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What is Drought

Resources for Teachers and Students

This page offers an assortment of learning opportunities for students and educators who engage with students from the pre-K to post-secondary level. The resources range from in-the-field and hands-on projects to digital resources and online networks.

Let us know how is serving you, how you use drought-related information, or what other resources you would like to see on by visiting our Contact Page. We appreciate your input!

Links for Teachers and Students

National Drought Mitigation Center logo

Drought for Kids

National Drought Mitigation Center

A comprehensive look at drought for younger readers developed by the National Drought Mitigation Center. Topics include defining drought, impacts, research, mitigation, and a glossary of drought terminology.

Delaware River Basin Commission logo

Drought Info for Kids

Delaware River Basin Commission

An in-depth website on drought prepared by the Delaware River Basin Commission for younger readers. Content includes discussions on defining drought, water conservation, impacts on ecosystems, a word scramble game, and links to drought-related activities.

National Geographic logo

Drought | Resource Library Encyclopedic Entry

National Geographic

National Geographic’s introduction to drought and its causes and impacts includes information on historic droughts and how drought is monitored and measured. Includes multimedia links to international maps, photographs, and other materials.

Project WET logo

Water Education for Teachers

Project WET

Water resource education materials produced by Project WET that promote awareness of water and support community action to solve complex water issues.

TERC logo

Drought: Unit Overview

EarthLabs (TERC)

A lesson plan by EarthLabs for teaching or learning drought science through data analysis activities, satellite imagery and computer visualizations, and hands-on experiments that illustrate Earth processes.

University of Arizona logo

Drought Beyond Borders Lesson Plan

University of Arizona
Grades 4–8

A lesson plan (PDF format) developed by the University of Arizona and adaptable for 4th–8th grades, with a goal of exploring the concept of drought and climate variability and examining the social and environmental consequences of drought. Interactive lessons emphasize questions, discussions, group work, and problem-solving.

Geared toward students who live in southern Arizona and northern Sonora, with case studies specific to the Santa Cruz watershed.

Additional Resources

Resources for General Audiences

Drought Resource Community
American Water Works Association

This page is intended to keep the water industry in the know about tools, issues, and developments related to drought and water shortages. Includes links to various response and contingency plans, volunteer groups, events, and publications.

Drought Preparedness & Water Conservation
American Red Cross

This website from the American Red Cross offers general drought information and water conservation tips.

The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS)

CoCoRaHS is a non-profit, community-based network of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds who work together to measure and map precipitation (rain, hail, and snow). Using low-cost measurement tools, stressing training and education, and utilizing an interactive website, CoCoRaHS’ aim is to provide the highest quality data for natural resource, education, and research applications.

Ready For Drought? A Community Resilience Role-Playing Game
National Drought Mitigation Center

A realistic, in-person, role-playing game developed by the National Drought Mitigation Center in which players work together to solve problems caused by drought. This game supports building community resilience while improving players’ critical thinking and improving civic resilience related to drought response by giving players experience prioritizing resources, building coalitions, and responding to and assessing the impacts of drought.

Assessing Drought in the United States (Video)

How do the experts classify drought? This short animation shows how decision makers use a variety of data and in-person reports to assess the drought conditions across the U.S. It explains factors considered by U.S. Drought Monitor authors when they categorize drought as moderate (D1), severe (D2), extreme (D3) or exceptional (D4).

Reading List

The Time it Never Rained by Elmer Kelton. A novel about ranchers and farmers struggling through a Texas drought in the 1950s, based on actual events.

The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan. A dramatic recounting of the Dust Bowl, set against the Great Depression, told through interviews with several families who endured the disaster. Winner of the National Book Award.

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse. Told through verse, a young adult novel describes a girl’s experience in drought during the 1930s. Newbery Medal winner.

Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water by Marc Reisner. A study of the economics, politics, and ecology of water in the American West.