CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: The Science of the Winnipeg Floodway

Social Studies, Geography, Science
2 lessons
To investigate the operation of the Winnipeg Floodway
Using a variety of web-based resources, students will research the workings of the Winnipeg Floodway and create a multi-media display explaining its operation.

Lesson Plan


Completed in 1968, the Greater Winnipeg Floodway protects Winnipeg from the ravages of the Red River during the annual spring runoff. Between 1968 and 1999, the floodway saved Winnipeg from flooding 20 times. However, many surrounding communities are damaged by the floodway's use.

The Task

Students will create a multi-media display on how the Winnipeg Floodway works. Students will research how the floodway operates to save Winnipeg from flooding and will create a multi-media presentation of their choice to demonstrate their knowledge. Students should include in their display how the areas outside of Winnipeg are affected when the floodway is in use.

The Process

Students can work individually or in small groups. They should begin their research by reviewing the topic Red River Rising: Manitoba Floods on the CBC Digital Archives website. They can continue their research online or by using any other resources they find relevant. Students should note all resources consulted and cited. Student presentations should include both visuals and written work, and will be presented to the class. Students can present their work in any format they choose and should be prepared to answer questions from their classmates.


Have students deliver their presentations to the class over several days or weeks. Students should be able to explain clearly how the floodway works. After several presentations, discuss and compare as a class what has been presented so far. Why are there differences? Are some media more effective than others at sharing the information about the floodway? Why? Continue to discuss and compare presentations as they are delivered.

Have the students display their work and allow them time to review their classmates' presentations.

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