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

Procedures for Teachers is divided into four sections:
Prep -- Preparing for the Lesson.
Steps -- Conducting the Lesson.
Tips -- Managing Resources and Student Activities.


  • Poster board, paints and markers
  • Powerpoint software (in case students want to present their information electronically)
  • Various art materials for physical models
Computer Resources:
You will need at least one computer with Internet access to complete this lesson. While many configurations will work, we recommend:

-- Modem: 28.8 Kbps or faster.
-- Browser: Netscape Navigator 3.0 or above or Internet Explorer 3.0 or above.
-- Macintosh computer: System 7.0 or above and at least 16 MBs of RAM.
-- IBM-compatible computer: 386 or higher processor with at least 16 MBs of RAM, running Windows 3.1. Or, a 486/66 or Pentium with at least 16 MBs of RAM, running Windows 95 or higher.

For more information, visit What You Need to Get Connected in wNetSchool's Internet Primer.

-- Any Word Processing Program (i.e., MS Word, Corel WordPerfect, AppleWorks, etc.)
-- MS Powerpoint or HyperStudio can be used by students to add a multimedia presentation to their final project. For more information on how to use these programs, see wNetSchool's HyperStudio or PowerPoint Tutorials.

There are many more sites available about the Three Gorges Dam Project. A simple search on the Internet will yield many results. The sites below represent good sources from which a student can begin his or her research.

  • Online NewsHour: Three Gorges Dam - October 8, 1997

  • Environment China - Banned Voices

  • The U. S., China and the Three Gorges

  • Yangtze River Three Gorges Tour

  • Three Gorges Dam Project

  • Next Great Wall

  • Three Gorges Map

  • Another Dammed River

  • Major Problems found in the Three Gorges Dam Resettlement Program

  • Three Gorges Campaign

  • Discovery Channel: Valley of the Dammed

  • The Washington Post "Yangtze Dam: Feat or Folly?"

  • Maps of the Yangtze River and three gorges

  • Introduction to the Three Gorges


    Time Allotment:
    Two to three weeks

  • Brainstorm ideas about "What is a dam?" and "Why would engineers want to use a dam?"

  • Teacher introduces The Three Gorges Dam Project in China. What is it?

  • Teacher will assign students to represent one of the following groups:
    • engineers
    • local residents
    • environmentalists
    • government officials
    • human rights groups
    • historians

  • The students will have to determine the point of view of the group they are representing and research all of their opinions. Teacher should distribute the Assessment Rubric for Students located in Organizers for Students that will be used to grade the group.

  • Hand out the List of Websites Used for Research located in Organizers for Students to help the students log the sites they use for research. Students spend about two weeks researching and putting their presentations together.

  • Hand out Preparation Sheets #1 and #2 located in Organizers for Students to help them organize their thoughts and ideas for the debate.At the end of the two-week research and preparation time, students will present their information and argue the group's point of view. They will need to present their case to help determine whether China should or should not go ahead with the project.

  • During the debate, each group has 10 minutes to present their case, depending on the length of the class. As part of the debate, each team will be responsible for:
    • the main argument
    • questioning the other groups about their motives
    • answering questions
    • closing statements

  • Teachers should assess the groups based on the presentation and the work over the last two weeks. See assessment rubric.


    One Computer in the Classroom
    If you have access to one computer in your classroom, you can organize your class in several ways. Divide your class into two groups. Instruct one of the groups to do paper research while the second group is working on the computer. Bring in books, encyclopedias, and other materials from the library for the group doing paper research. Lead the group working at the computer through an Internet search or allow the students in the class to take turns. (Always have a set of bookmarks ready for the students before they start working on the computer, in order to show them examples of what to look for.) When the groups have finished working have them switch places.

    If you have a big monitor or projection facilities, you can do Internet research together as a class. Make sure that every student in your class can see the screen, go to the relevant Web site(s), and review the information presented there. You can also select a search engine page and allow your students to suggest the search criteria. Again, bookmark and/or print the pages that you think are helpful for reference later.

    Several Computers in the Classroom
    Divide your class into small groups. Groups can do Internet research using pages you have bookmarked. Group members should take turns navigating the bookmarked sites.

    You can also set the class up so that each computer is dedicated to certain sites. Students will then move around the classroom, getting different information from each station.

    Using a Computer Lab
    A computer center or lab space, with a computer-to-student ratio of one to three, is ideal for doing Web-based projects. Generally, when doing Web-based research, it is helpful to put students in groups of three. This way, students can help each other if problems or questions arise. It is often beneficial to bookmark sites for students ahead of time.

    Submit a Comment: We invite your comments and suggestions based on how you used the lesson in your classroom.

    Overview | Procedures for Teachers | Organizers for Students