Imagining the Lake Bonneville Flood
handout exercisesuggested grade levels: 1-8

view Idaho achievement standards for this lesson

Lake Bonneville used to take up much of the land that is now Utah; it was more than 19,000 square miles and more than 1,000 feet deeper than what it is today. Approximately 14,500 years ago, water broke loose through the Red Rock Pass area and flooded much of the land to the North. Students will imagine that they were alive during this time period and describe what they saw and experienced.

1. Students will use their imagination.
2. Students will learn about the Lake Bonneville Flood.
3. Students will be exposed the Digital Atlas of Idaho.

Use the Lake Bonneville Flood section of the Digital Atlas of Idaho. To get there: Click on Atlas Home, mouse-over Hydrology, then click on Lake Bonneville Flood. Use the Digital Atlas to review with the class:
1. The size of Lake Bonneville (display map)

2. Evidence of Lake Bonneville and the Flood
  a. Shoreline on mountains
  b. Channels in land
  c. Basalt boulders
  d. Scabland

3. Discharge of Water (1/3 cubic miles per hour)

These are links to access the handouts and printable materials.
hydro5ho.pdf | Lake Bonneville Flood

Handout Sample:
The sample questions below are shown in the printed handout.

Inform to your class:
Imagine you and your family are living on the Snake River Plain when the Lake Bonneville Flood takes place. You hear a great roaring sound off to the east. The ground is trembling. You are standing on a slope above the valley, and you see a great dust cloud coming toward you. A great wall of water is moving under the dust cloud. Soon the muddy water will roar past carrying whole trees and giant boulders. You will have to climb higher if you are to escape. Your brothers and sisters are scared, and so are your father and mother. What do you think? What will you do? Will you make it to high ground? What will happen then? What do you see as the flood passes? Rewrite this story and make it your own. Include some illustrations in crayon, pencil or ink.

Related Lesson Topics:
Hydrology: Hydrology Topics

Lesson plan by Virgil M. Young with permission from The Story of Idaho: Centennial Edition, 2001
Idaho Achievement Standards (as of 7/2001) met by completing this activity: