Problems with Oil Project Starts Here

January 26, 2011 at 6:05 PM Leave a comment

Both projects started today, TAP and POP.

7th graders were all excited. They’d heard about it from last year’s Open House, from siblings and friends and had all kinds of questions. “We’re finally starting today, yay!” Seriously. That’s a real quote. I’m really grateful that the buzz is clearly on the up and up on campus.

Not so much in 8th grade. a. A new project. Is it going to be a lot of work? b. Is it going to be some dumb, eco-tree-hugger thing? Well, those are my fears. I was nervous this morning.

Brief overview of the rise of coal that fueled the industrial revolution with the ability to do way more work faster with fewer people. The even more concentrated and portable energy source in oil. Contrasted life in the “Little House” books they know so well, with our lives today. Because life without oil was not all bad.

First up, we have to figure out what the problems with oil are, and pick one. That’s this first week.

We purposely started with “How are we connected to oil?” – a very similar sheet to the first TAP activity “How are we connected to nature?” I want to show that POP will build on skills and knowledge they worked so hard on last year, but that we will be extending what they did too. So they used the internet as detectives working out where all the products they need and want come from, up a notch from last year. Framed it as detective work.

Once they get an idea for how oil flows through almost every part of our lives, they’ll be able to write a killer piece of realistic fiction “After Oil”, either as a first person narrative or as a short story. Been ganging up with their English teachers but I’m sort of jazzed  to hear their take on our post-oil future on Monday. We are going to spend the whole lesson story telling. I’ll be able to pick up their fears and understanding of the issues, and they get a chance to write not for me to grade, but to entertain and enchant their friends.

Most were engaged, knew what to do, traced back all kinds of products, many, even most linking back to oil. Hmm, I guess we should do a carbon footprint calculator soon.


Entry filed under: The Problems with Oil Project. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Time is key to choice, voice and creativity… POP 2: How are Petroleum Products Produced?

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