TeachersFirst's Oil Spill Resources
This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about oil spills and the short and long term impact on the environment caused by these environmental disasters. As students read and see images of animals, be aware that younger students may have more questions than they can explain. Use these resources together with your class to help them find ways they can contribute to a greater good after such a devastating event spreads across the news.
Extend the opportunity to teach about persuasive writing (letters to legislators or the editor), careers in environmental science, and more.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site as a springboard for current events or environmental science discussions about the environmental impact of oil spills and, in a broader sense, of human activity in general. Have student groups explore various aspects of oil spills and report to the class, perhaps sharing visuals from this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. As a class or in groups, collect oil spill information on a class wiki, Padlet (can be an online bulletin board), reviewed here, or a good, old-fashioned bulletin board.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site and information it hosts are great at capturing two essential skills in Social Studies. To begin with, it's an excellent map reading source, especially to demonstrate regarding map distortions and how they can change the shape of something like a projected oil spill. It also highlights concerns about deep-sea drilling, a heavily contested topic, particularly after the oil spill of 2010. Both government and earth science classrooms could investigate aspects of drilling as real world topics related to the curriculum.
Introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard before allowing cooperative learning groups to explore, giving the teacher a chance to explain how the map works and what kind of information is on the site. Have cooperative learning groups explore the site and summarize important details, such as how people and wildlife are affected by environmental disasters. This would be a great review activity before a debate on deep-sea drilling. Classes can also chart the growth of the spill for a period of days to trace how much it changes, providing evidence for the debate. Government classes could use this and other references as part of a simulation on how the U.S. government reacts to environmental disasters and discussions of related policy issues. Younger students will need assistance reading some of the text-based material.
Grades5 to 8
In the ClassroomThe site would be great for an environmental science unit or a cross-curriculum science and math unit. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. This activity would work well for individuals on laptops. Have students partner up and try to successfully fuel a city without breaking the budget!
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomWhere do you start? There is so much information on this site that is continually updated and interesting! Use the "Facts, Myths, and What most Americans know about energy" page to initiate discussions and identify misconceptions for study. Create student groups in major environmental categories such as Air Pollution, Energy Use, and Consumer Issues to mine the site for information. Create blog posts about issues, and create students' own surveys to identify local misconceptions to compare to those discussed on the site. Encourage students to apply their findings and information locally by writing for a local or school newspaper or to be interviewed about student work. Students can create videos, wiki pages, or other multimedia products to produce content, dispel or challenge myths, and create understanding of issues. Conventional products such as display boards, posters, and other announcements can also be created. Have students create online posters using a tool such as Tabblo (reviewed here). Make every day Earth Day by tying class topics into ecology issues. Use the "Fast Facts about Energy" section to choose eye catching charts as a starter to engaging discussions in the classroom. Use the charts and ask students to brainstorm questions and make observations in groups prior to class discussions. Use the questions as a springboard for student research.
Grades2 to 6
In the ClassroomUse this site to earn about layers of the soil and organisms found there. Analyze soil core samples from areas in the community to determine soil composition and view some of the soil under a microscope. Use information from the site to identify environmental concerns in your or other areas. Have the students work with partners and try out the interactive challenge. This site could bring new meaning to "earth" day!
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse your interactive whiteboard or projector to take your students on the audio tour of the exhibit which features several podcasts. Art teachers, share the pictures with your students (especially the podcast about the cracked portrait). This site also provides some excellent research information. Have students work in cooperative learning groups to explore this site and then create a project: blog entry, wiki, video, PowerPoint, or something more "traditional."
Grades3 to 8
In the ClassroomSet-up your interactive whiteboards and make this quick five question challenge a class activity. What an intriguing website to share at the start of a unit about energy or inventions.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse the Energy Sudoku puzzle as an anticipatory set for a lesson or unit on energy. Either print the puzzle for students or project the puzzle on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) and make the Sudoku puzzle a class challenge. Many of the classroom activities use web links. The Acrobat (pdf) handouts are ready to go for an activity on laptops or as a classroom computer center. Other lessons offer learning opportunities that do not require technology.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomWhat a fabulous resource for any class studying various forms of energy and natural resources found throughout the world. This would be an excellent addition to a science class studying about energy, or a geography class learning about the resources found on the various continents of the world. Even earth science classes can locate resources and explain how the geology of these areas provides the resources.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): oil (42)
In the ClassroomThis site is ideal for an interactive whiteboard. After studying about matter and distillation, challenge the class to put the substances in the correct order for ONE whole-class quiz grade. Appoint one student to act as "Vanna White" while classmates discuss (and argue) about what the correct placement should be.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomShare the site on a projector or interactive whiteboard as you introduce painting techniques or art elements. Look for common themes or techniques in his work. If you have an interactive whiteboard, students can even "draw" on top of the works to show what they see or analyze movement, shape, and line. As a class, you may want to comment back to the artist. If you do this together as a teacher-controlled entry, you can protect student safety on the Internet while participating in dialog with the artist, a real-world "expert."
Videos use YouTube and may be blocked on your school network. Test the site at school before counting on it for a lesson plan! If you are able to show the "Ice Cream" video, your students will really SEE painting in progress with kid-friendly subject matter!