TeachersFirst's Oil Spill Resources

Other TeachersFirst Special Topics Collections

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.

 

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Paper Airplanes - Exploratorium

Grades
3 to 8
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Turn every student's favorite class distraction into a learning opportunity with this lesson that takes a scientific look at the common paper airplane. Instructions on how to properly...more
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Turn every student's favorite class distraction into a learning opportunity with this lesson that takes a scientific look at the common paper airplane. Instructions on how to properly fold an airplane are provided (not that your students will need those!), but then the challenge begins. Structural adjustments to increase performance are discussed, the function of the paper in the construction process is examined, and basic concepts of flight are explained. Pair this activity with a study of the Wright Brothers and the history of flight, or with an environmental lesson on paper recycling.

tag(s): air (163), flight (36), oil (45)

In the Classroom

This site would be great for a physics unit discussing the aerodynamics of flight. Have a team competition as students use the site on an interactive whiteboard and try to create the best paper planes they can - through consideration of scientific processes that go into flight. This is a fun activity that allows students to practically apply concepts and have some fun.

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Soil - Bureau of Land Mangement

Grades
1 to 6
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This Bureau of Land Management site explores on of kids' favorite topics- DIRT! Kids may know how to collect it on their clothes, but now they can learn more about ...more
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This Bureau of Land Management site explores on of kids' favorite topics- DIRT! Kids may know how to collect it on their clothes, but now they can learn more about soil's function in the ecosystem, as well as take a journey into various habitats present in the underground world. Teachers will like the activities section, which provides ways for students to expand upon their web-explorations.

tag(s): ecology (135), erosion (17), oil (45), soil (17)

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How Gas Prices Work - How Stuff Works

Grades
9 to 12
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While not specifically written for students, this introduction to the supply and demand for petroleum is a real world example of the numerous factors that can affect pump prices and...more
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While not specifically written for students, this introduction to the supply and demand for petroleum is a real world example of the numerous factors that can affect pump prices and make a fill-up more expensive. Secondary economics classes will have fun with this one.

tag(s): oil (45), supply and demand (5)

In the Classroom

Assign this reading before a class discussion on the economics of gas prices. The article itself may be over the heads of some lower achieving reading students, so be sure to spend a few minutes before the discussion allowing cooperative learning groups to discuss what they read before the discussion. This would be great for an economics or government class discussion the impact of globalization on natural resources.

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Northern Alaska Environmental Center

Grades
6 to 12
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This conservationist (and proud of it) site offers lots of detail on the size and fragility of the Alaskan environment and the potential impact of extensive intrusion into that environment....more
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This conservationist (and proud of it) site offers lots of detail on the size and fragility of the Alaskan environment and the potential impact of extensive intrusion into that environment. Useful information for any discussion on the management of natural resources, or for background on the state itself.

tag(s): alaska (25), arctic (44), ecosystems (88), oil (45)

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Wetlands - Missouri Botanical Garden

Grades
4 to 6
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The Missouri Botanical Garden has created a very nice elementary site about biomes and freshwater / saltwater environments. Because of the site design, you'll need to click the specific...more
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The Missouri Botanical Garden has created a very nice elementary site about biomes and freshwater / saltwater environments. Because of the site design, you'll need to click the specific area in which you are interested.

tag(s): biomes (116), oil (45), oil spill (21)

In the Classroom

Use the "shorelines" section of this site to understand the importance of ecosystems in coastal areas such the the Gulf of Mexico. This would be great background for a lesson on oil spills, specifically Exxon-Valdez or the BP spill of 2010. Use this site as a learning center or station, among other stations with more information about the specific spills being studied.

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Environmental Media Services

Grades
6 to 12
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While intended primarily for journalists, this site offers a concise set of information links and resources for exploring environmental issues. If you're planning an environmental unit,...more
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While intended primarily for journalists, this site offers a concise set of information links and resources for exploring environmental issues. If you're planning an environmental unit, this would be a great place to hunt for issues, position statement, and related resources.

tag(s): conservation (127), ecology (135), oil (45), oil spill (21), pollution (66)

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Oil Spill in a Test Tube - Genentech, Inc.

Grades
9 to 12
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This is a lesson from Genentech's Access Excellence collection, which contains several hundred detailed lesson plans for high school level biology topics. Each lesson includes objectives,...more
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This is a lesson from Genentech's Access Excellence collection, which contains several hundred detailed lesson plans for high school level biology topics. Each lesson includes objectives, instructions, methodology, and outcomes.

tag(s): oil (45), oil spill (21)

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