No Water? No Problem!

Student Post:  Ermias reports on the current California drought.

Here in California we have a drought.  This drought has sparked some panic to the point that the state government has passed laws limiting the amount of water that we can use. These laws aren’t hard to abide or follow but it puts pressure on some families to watch the amount of water that they are using or they might have to pay a major fee.

First, yes, the government has created laws that limit the amount of water we have to use. [i.e. There are only certain days of the week people can water their lawns.) Their reasoning behind this is very justified because if the government allows certain families to waste water then there will be little water left for those that need water to do things such as shower, wash their hands, wash dishes, etc. Some ways that a household can exceed the water limit include showering for too long, watering their plants with too much water, or using water fountains (in some cases).


A dried-up creek bed in Elk Grove. Photo by A. Groves


A neighborhood view of a dry creek bed. Photo by A. Groves

Second, these new laws are putting pressure on households to be very careful about how much water they are using.  Before the drought, we were able to use water freely because there was enough to go around.  Now there is only a limited supply.  The result of being careless with water is a large fine that can take up to one-third of some people’s monthly pay checks and a weakening agricultural economy due to the fact that farmers don’t get enough rainfall or water to carry on their duties.  California we are having a record-breaking drought that everyone is hoping will end soon, on the bright side the drought has not changed the way that we live as much as you think it might, and we have hope that it will not last long.  No problem!  Follow this link to see the report on the current water level in California reservoirs.

Are there any droughts in the area that you live in?


Another Kind of Bucket List

Sometimes, well pretty frequently, students in this social science class analyze old documents (or photos or cartoons) in order to figure out the answer to a big question.  One of the old political cartoons we analyzed recently was this one of a terrible attack that took place in Congress in 1856.


This shows how angry people were because of their different views on slavery.

Our class wanted to find out what existential threats increased conflict and brought on our Civil War of 1861.  After students read, discussed, and answered questions about each document, they had to decide which documents fit into major categories of existential threats.  The seven categories, or buckets, were:  speeches and debates, legislation, abolitionism, literature and writing, violence and terrorism, court decisions, and elections.  We used plastic cups to represent buckets, or categories and we wrote the document title, or issue, on strips of paper. Finally, student groups tried to decide which documents fit into each bucket.  Watch our short video to see and hear what that part of our lesson was like.