A Town Rebuilds Green

On May 4, 2007, a monster tornado tore through the rural town of Greensburg, Kansas, killing 11 people and leaving little more than empty slabs and stacks of debris.

Thankfully, Greensburg didn’t give up.  They have rebuilt their wonderful town, and it’s stronger, bigger, better, and greener.  It’s truly an inspirational story that your students and kids would love and learn from.

Here’s a video, pictures, and a free worksheet that tell Greensburg’s story.


Additionally, here’s an updated Green Town Guide for the city.  It’s in an easy-to-read E-book with tons of real-world examples of green, Earth-friendly projects.

Teachers, after reading, there are many ways to use this E-book in your class.  Here’s a few additional ideas:

  • Creating a scavenger hunt to use with it (or even better, let the kids create the town scavenger hunt!)
  • Creating a “green plan” for your town using some Greensburg’s innovative projects
  • Creating an interactive poster (like a Glogster) that summarizes Greensburg’s rebuilding
  • Writing a letter to the mayor of Greensburg with questions about his town.  The class can then discuss some of the questions asked and even brainstorm possible answers.  To add more 21st century skills to this activity, consider using Skype and video chatting with someone from Greensburg.

Ultimately, the possibilities are endless.  I hope you enjoy using this inspiring story with your kids as much as I have.