Education:Oil + Demand = Modern Day Resource Colonization



World History and Cultures – 9th Grade


That students will learn that in addition to the colonization of Africa, Asia and Middle East, there is the presence of modern day colonization as a result of the world’s demand for oil.

Time Required for Completed Lesson

2-3 Days (40 minutes)



Common Core State Standards

Era 7: Standard 5 Patterns of global change in the era of Western military and economic dominance, 1800-1914, with 5A: 5-12: Explain how new inventions, including the railroad, steamship, telegraph, photography, and internal combustion engine, transformed patterns of global communication, trade, and state power. [Analyze cause-and-effect relationships]


Teacher developed notes (developed from the information found in the various sites and items listed in resource section of this plan); web-search guidelines; images of oil rigs in Texas (USA) and around the world from late 1800’s and present day; film/DVD: America: The Story of Us plus on-line notes about the series; class set of Ranken Energy Petroleum Product; SMART Board or Overheads that allow for display of maps that are relative to this topic or accessible via internet

Anticipatory Set

Day 1: Use a world map that shows what has been historically described as the Fertile Crescent and where oil is found and show picture of oil rigs in Texas in the late 1800’s. Use this as lead-into where oil is found and produced in the world

Day 2: Display the map by Energy Bulletin to show the amount of oil produced (where) and who are the greater consumers. Ask students, using the information of how much oil America uses today to create an equation to help ‘redesign,’ verbally, what the map would look like today. Use this as lead-in to film from America: The Story of Us (Episode 8)

Day 3: Have students guess what items made from petroleum are not on the partial list of items developed by Ranken Energy. Use this as a lead in to report and discuss their home survey and personal ‘investigative’ homework assignment.


Day 1: Goal is to dispel the myth that the only main oil producing nation in the world is Saudi Arabia. Students will use the world map and discussion from Teacher Developed Notes and other pictures of oil rigs and pipelines from here in the US, Saudi Arabia and around the world in order to dispel the myth and gain a new understanding. HW: Students are to use notes and other available resources to identify how much oil is produced and consumed to work on equation that will be used in map modification (web-search).

Day 2: Goal of this lesson is to use information gained from HW and apply it to equation to help students better understand that there has been an ever increasing demand by the US and other countries for oil/petroleum and how much we actually use daily. This will better assist in the use of selective portions of the film to explore and explain how the demand for oil/petroleum and gas increased and what the consequences. HW: Students, after instructions, will take the partial list of 144 (out of 6,000) home. Students will then survey their family members and their home to see what items on the list are in their homes. Students will be required to note the number of the items found next to the title on the list; i.e. – ChapStick® – 3

Day 3: Goal of this part of the lesson is to continue to stimulate the thinking of students to understand that they are more reliant on petroleum/oil/and gas more than they have really thought about it. Using their homework results and encouraging discussion about their results, students will be challenged to draft a plan that will help them be less dependent on oil and her bi-products. Students will also be asked to write up how this entire matter relates to their previous classroom study topic of Imperialism and Nationalism


The use of modified reading, teacher developed notes and visuals (maps) to aid in the various learning abilities


Completed map that shows the progression of oil drilling and exporting outside of US and Saudi Arabia as well as the completed assessment of self and home of the total numbers of items that they use that are produced from oil or derivatives of oil (i.e. petroleum, etc.)


The increased technology in our ability to not only locate oil reserves outside of the continental United States but tap it, process and distribute it has led to our, the worlds, increased demand and improved technology but at the cost of the ‘freedom’ of supplying countries


Students will report back how many items that are on the list and discuss the affect of finding the items as well as sharing the information with their families.


(not in order)

Teacher developed notes; project supplies; list of petroleum products and

  • (visual tour of the production centers and drilling sources for oil around the world) (NY Times discussing new technology and how it affects the world’s energy picture) inline=nyt-classifier (NY Times article on Natural Gas and who has it/where it is in the world) (varied map of oil, natural gas and other related resources and their locations around the world) (a map that tells the amount of oil produced and amount consumed – designated by size of country or continent and the amount used) * good visual, but 4 yrs. Old, can be assignment for students to research and update map.

America: The Story of Us. (Episode 8 – The Boom) Video discussion is about oil being discovered in Texas and brings it forward from the lat 1800’s, thru changes in 1920’s, to present day with consumption, cost and technology.

  • Printed images of early and present day oil rigs and oil pipelines (in United States and around the world) available on the Internet, if books not readily available in Library or Media Centers. (A partial list of products made from Petroleum (144 of 6000 items)