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Lesson Plans
The Three Gorges: Should Nature or Technology Reign?
Overview Procedures for Teachers Organizers for Students

The Three Gorges dam is a hydroelectric project on China's Yangtze River. It represents the largest hydroelectric project in the history of the world. The dam will create a reservoir approximately 400 miles long, permanently submerge approximately 150,000 acres, including 1,500 factories, at least 160 towns and 16 archeological sites and require the resettlement of 1.3 million people. It is designed to generate over 18,000 megawatts of electricity, providing electricity to rural Chinese provinces, and to provide flood management and improved navigation for the upper Yangtze River. The project has generated controversy because of its serious impacts on the ecology and environment in the region and large-scale resettlement required to complete the project.

Grade Level:


Subject Matter:

Social Studies, Science

Curricular Uses:

Social Studies: geography of China

Science: development of technology; developing a student's Internet research skills; current events

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Gain exposure to a wide range of information available on the Internet.
  • Take the information from the sites and develop a cohesive argument about the benefits or disadvantages of the Three Gorges.
  • Hone their debating skills.
  • Use technology to present their information.

    Use of the Internet
    • Publication
    • Investigation/Research
    • Communication (with peers or experts)
    • Collaboration
    • Debate

    This lesson plan was developed by Anna Chan Rekate, wNetSchool Master Teacher.