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Activity 3

Essential Question

How do physical changes affect human systems?


The Three Gorges Dam will provide huge amounts of power to southern China and give sea access to a city located almost 2,000 miles inland on the Yangtze River. By lowering the costs of transporting goods along the river, the dam should help bring economic growth to inland regions that are less prosperous than coastal regions. In addition the dam will help control the dangerous floods along the river that kill people and destroy property. However, the Three Gorges Dam will also have its costs. The project will be incredibly expensive and will force 2 million people to be resettled. Many historical and industrial sites will be flooded, which have unknown environmental impacts.

Instructional Strategies

Strategy 1

Cooperative Learning

Explain to the class that they will become part of a “Jigsaw Team” and that each member of the team will become an expert representing a different point of view on the Three Gorges Dam. They will be responsible for teaching the members of their team about their perspective on the TGD.

Review the procedures for Jigsaw.

  1. Meet in the jigsaw team to get assignments
  2. Meet in expert groups to read their assigned letter and plan together how to teach it Letters:
  3. Return to the jigsaw group to teach the perspective.

Strategy 2

Simulation/Role Play

Divide the class into four groups with each group representing one of the interest groups:

  • Local Residents
  • Chinese Government Officials
  • Environmental Group
  • Power Company

Have each group review their notes from the previous research and discussion. Have them create a script of the important points they would make if they were asked to testify from their point of view or perspective.

Have each group select a representative to attend the conference on The Three Gorges Dam. Create roles for other important people at the conference including:

  • The Chairperson for the Conference
  • The Recorder for the Conference

Establish rules for how the conference will proceed and review them with the students.

Check for Understanding

Writing in the Social Studies Classroom

Have students write a persuasive letter to a government official in China, expressing their opinion about The Three Gorges Dam. Be sure they:

  • Take one of the four positions argued at the Conference on The Three Dams
  • Support your opinion with data from the conference
Updated December 31, 2019 10:35am