Resource Type
Completion Time
About 1 period
High school and Up
Download, Share, and Remix
Julia Vaughan
A copy of TS Elliot’s poem, “The Waste Land”
Vocabulary sheet
Data slides from the NOAA (climate and weather toolkit) and attached graphs from the book Global Climate Change Impacts in the U.S.
Toklat River repeat photography
Alaska Ponds repeat photography


The students will analyze T.S. Elliot’ s “The Waste Land” and make connections between Elliot’s premonition of global drought.


  • Students should be able to define vocabulary at the end of lesson. Analyze section V: ”What Thunder Said” of Elliot’s “The Waste Land”.
  • Students will use graph to tease data.
  • Students will write literary response, incorporating data and cite references.
  • Student will make connections between global climate change and water availability.

Lesson Preparation

Collect materials to be shown via smart board, projector. Have websites and graphs readily available. Enough poems for groups of two (ideally, every student should have a poem to highlight).


  1. Students will be given highlighters and copy of poems. The students (in groups of two) will then read section V (What Thunder Said) and discuss and highlight Elliot’s predictions of global climate change.
  2. Students will take notes in their groups of data slides from the NOAA (climate and weather toolkit) and attached graphs from the book Global Climate Change Impacts in the U.S..
  3. Student will look at the repeat photography and discuss evidence of environmental impact in the Toklat River area as well as Alaskan ponds (separate graph).
  4. Students will then discuss paleoclimateolgoy data on weather and climate and the anthropogenic impact upon weather and climate. Does global climate change have an impact upon the availability of water, specifically freshwater?
  5. Students will write an exit ticket in the form of a paragraph, citing specific examples from the poem and using data gleaned from the graphs.


If there is enough time, prefixes and root words of vocabulary can be defined.



  • Students will write a paragraphs exit slip and cite textual evidence of Elliot’s predictions of global climate change in section V of “The Waste Land”.
  • Students will also use notes of science data to support their assertions.

Author / Credits

Julia Vaughan of Koontz Intermediate in Asheville, NC created this lesson plan as a capstone project for the 2015 teacher training course entitled: Climate Change: Seeing, Understanding, and Teaching, held in Denali National Park. The course is facilitated by the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS) in partnership with Alaska Geographic and the National Park Service.

File Attachments

Please list the attached worksheets, data sets, and other associated materials that go with the lesson.

Standards Other


CCSA ELA 9-10.1 Literacy and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

EEn2.4 Evaluate how humans use water.

EEn2.4.1 Evaluate human influences on freshwater availability.

EE.n.2.4.2. Evaluate human influences on water quality in North Carolina River basins, wetlands and tidal environments.

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