This historical article spans from 1850 to 2022 and gives readers an in-depth understanding of the many facets of oil dependency and the foreign and domestic policies around oil.
Beginning with the oil rush of 1850, students will learn about the increasing ubiquity of cars, the changing regulations regarding big oil companies, oil shortages and surpluses, the world wars, the Marshall Plan, OPEC, American domestic policy, wars in the Middle East, environmental concerns and disasters, climate change policy, offshore drilling, fracking, pipelines, international agreements, and much more.
This timeline will leave students with a well-rounded understanding of the historical events that led to America's dependence on oil.
The resource is well organized and broken down in a way that is easy to manage and understand.
Many interesting images are included, as well as external links to primary sources and additional information.
Students should be familiar with American and world history before working with this resource, specifically after World War I.
Cross-curricular connections could be made in economics and math classes to work with the graphs and data for oil prices and consumption.
This resource lends itself well to a jigsaw activity. Have students work individually or in pairs on a section of entries from the timeline. Their task is to become experts on their section and to distill the information they learned into a few sentences. The class can then present their learning and chart it digitally.
As a fun extension, have students use the photo from their section or entry to create a faux social media post to accompany what they wrote. What hashtags, trending music, captions, or accounts would the image work with on their favorite platform?
Other related resources include this interactive graph about American's beliefs around climate change, this video about the cost of carbon, and this video about the finite nature of fossil fuels.
This resource explains the history of oil exploration, production and energy demand globally with a variable time span from 1850-2021. It is very concise, insightful, factual and recommended for teaching.
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
Dimension 2: Civics
D2.Civ.13.9-12 Evaluate public policies in terms of intended and unintended outcomes, and related consequences.
D2.Civ.6.9-12 Critique relationships among governments, civil societies, and economic markets.
Dimension 2: Economics
D2.Eco.1.9-12 Analyze how incentives influence choices that may result in policies with a range of costs and benefits for different groups.
Dimension 2: History
D2.His.1.9-12 Evaluate how historical events and developments were shaped by unique circumstances of time and place as well as broader historical contexts.
D2.His.14.9-12 Analyze multiple and complex causes and effects of events in the past.
D2.His.2.9-12 Analyze change and continuity in historical eras.
Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
Reading: History/Social Studies (6-12)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.3 Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.2 Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.9 Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.10 By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 11-CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.