Global Issues PBL Unit: Fossil Fuels and Renewable Energy

Global Issues PBL Unit: Fossil Fuels and Renewable Energy
Global Issues PBL Unit: Fossil Fuels and Renewable Energy
Global Issues PBL Unit: Fossil Fuels and Renewable Energy
Global Issues PBL Unit: Fossil Fuels and Renewable Energy
Global Issues PBL Unit: Fossil Fuels and Renewable Energy
Global Issues PBL Unit: Fossil Fuels and Renewable Energy
Global Issues PBL Unit: Fossil Fuels and Renewable Energy
Global Issues PBL Unit: Fossil Fuels and Renewable Energy
Grade Levels
Common Core Standards
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12 MB|51 pages + 30 slides
Product Description
Explore in this unit the increasingly urgent problem of our world’s most addicting natural resource: fossil fuels. Everything from plastics to pollution to renewable alternatives like wind, solar, and hydrogen are covered!

Grab their attention with shocking numbers, make it real with a simulation and eye opening EPA graphs, guide them to dig deeper with scholarly writing and current issues, inspire them by exploring various renewable energy options, and help them spread change to their schoolmates.

By the end of this unit, your students will be able to:
- Internalize the increasingly difficult task of fossil fuel extraction
- Assess various data sets of how the world is currently using this finite and ever shrinking resource
- Articulate a wide variety of current issues affecting our current and future supply
- Closely analyze, annotate, and respond to a related scholarly essay
- Research and share with their school doable solutions to lessen and replace our addition to oil


Greatness is believing in the power of one person’s choices to impact the world.

Few teenagers know the world beyond their own surroundings and many have no idea how their lifestyle, their consumption levels, their “normal” behavior are negatively impact our environment and our planet’s future.

Guide your students through a variety of sources (from graphs and charts to a simulation and news articles) as they grapple with the self-realizing question: “How can I lessen my carbon footprint to better sustain this planet for others?”

You will set each of your students up for success in this high interest, multi-faceted project-based unit, regardless of ability, with highly scaffolded graphic organizers, student directions, and supplemental resources included at each step of the way.

Empower your students to become globally aware energy citizens in this 2-3 week unit!

Activities are completely interchangeable- mix and match depending on time constraints, student ability, or personal interests.

Included in this unit:

Teacher Materials
- Unit overview and 4 additional pages of detailed daily lesson plans
- Step-by-step simulation script and directions for activities
- Answer keys for assignments and rubrics for projects and essay (both CCSS-aligned and generic)
- 30-slide editable PowerPoint slideshow with images, links, and student directions

Student Materials & Activities
- Log Notes & Concept Definitions to record growing understanding
- How Well Do You Know Fossil Fuels Test to shock students’ incoming knowledge
- Farming for Oil Simulation to experience the shrinking supply of our world’s oil
- Fossil Fuel Data Analysis to see plainly unflattering global usage and pollution trends
- Current Issues Analysis to dig deeper into present-day fossil fuel issues, from spills to pollution to fracking
- Scholarly Essay Analysis to assess various alternative energy options and analyze quality writing
- Alternative Options to research deeper the most viable solutions for the future
- Be the Solution Project to share doable changes with classmates in a bulletin board (complete with 2 accompanying signage options)
- DBQ Essay to culminate learning from the wide variety of sources examined by answering, “How can I best sustain our fossil fuels?”
- 2 BONUS Skill Sheets Annotating a Text, Analyzing a News Media Source


Note to Homeschoolers

Though the included teacher lesson plans and PPT slides are written to fully support a traditional classroom teacher, this resource is also great fit for your teenage homeschooler:

- the inquiry, thematic structure of this unit is driven more by critical thinking, reading, and writing skills and a central high-interest question than any one set of state-specific, grade-specific content standards
- a wide age and ability range can easily access the rich variety of sources utilized in this unit, making it perfect for a multi-grade group
- your student’s voice is central to each activity, through talking out their learning, maximizing the one-on-one
- activities can be completed independently and aren’t solely reliant on group or whole-class work
- all utilized sources are free or inexpensive and easily obtainable; either included, accessible online, available at your local library, or purchased used through Amazon (links provided)
- this unit is independent of a textbook, though one could be used for greater background knowledge
- any activity can easily be left out to customize for your student’s skill level or personal interest


Want more Sustainability PBL units?
Water PBL Unit: explore the problems and solutions in maintaining this finite resource
Garbage PBL Unit: explore the problems and solutions of our consumeristic, disposable lifestyles
Sustainability Bundle PBL Unit: explore water, fossil fuels, and garbage in one cohesive unit, saving you 25%!

Check out these other Global Issues PBL units!
World Population PBL Unit: explore worldwide population numbers, extreme poverty, and demographics
--- World Poverty PBL Mini Unit: explore what living on one dollar a day really looks like

Globalization PBL Unit: explore the growth and shrinking of our global population, connectivity, and resources
--- Globalization PBL Mini Unit: explore all the same topics in about half the time
--- Competing in a Flat World PBL Mini Unit: explore the flattening of the world’s economy
--- What’s My Eco Footprint PBL Mini Unit: explore the impact of one’s footprint in comparison to the world’s

Building a Global Issues or Geography curriculum from scratch?
Global Issues Course Bundle get this complete semester-long course in one download and save big!
Total Pages
51 pages + 30 slides
Answer Key
Included with rubric
Teaching Duration
3 Weeks
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