Education

Diagram of Erosion at Niagara Falls, 1917


Historical Context
Niagara Falls is a set of massive waterfalls located on the Niagara River in eastern North America on the border between the United States and Canada. The falls is the second-largest falls in the world after Victoria Falls in southern Africa. Niagara Falls is made up of three different falls: Bridal Veil Falls, Horseshoe Falls, and the American Falls.



Niagara Falls is only 12,000 years old.  It was created by the glaciers pressing down on the land and gouging out the surface, and then melting and releasing large amounts of water.  The falls are a valuable source of hydroelectric power for both Ontario and New York.  



 
Essential Question
How does geography influence human settlement patterns and economic systems?
Check for Understanding
Describe the scene in the photograph and explain the influence of geography on New York's settlement and economy.
[click to enlarge]
Section of Brink of Niagara Falls, New York State Archives, NYSA_A3045-78_10399
Document Description
A diagram of Niagara Falls showing rock layers and illustrating the process of erosion, 1917.
Questions
  1. What two countries does Niagara Falls border?
  2. How many falls make up Niagara Falls?
  3. Does this photograph display multiple falls, or just one?
  4. How old is Niagara Falls?
  5. What does this diagram tell you about erosion at the falls?
  6. Which layers of rock in the diagram do you think are the hardest?
Historical Challenge
Niagara Falls was the subject of what international treaty? How does this treaty affect erosion at Niagara Falls?
Interdisciplinary Connections
Science: What is the rate of erosion at Niagara Falls today? How and why has the rate of erosion at Niagara Falls changed in the past 100 years?

 
English Language Arts: Create a travel brochure for people visiting Niagara Falls. Include five interesting facts about the falls.
Resources
  1. Bauer, Marion Dane. Niagara Falls. New York: Aladdin, 2006. ISBN: 0689869452.

     
  2. Berton, Pierre. Niagara: A History of the Falls. New York: Kodansha International, 1997. ISBN: 1568361548
  3. Charles, Veronika Martenova. The Maiden of the Mist: A Legend of Niagara Falls. Toronto: Stoddart Kids, 2001. ISBN: 0773762078, 0773732977


  4. Whitcraft, Melissa. The Niagara River. New York: Franklin Watts, 2001. ISBN: 0531119033
  5. Vander Wilt, Dirk. Niagara Falls: A Guide for Tourists. New York: Parkscape Press, 2005. ISBN: 0976706415
  6. http://www.niagaraparks.com/nfgg/geology.php
  7. http://www.niagarafallslive.com/Facts_about_Niagara_Falls.htm
  8. http://www.niagara-usa.com/
  9. http://www.niagarafrontier.com/


  10. http://www.onlineniagara.com/niagara-info.php