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The Bottom of the Barrel: The Long Transition of Energy in America

bus with sign on side reading Soybean Powered, This bus runs on soybean bio-diesel
Lesson Plan Author(s): 
Logan Osborn
Do societies need fossil fuels?
Teaching Area: 
AH.31; MWH.28
Grade Level: 
Teaching Level: 
Secondary Childhood
Origins Item(s): 

This lesson plan focuses on the dire need of fossil fuels consumed in the United States, and the world, with the supply of raw materials drastically decreasing. The students will become aware of the possibility that they will experience a future with little to no fossil fuels, thus needing a massive transition to renewable resources. Prior to this lesson, the students will have already read the Origins article because it constructs historical content that will enable them to continue understanding more in-depth information pertaining to the diminishing of fossil fuels in the world. For this lesson, students will participate in a station activity. There will be a total of four stations in the classroom with various charts, maps, and primary sources that students will analyze by rotating around to each station. Students will have a total of eight minutes at each station to dissect the sources while answering corresponding questions to guide their learning. After two of the stations are completed, the teacher will do a brief check for understanding to assess student learning, followed by instructions to continue completing the station activity. Once the activity is completed, the students will participate in a whole class discussion to share answers and thoughts based on the responses in their graphic organizers used during the activity. Lastly, the students will answer one final question on the last page of the graphic organizer and then submit their work to the teacher before ending the lesson.

Instructional Strategies:

  • Station Activity
  • Synthesis Discussion

Lesson Materials:

Key Words: 
Fossil Fuels, Oil Reserves, Imports/Exports