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Media Literacy


6th, 7th, 8th


English Language Arts


300 minutes

Regional Focus



Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Sustainable Solutions to the Petroleum Agenda

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Apr 1, 2023

In this lesson, students engage in critical media literacy, investigate the impacts of petroleum extraction, and create media to promote sustainable alternatives to petroleum-based products.

Step 1 - Inquire: Students explore the impacts of petroleum extraction and analyze two different media literacy forms that promote petroleum-based products.

Step 2 - Investigate: Students conduct research on how a product’s components are derived from petroleum and find a sustainable alternative for the same or similar product.

Step 3 - Inspire: Students reflect on how consumer choices can impact the environment and create a media message to promote the sustainable product from their research.


  • Students engage and interact with multimedia and develop critical media literacy skills.

  • Students participate in hands-on learning to aid in understanding and participation.

  • Students participate in group discussions to share diverse ideas and perspectives.

  • Students have agency and choice over their culminating project and next steps to display their work further.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This lesson is designed to be taught as a multi-day lesson in five parts. The Multi-Day Schedule Visual provides appropriate stopping points.

  • Students should have some background knowledge about petroleum and should know that it is a broad category that includes both crude oil and petroleum products.


  • The culminating project can be completed independently, in pairs, or in small groups. Teachers may choose to allow students to work individually based on students' preferences and needs.

  • Worksheets may be completed individually, in mixed-ability groups, or as a whole group led by the teacher.

  • Videos may be paused and discussed in short segments.

The effects of petroleum exploration on the environment and human health are covered in this lesson for the pupils. Petroleum drilling is typically done on Native territories, in low-income areas, and in Black neighborhoods. Since unsustainable oil extraction will endanger lives and communities, the course is aimed to give students the tools they need to develop media and advocacy messages that would encourage systemic change. This lesson passed our science review process after all the materials were fact-checked.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

Supporting Standards

  • English Language Arts
    • Writing (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.7 Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.7 Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions for further research and investigation.
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.5 Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, images, music, sound) and visual displays in presentations to clarify information.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.7.5 Include multimedia components and visual displays in presentations to clarify claims and findings and emphasize salient points.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.2 Analyze the purpose of information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and evaluate the motives (e.g., social, commercial, political) behind its presentation.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.5 Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest.
  • Visual & Performing Arts
    • Visual Arts: Standard 2 - Organizing and developing ideas.
      • 1.5.8.Cr2c: Apply, organize and strategize methods for design and redesign of objects, places, systems, images and words to clearly communicate information to a diverse audience.
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