Lesson Plan Overview
Get Into The Game
How Bad Can It Get?
Life Is Starting To Change
Elasticity and Collapse
Food Without Oil
Preparation and Community
Your World Without Oil
Oil Crisis: Get into the Game
A global oil crisis has begun. Oil usage worldwide has increased to where the oil supply can only meet 95% of it. This lesson imagines the day when this reality first hits the news, and asks your students to get into the game by playing it as if it were really happening in their lives. Their inquiry into the effects of less oil in the world around them and their personal search for ways to live well while consuming less energy will bring up issues about petroleum use and allocation, renewable and non-renewable resources, the role of energy in economy and culture, and many others.
In this and succeeding lessons, you will present developments in the oil crisis as though they were really happening, and ask the students to deal realistically and personally with the life-changing reality of this oil shortage. As their inquiry brings up topics and issues, you can use resource information we provide to enhance students' understanding.
Before the Lesson
Part 1: Set the Stage
Student Page for this lesson is here:
This page summarizes ideas and instructions for students.
Part 3: Lesson Activity
Could we have seen this oil crisis coming? Give an overview about oil production and consumption.
Part 5: Take it Further
Distribute this to your students (and if appropriate refer them to your blog):
You've learned a lot today about oil and its role in modern society. To take it further today, get seriously into the game:
Post your findings on your blog, and if you can, add photographs, drawings, audio files, or video.
National Standards (McREL)
Overarching (All Lessons)
Understands the search for community, stability, and peace in an interdependent world
Level IV (Grades 9-12), Benchmark 2:
Understands rates of economic development and the emergence of different economic systems around the globe (e.g., systems of economic management in communist and capitalist countries, as well as the global impact of multinational corporations; the impact of black markets, speculation, and trade in illegal products on national and global markets; patterns of inward, outward, and internal migration in the Middle East and North Africa, types of jobs involved, and the impact of the patterns upon national economies; the rapid economic development of East Asian countries in the late 20th century, and the relatively slow development of Sub-Saharan African countries)
Lesson 1: Specific Standards
Standard 2: Understands characteristics of different economic systems, economic institutions, and economic incentives
Level IV, Benchmark 1: Understands that the effectiveness of allocation methods can be evaluated by comparing costs and benefits
Level IV, Benchmark 5: Understands that in every economic system consumers, producers, workers, savers, and investors respond to incentives in order to allocate their scarce resources to obtain the highest possible return, subject to the institutional constraints of their society
Standard 3: Understands the concept of prices and the interaction of supply and demand in a market economy
Level IV, Benchmark 1: Understands that the demand for a product will normally change (i.e., the demand curve will shift) if there is a change in consumers’ incomes, tastes, and preferences, or a change in the prices of related (i.e., complementary or substitute) products
Level IV, Benchmark 5: Understands that shortages or surpluses usually result in price changes for products in a market economy
Standard 4: Understands basic features of market structures and exchanges
Level IV, Benchmark 6: Understands that a natural monopoly exists when it is cheaper for one supplier to produce all of the output in a market than for two or more producers to share the output (e.g., electric companies)
Level IV, Standard 5: Understands unemployment, income, and income distribution in a market economy
Level IV, Benchmark 2: Understands the concept of supply and demand in the labor market
Standard 5: Understands strategies used in natural resource management and conservation
Level IV, Benchmark 5: Knows traditional energy sources (e.g., petroleum, coal, wood) as well as alternative energy sources (e.g., wind, solar, geothermal, hydropower, biofuels)
Standard 16: Understands the changes that occur in the meaning, use, distribution and importance of resources
Level IV, Benchmark 2: Understands programs and positions related to the use of resources on a local to global scale
Level IV, Benchmark 3: Understands the impact of policy decisions regarding the use of resources in different regions of the world
United States History
Standard 31: Understands economic, social, and cultural developments in the contemporary United States
Level IV, Benchmark 1: Understands how changes in the national and global economy have influenced the workplace
State Standards (All Lessons)