Climate change drastically impacts coastal areas, the effects of which include rising sea levels, stronger storms, and coastal erosion. In the last half century, 90 percent of the once lush Isle de Jean Charles off of the Louisiana coast has been swallowed up by water – it is now just a quarter-mile-wide sliver covered with dead trees. Most of the island’s residents have been forced to leave due to the destruction of their homes from storms, the inability to rebuild, and the loss of jobs on the island.
In this lesson, your class watches a 9-minute film about the tiny island community and learns about the changes taking place there, the impacts of hurricanes, and the advantages and disadvantages of living near the coast. The lesson plan guides students in classroom discussions, helping them to explore the themes of cultural displacement and the effects of environmental change. Reflective writing prompts are also included for students to demonstrate their understanding of the story.