Teach PA History
Explore PA History
Water, Water Everywhere: The Johnstown Flood
What to Know
Teaching Time
Three 45-minute class periods
Grade Level
High School
  • Ecology and Environment
  • Geography
  • History
Historical Period
  • Development of the Industrial Pennsylvania - 1877-1900
Students will develop presentations focusing on the Johnstown Flood of 1889. Through research they will learn the history of this event, including the economic and environmental impact, and societal effects of the flood.


Students will: 1. Describe the historical and economic setting in Johnstown in 1889. 2. Analyze and explain the events leading to the failure of the South Fork Dam. 3. Identify the environmental, economic, and societal impact of the flood on this region. 4. Describe the response of the community and nation after the Johnstown Flood.

Standards Alignment

  • Environment and Ecology

    4.2.10. C. Analyze how man-made systems have impacted the management and distribution of natural resources.
    4.8.10 C. Analyze how human activities may cause changes in an ecosystem.

  • Geography

    7.2.12. B. Analyze the significance of physical processes in shaping the character of places and regions.

  • History

    8.1.9. A. Analyze chronological thinking.
    8.1.12. B. Synthesize and evaluate historical sources.
    8.1.12. C. Evaluate historical interpretation of events.
    8.1.12. D. Synthesize historical research.
    8.2.9. C. Identify and analyze how continuity and change have influenced Pennsylvania history.
    8.2.9. D. Identify and analyze conflict and cooperation among social groups and organizations in Pennsylvania history.

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