Lesson 1 (from Chapter 1)
Chapter 1-In Chapter 1, the author lays out the details for the founding and history of Johnstown. Not only does this offer important background to the nature of the townsfolk, it also helps to explain the actions taken by them and their reactions once the warnings of the dam breaking occur. This lesson will examine the town of Johnstown.
1. Group Discussion: Split the class into groups of four and have them discuss the town of Johnstown. What is the nature of the author's descriptions of the town? How was Johnstown founded? What impact does the steel industry have on Johnstown? What is the nature of the residents of Johnstown?
2. Class Debate: Split the class into two groups and have them debate whether or not the town of Johnstown could have taken preventative measures to prevent the flood. Give each side 15 minutes to develop their arguments.
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