Hurricane Katrina Role Playing ActivityThis exercise was modified from Erin Klauk's Navajo Nation Role Playing Activity. It was designed by Laurie Cantwell as part of the DLESE Community Services Project: Integrating Research in Education.
Hurricane Katrina affected 80% of New Orleans causing nearly $80 billion in damages. Much of the damage was caused by the storm surge and levee breaks between New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain. Following the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina, politicians, scientists, the media and residents of New Orleans are talking about what's next for New Orleans.
How should New Orleans be rebuilt?
In this activity, you will use the Hurricane Katrina Information Pages to explore this issue and address the question of rebuilding New Orleans. Make sure you Understand Katrina before you get started!
ActivityStudents will be divided into 5 groups representing:
- Army Corps of Engineers/city planners
- Consulting geologists
- Consulting climatologists
- City officials and representatives.
- Ninth Ward residents
Group OneArmy Corps of Engineers/City Planners: Be sure to explore the Mississippi River and Delta, the physiography and the human impacts and development as well as the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Ask yourselves if it is possible to re-engineer the Mississippi to make New Orleans safer from flooding? What are the impacts of engineering a system to help rebuild New Orleans? What are the risks?
Group TwoConsulting Geologists: Be sure to look into the physiography, Mississippi River and Delta, and human impacts and development. What is the general geologic setting? How does the geologic setting impact human development? How do these factors inform you about the ways in which New Orleans should be rebuilt?
Group ThreeConsulting Climatologists: Be sure to look into the Gulf Coast climate and hurricanes and hurricane history. How does understanding the climate affect decisions about rebuilding New Orleans? What considerations should you take into account about future hurricane risks to the rebuilt New Orleans?
Group FourCity Officials and Reprentatives: All the topics will be helpful for your group. Be sure to look at the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, human impacts and development, and consider some of the policy issues related to rebuilding. How can you apply scientific information to mindfully rebuilding New Orleans?
Group FiveNinth Ward Residents: Again, all the topics will be helpful for your group. Look at the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and human impacts and development. Consider what a resident might bring to the argument.
Each group should start their investigation with the recommended pages above, but feel free to explore this entire website and other websites.
For further information about teaching with the Role Playing Technique, see the Starting Point collection.