Understanding Energy Concerns

Social Education, January-February 2005 | Go to article overview

Understanding Energy Concerns


Grades: 11-12

Overview

In this lesson, students explore the rising cost of gasoline and how it impacts people around the world differently. They learn about gasoline usage and alternate forms of energy used in several countries, and then consider the relationship between people in their country and oil.

Suggested Time Allowance 1 hour

Objectives Students will:

1. Consider the roles that various forms of energy play in their daily life.

2. Examine how European nations are handling the hike in oil prices by reading and discussing "With Gas Prices Already High, Europe Is Less Rattled by lump."

3. In groups, research gasoline usage, alternate forms of energy, and conservation efforts in various countries around the world; and create informative posters.

4. Explore through writing the relationship that people in their own country have with oil.

Materials

* student journals

* paper

* pens/pencils

* classroom blackboard

* copies of "With Gas Prices Already High, Europe Is Less Rattled by Jump" (one per student)

* resources for researching energy usage in various countries (economics and global history textbooks, almanacs, encyclopedias, library resources, computers with internet access)

* poster board (two large pieces per small group)

* markers

Lesson Plan

Ask the students to divide a page in their journals into two columns. Label the left column 'Energy-Users' and the right column 'Energy Sources.' Then, think about items that they have used today that require some form of energy to function. Consider items that use oil, gas, electricity, solar power, batteries, etc. List these items in the 'Energy-Users' column, and then for each, write down the energy source that it uses in the 'Energy Sources' column.

Have students select two of the activities they listed, and write a few sentences to answer the following question about each: If you were trying to conserve energy, what could you have done instead of using this item as you did? After a few minutes, allow students time to share their lists. On the board, compile a list of ways energy can be conserved. Which conservation methods are the most realistic for people to do on a regular basis? Which are more difficult, and why? What are renewable energy sources and what are non-renewable energy sources?

Explain to the students that all countries do not produce/generate all the energy required by its citizens. If their consumption is more than production, they have to import energy from other countries. How does your country fare in this regard in comparison to other countries? Ask your students to do a little research. They can make a table similar to the one provided at www. …

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