Breaking Down Resilience Toolkits

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This is an image of the lesson 7 icon This is Part 1 of Lesson 7 of Project Resilience curriculum.

Students will investigate various adaptation plans used throughout Louisiana to understand the necessary steps for designing an adaptation project.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will become familiar with several adaptation plans used throughout Louisiana
  • Students will identify the environmental problems that are impacting their school campus
  • Students will brainstorm projects that would make their school campus more resilient


  • Preparation time: about 20 minutes to gather supplies
  • Class time: 50 minutes for activity

Educational Standards

Louisiana Student Standards for Science:

  • HS-EVS1-3: Analyze and interpret data about the consequences of environmental decisions to determine the risk-benefit values of actions and practices implemented for selected issues.
  • HS-ESS3-4: Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.

Additional NGSS Dimensions:

  • Science and Engineering Practices: Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
  • Disciplinary Core Ideas: ETS1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution



  • Arrange for a member of the school’s administration to stop by for 15 minutes of this lesson to discuss any environmental problems the school has experienced throughout the years. They will only need to stay for the question and answer period.
  • Do research to help support your students as they begin exploring environmental problems at your school campus. Ask members of the school’s administration, other teachers, or the maintenance team if they know of any problems on the school’s campus that may be related to environmental factors (for example, flooding in a particular part of campus after a storm). Other members of the school community might be able to help you identify campus problems.
  • Make copies of the readings, one copy for each group. Alternatively, provide links to the readings and have student access them digitally.
    • Adaptation Recommendations
    • Strategies and Best Practices
    • Terrebonne Parish Adaptation Plan: Goal 1
  • Make copies of the Example School Resilience Plan and the Identifying Potential Problems Student Sheet, one copy for each group.


Introduce the School Resilience Plan (10 min)

  1. Break students into groups and pass out a copy of the Example School Resilience Plan to each group. Explain that students will be creating a similar resilience plan for their school campus. Have the students review the project from the example. Ask: How does this project make the school more resilient? What environmental threat do you think the school was trying to address? Students can refer back to this example as they create their own resilience plan.
    • The example plan only lists one school project example. Remind students that their class will have three or more projects in their resilience plan.
  2. Review the lists of environmental threats affecting the school from Lesson 6: Part 4.
  3. Have students make a list of any questions they have about these problems and explain that they will have the opportunity to ask a school administrator their questions. Questions included on this list should help students understand the impacts of these environmental problems on their campus. Students will be able to use the answers to develop their school's resilience plan. Encourage each group to have at least three questions.

Learn About Environmental Problems at Your School (20 min)

  1. Have a member of the school's administration join the students for approximately 15 minutes of this lesson. Using the question list that they just developed, have groups take turns asking questions to further their understanding of the environmental problems affecting their school campus. Remind students that these questions and answers will help them with their plan.
    • If possible, take your class on a tour of the school's campus. During the tour, ask students to identify problem areas.
    • After the administrator leaves, have students summarize what they learned about the environmental problems facing the school. Ask: Do we have any new school problems to add to our list? Which of the problems on our list is the most troublesome for the school campus? Is there an area on campus that is more affected by one of the school problems?

Explore Adaptation Planning (20 min)

  1. After the students finish with their questions, introduce the students to the steps of a resiliency toolkit. Explain that identifying the risks or hazards is the first step to developing an adaptation plan. Students have already completed Step 1 and part of Step 2. Step 3 will allow them to investigate various practices and strategies used to help communities adapt.
    • Steps to Resilience:
      • Step 1. Explore Hazards
      • Step 2. Assess Vulnerability & Risks
      • Step 3. Investigate Options
      • Step 4. Prioritize & Plan
      • Step 5. Take Action
  2. Provide each group a copy of the Adaptation Recommendations from CPEX reading. Explain that adaptation options vary depending on the type of environmental threat and the community level. Adaptation projects at the state level will vary from projects at the local level and the residential level. From this list, have students identify which threats may pose the biggest problem for their school community.
  3. Have the students then look through the state, local government, and residential adaptive actions. Ask: Do any of these projects stand out to you? Are there multiple projects that address a single issue? Are there any that really interest you or that you would like to see? Would you be able to do any of the local or residential adaptive actions at your school?
  4. Provide each group a copy of the Strategies and Best Practices for Coastal Louisiana reading. Explain that this reading has broken up adaptation strategies and practices based on the different regions of the coast. Ask: What projects or plans stand out to you? What do you think of the options? What type of strategies are listed for our area? What is the difference between this reading and the previous reading (Adaptation Recommendations)?
    • The Strategies and Best Practices reading recommended projects based on specific regions along the coast.
  5. Explain that many of the strategies listed for our area relate to managing the effects of subsidence and flooding. Provide each group a copy of the Terrebonne Parish Adaptation Plan: Goal 1- Managing Flooding & Subsidence reading. Explain that each strategy listed will hopefully combat the problems of increased flooding and subsidence. Ask: How do these projects relate to the other strategies listed in the previous reading? What do you think about the strategies? Are there any that you really like? Could you use any of this for your school community?
  6. Have students review their list of environmental problems from the beginning of the lesson. Give each group a copy of theIdentifying Potential Projects Student Sheet. Using their list of environmental problems, have students fill out questions 1 and 2 of the student sheet. Students will use questions 1 and 2 to identify environmental threats that may have led to their school problems and will refer back to this student sheet in the next few lessons.
    • Remind students that their goal is to create a plan to make their school more resilient by addressing the school's environmental problems.

Assign Journal Prompt #16.

Prompt #16: Today's lesson focused on exploring the different types of adaptation strategies used in Louisiana. Do you agree with the strategies listed in the Terrebonne Parish Adaptation Plan reading? What actions would you add or remove? Explain your thinking.



Steps to Resilience: (Information from U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit)

  • Explore Hazards
  • Access Vulnerability & Risks
  • Investigate Options
  • Prioritize & Plan
  • Take Action
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This activity was developed for Project Resilience, funded by the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.