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Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Have We Learned from the Ice Storm?

Geography, Science, Political Science
2 lessons
To analyze the recommendations of a government inquiry and assess next steps in a process
Using a variety of web-based resources, students will analyze the results of the post-Ice Storm inquiry and write a letter or paper detailing the steps they believe the provincial government should take to prevent a recurrence.

Lesson Plan


Explain to students that they are going to complete in-depth research in order to assess whether a future ice storm would have the same human and physical impacts as the storm of 1998. This activity is most suited to senior students.

The Task

Have students focus on the clip "Commission faults Hydro-Quebec", including the "Did You Know?" section.  Students should read the commissioner's report and make notes about its information and recommendations. Students should examine the rest of the topic for more information. If they wish, students can also visit the websites of Hydro Quebec and the governments of Montreal and Quebec.

From their research, students should outline what they expect the provincial government to do to ensure that a disaster of this type does not re-occur. Students should then use their outline to write a letter from a citizen of Quebec to the premier or to the editor of a local paper. They should be sure to focus on the findings of the commission, and deal with specific steps they would like the government to take.

The Process

Students will work individually on this task. The letters they write should be persuasive, and convince the government to act quickly and effectively. Students should check that their spelling, grammar, and punctuation are correct. They may want to use a peer-editor to polish their work.


Ask the students to get into groups of three and four and have them read their letters to each other. They should track the similarities and the differences in the letters. Each group should document the top five changes that they would like to see the provincial government make in order to decrease the impact of the next ice storm.

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