Less Rainfall


Students learn that droughts, increasing in intensity due to climate change, impact people in the United States.

Engage students with the consequences of changing precipitation.

Explore maps showing the location of agriculture, current drought, and projected future drought in the United States.

  • Have students look at the three maps linked below, taking notes about which areas are getting more precipitation than usual, which are getting less than usual, and where we need water for agriculture. Then have students identify the states that are at high risk, that is - the most drought-prone states that rely on agriculture. Answers will likely include Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, and Nebraska but will depend on the current drought conditions as shown on the drought monitor map. (Note that state names are not indicated on these maps. You may wish to have students refer to a map of political boundaries as they do this activity.)

Evaluate student learning by having each student describe the impacts of drought on a particular place.

  • Have each student choose a state and explain in a paragraph or short presentation 1) how climate change is expected to impact drought in the future and 2) whether there is agriculture in that state that is likely to be affected by drought. Student answers will vary depending on the state they choose. Explanations should refer to the maps of current drought, future projections, and agriculture.