Lakes & Reservoirs
activity exercisesuggested grade levels: 7- 8

view Idaho achievement standards for this lesson

Idaho is loaded with many lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. Idaho has areas of both large and small topographic relief due to geographic and geographic features that make rivers and lakes. The following activity will make your students more knowledgeable about the location and function of these large bodies of water.

A detailed map of Idaho with names of lakes and reservoirs.

Expose your students to the lakes, rivers, and reservoirs section of the Digital Atlas of Idaho. To get there: Click on Idaho Overview, then on Lakes Rivers and Reservoirs. Divide your students into groups of 2-3 members. Encourage your students to read through the Lakes, Rivers, and Reservoirs pages and click on the links to see the illustrations. This will give students a basic background to understand these bodies of water. Have your students do the following:

1. Print an Idaho map with water indicated on it.
2. Find all of the lakes on the map and circle them.
3. Do some research using the Lakes and Reservoirs section of the Digital Atlas as well as an Atlas with bodies of water labeled to determine what they are called and label them on your map, also indicate which lakes are reservoirs and which are natural.
4. For 5 of the natural lakes: discuss why they are located where they are in terms of local topography and climate.
5. For 5 of the reservoirs: discuss why they were created where they were in terms of such issues as economics, population distribution, agriculture, topography, hydrology, and anything else that you think is relevant.
6. You are in charge of finding an ideal site for a new dam in southern Idaho intended to help meet hydroelectric demands for the region. Where would you choose to build your dam? Explain why. What might be some of the costs of building this dam?

These are links to access the handouts and printable materials.
idmapho.pdf | Lakes Rivers and Reservoirs

Related Lesson Topics:
Hydrology: Lakes, Rivers, and Reservoirs

Lesson plan by James Scannell and Stefan Sommer, 2001
Idaho Achievement Standards (as of 7/2001) met by completing this activity: