In this lesson, students use graphs of historical data and research historical and societal events to determine and analyze energy trends in the United States over the past 50 years.
Time Required: Three to five 45-minute class periods plus outside research and homework.
-Familiarize yourself with the activity, the U.S. Energy Flow diagram on page 14 (explanation on page 15), and with the graphs in this booklet and the Energy Perspectives booklet.
-Make copies of the U.S. Energy Data sheet and U.S. Energy Timeline for each student (pages 16-17).
-Make copies of the graphs you want the students to analyze from this booklet (pages 20-29) and the Energy Perspectives booklet. (You can have all of the students use the same graphs and conduct classroom discussions or assign groups of students to different sets of graphs and have them make presentations to the class.)
-Make copies of the pages you have chosen from NEED's Secondary Energy Infobook or obtain a class set of infobooks for the students to use by calling NEED at 1-800-875-5029. Individual fact sheets are also available online at http://www.need.org/Educators
-Make transparencies of the Energy Flow 2004 progressive diagram on pages 7-14 and the sample graphs on pages 18-19.
Step Two-Introduction: Energy Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
-Introduce the activity by discussing with the students how energy has been used throughout the history of the United States, the changing energy sources that have been used, the energy sources we use today and the purposes for which they are used, the major historical events that have had an effect on energy, and how the future energy picture might change.
-Use the Energy Flow transparencies and explanation to give an overview of energy consumption and production.
-Distribute the U.S. Energy Timeline and U.S. Energy Data sheets to the students.
-Discuss how the students can graphically compare aspects of the data to determine energy trends.
-Discuss the historical events listed that have significantly affected the energy trends in the U.S.
Step Three--Graphing Data
-Have the students create graphs in class and as homework to answer the following questions:
How has per capita consumption of energy changed in the last 50 years?
How has the percentage of energy we import from other countries changed in the last 50 years?
How has the mix of energy sources changed in the last 50 years in production and consumption considering fossil fuels, uranium (nuclear) energy and renewable energy sources?
-Check the students' graphs for accuracy and understanding. Use transparencies of the sample graphs and discuss the answers to the questions.
Step Four--Analyzing Data and Determining Energy Trends (pages 20-29)
-Explain the assignment--the students will analyze the information in the graphs, determine the trends that are implied by the information, and research historical events that may have affected or may affect those trends.
Option One: All Students Analyzing the Same Graphs
-If all of the students are assigned the same graphs, distribute the background information and sets of graphs you have chosen and have each student write an explanation of the graphs, the trends and the significant historical events. Allow them to begin the assignment in class and give them several days to complete the assignment as homework.
-Discuss the assignment upon completion to develop a consensus within the group.
Option Two: Groups of Students Analyzing Different Sets of Graphs
-If the students are working in groups to analyze different sets of graphs, divide the students into groups and distribute the background information and sets of graphs you have chosen for them to analyze. Explain that each group will prepare a five-minute presentation for the class to explain the graphs, the trends and the significant historical events. Allow the groups to begin the assignment in class and give them several days to complete the assignment, either as homework or as class work.
-Monitor group work.
-Have each group make its presentation.
-Discuss the assignment upon completion to develop an overall sense of what will happen in the energy sector in the near future and possible events that could have an effect on that direction.
-Have the students conduct web-based research and prepare Power Point presentations on one aspect of energy and how its use has changed in the last fifty years.
-Evaluate individual and group work according to your own expectations.
-Evaluate the activity with the students using the Evaluation Form on page 31 and send to NEED.
Evaluation form is located on page 31 of the attached lesson plan.
-Energy Perspectives Booklet (attached)
-Secondary Energy Infobook (attached)
Source:National Energy Education Development Project
Resource Type:Lesson Plan
Subject(s):Mathematics, Science, Technology and Skilled Trades, Social Studies,
Topic:Energy Use and Conservation,
Level:Intermediate / MiddleSecondary
Grade: 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Web Pages Used
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