Note: The Pointe-Aux-Chene field trip can serve as a reference to help you plan an experience that highlights adaptation projects in your area.
Before leaving the school: Divide students into pairs and give each pair a clipboard with a set of Maps (1-4). Students will need to take turns being the map holder/recorder and the photographer during the field trip.
Map 1 of 4
- Use the provided directions to reach LA Hwy 665 (Pointe-Aux-Chene Road). Once you reach La HWY 55 at the Klondike stoplight, have students look at Map 1. Explain that many people have adapted their homes due to the increased flood risk the area is experiencing. Tell students that once they turn on to Pointe-Aux-Chene Road, they will follow the directions for Map 1. They will only need to consider the houses on their side of the bus. Have students note on their maps if these houses were to the east or the west of the road.
- Once you turn on to the road, begin the mileage counter. Mile 0 should be the beginning of Pointe-Aux-Chene Road. Do not stop the mile counter. Mile numbers will be used throughout the lesson to point out locations along Pointe-Aux-Chene Road. Students should begin tallying the houses on their side of the bus with Map 1 until they reach the Pointe-Aux-Chene Elementary School (Mile 2.6). Students should total up the number for each category. They will refer back to these numbers once they return to school.
Map 2 of 4
- Students should now turn to Map 2. This map begins at the Pointe-Aux-Chenes Supermarket (Mile 3.2). As you pass the supermarket, students should begin looking for signs of coastal land loss problems. These could include signs of hurricanes/tropical storms, saltwater intrusion, erosion, etc. The map holder will record these notes on their map, and the photographer will take a picture. Students should mark on their map approximately where the picture was taken. As students add these coastal land loss signs to their map, students should develop a key of symbols to differentiate between each coastal land loss problem.
- Dead trees from saltwater intrusion will be the first sign of coastal land loss issues. As you pass the supermarket, the dead trees will begin becoming visible to the east and the west.
Map 3 of 4
- Once the bus reaches The Father’s House Church (Mile 5.9), students should turn to Map 3. Students will continue to look for signs of coastal land loss problems but should also begin to look for signs of coastal projects. As students find these projects, the projects should be included on their maps with a new symbol. Students should also add this new symbol to their map key. As you reach Mile 6 on your mileage app, begin looking for a road on the right. At Mile 6.3, slowly turn right and park the bus outside of the gate to Reach J-1 levee. A sign will be next to the gate explaining the Morganza to the Gulf levee system. Have students exit the bus (leaving their clipboards on the bus) and walk through the side gate towards the levee. Have students gather at the base of the levee and ask them what they notice. Ask students what they remember about Morganza to the Gulf. Explain the importance of the levee system.
- Walk to the top of the levee. Ask students to describe what they see. Students should also take pictures of anything they find important. These pictures will be used once they return to the classroom.
- Return to the bus. Give students ~5 minutes to record any of their thoughts on Map 3. Turn right on to Pointe-Aux-Chene Road. Continue down the road. Students should continue to look for evidence of coastal land loss problems and record any they see.
Map 4 of 4
- At Mile 8.5, turn onto Island Road. Have students swap to Map 4. Students should begin recording evidence of any coastal protection, restoration, or adaptation projects on the map.
- As you approach the levee, ask students if they know which levee system the levee is a part of. Remind students of Morganza to the Gulf levee system. Ask students what they notice as they drive down Island Road. Have them record any thoughts on their map along with any projects they see.
- Point out the terracing to the right of the road. Let students know that they should keep an eye out for these types of projects.
- As you reach Mile 11.3 (you will be entering Isle de Jean Charles), have students look to the right at the canals. Remind students of the impacts of canals and have them look for any other canals along the way.
- Continue down the road until you reach the Isle de Jean Charles Marina at Mile 12.7. Turn the bus around and return to Pointe-Aux-Chene Road. As you leave Isle de Jean Charles, tell the students the history of the Island, including the Island’s rapid land loss. Have students think about the impact of storms, major or minor, on the island’s community.
- At Mile 16.9, turn right off of Island Road and continue to the Pointe-Aux-Chene Floodgate. Let students know this is still part of the Morganza to the Gulf system. Pull the bus to the end of the parking lot and point out the canals. Remind students to note and take pictures of any coastal land loss problems. Point out the dead trees along either side of the canal.
- Turn around in the parking lot and return to Pointe-Aux-Chene Road. Continue up the road until you get to the LDWF Pointe-Aux-Chene headquarters office (Mile 20.3). Turn right over the bridge to the office and park the bus by LOCATION. Students can exit the bus and sit underneath the pavilion for lunch.
- After lunch, return to the school.
- Once settled back in the school, have each pair of students use Google Earth to pull up Pointe-Aux-Chene Road and the Pointe-Aux-Chene Road PowerPoint. Have students add their notes from their paper maps into the Pointe-Aux-Chene Road PowerPoint along with any pictures they may have taken. Once they have added their notes, have students explore the road on Google Earth. Have them record any thoughts on their PowerPoint.
Assign the following journal questions:
- Would you consider these communities resilient? Why or why not?
- What are some ways these communities can adapt for the future?