How have humans impacted soil? Lexington Middle School teacher Haley Rogers used this question with her sixth graders as they learned about important events and developments in agricultural history. The Dust Bowl Phenomena is part of the middle school Soil and sustainability lesson available free on our website.
Rogers began her lesson on the Dust Bowl by presenting a photo of dust storms rolling in over a small town. Students recorded their observations, then Rogers began a discussion. “My students picked up exactly what I wanted them to see… the big, dark rolling dust cloud, black sky, few people and more. This discussion showed that I had gotten their attention and they were interested to learn more.”
Following the discussion, Rogers continued the lesson, covering vocabulary, introducing a student-friendly definition of the Dust Bowl, and providing examples, non-examples, and an opportunity for students to complete a sentence starter on human impact. She then covered the important years of recovering from the disaster.
Roger said, “I wanted the students to understand what the Dust Bowl was and how poor farming practices were the cause of a devastating natural disaster. As a class we discussed a few important farming practices followed today to ensure that something like the Dust Bowl will never recur.”
Rogers attended the Nebraska Corn Board-sponsored STEM in Ag workshop where she had the opportunity to do the labs and activities and also received classroom supplies. Rogers said, “This workshop gave me hands-on activities to implement in my classroom. It was amazing to bring back free supplies. I especially enjoyed talking with industry leaders at the dinner. Thank you to all who made it possible!”