impact that the construction of a dam will have on the population and ecosystem of the Omo River Valley in Ethiopia. The anchor source is a photo gallery that serves as a springboard for discussion and then persuasive writing.

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CCSS: Designed
NGSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • Have scholars find and describe other examples of construction projects that have impacted or might impact long-standing communities, cultural practices, and ecosystems
  • Collaborate with a science teacher to do this lesson as the students are learning about ecosystems, hydroelectricity, or climate change
Classroom Considerations
  • To have the students view the photo galleries on their own in class, they'll need Internet-enabled devices
  • Writing prompts give students a great opportunity to write practical pieces aimed at real-world audiences
  • Helpful external links are provided for further research
  • The discussion prompts include thoughtful questions about the nature of photographs as agents of change
  • None
Common Core