Oil and Gasoline Costs : Lesson Plan
Grades: Grade 11-12
Subjects: Social Studies
: 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. 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
3. In groups, research gasoline usage, alternate forms of energy and
conservation efforts in various countries around the world; create informative
4. Explore through writing the relationship that people in their own country
have with oil.
-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)
In their journals, ask the students to divide a page into two columns. Label the
left column 'Energy-Users' and the right column 'Energy Sources.' Then, think
about items that you 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 Source' column.
Then, select two of the activities you 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
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 below. They can
check the statistics (in the link provided) and enter their country's rank in
the corresponding cell.
How does your country fare in Traditional
Fuel Consumption ? In Geothermal
Energy Consumption ?
After completion of the above exercise ask them to think deeply about the
results. Then you can start a class discussion along the following points.
Will a jump in the market price of gasoline be as easily noticed in Europe as
What happens when your country runs out of any energy?
How will your economy be affected by rising gasoline prices? Transportation?
Explain to students that they will be researching gasoline usage and alternate
forms of energy in various countries. Divide students into pairs or small groups
to carry on the research. Using the statistics available in NationMaster
and other available research materials, each group should find the answers to
the following guiding questions (copied on the board or in a handout for easier
How many cars are purchased in this country each year?
What types of cars do most people in your assigned country drive? How popular
What is the current price of gasoline per gallon (or standard measurement)?
On average, how much does it cost to fill an S.U.V. in this country? A passenger
car? (Consider how many gallons each category of car holds.)
What other types of transportation are widely used in your assigned country?
How many barrels of oil were imported into your assigned country last year? From
where did the oil come?
-What types of alternative energies are available for public use in your
assigned country, and for what purposes? (Wind energy, solar energy etc)
-What does energy production look like in your assigned country? Create a pie
chart illustrating consumption of oil, natural gas, nuclear power, solid fuels,
and renewable energy sources.
-What energy conservation efforts have been made in your country in the
-How successful were they?
-What are some of the main energy concerns in your country, and how are they
As a homework assignment you may ask them to prepare an essay on the various
types of energy sources, energy usage in your country and your country's
dependency on oil.
Students will be evaluated based on initial journal responses, participation in
class discussions, thorough group research and individual essays examining
their country's dependency on oil.