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Gas Prices Keep Rising


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  • Educational Technology
  • Mathematics
    --Applied Math
    --Arithmetic
    --Statistics
  • Science
    --Chemistry
    --Physical Science
    ----Earth Science
    ----Environmental
  • Social Studies
    --Current Events
    --Economics
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Grades

Grades 2-up

News Content

The price of gas is up to $3 a gallon or more. Will that cause prices for other things to increase too?

Anticipation Guide

Before reading, ask students if they have heard anything at home or in the news about the price of gasoline. Let them share what they have heard. Ask: Do you know what is causing the price of gasoline to rise? You might share that one of the reasons the price of gasoline is rising is because the price of crude oil is rising. Ask: What products do you use that are made from crude oil or require crude oil during their manufacturing processes? Make a list of the students' responses.

After reading this week's news story and doing the follow-up activities, students should be much better informed and more able to respond to the questions above.

News Words

Write on a board or chart paper these words from this week's news story:
expensive, crude oil, average, consumers, fuel, shrinking, rising
Introduce the words and ask students to define them. Then ask them to use one of the words to complete each of these statements:

  • The tanks on that 737 jet carry more than 6,000 gallons of _____! (fuel)
  • The cost of a college education keeps _____ every year. (rising)
  • The _____ age of the students in my class is [fill in with an appropriate number for your students/class] years old. (average)
  • _____ are complaining because the cost of airplane tickets keeps climbing. (Consumers)
  • My uncle's new car must have been very _____. (expensive)
  • Our supply of copier paper is _____, so I could not type these questions onto a work sheet for you to do. (shrinking)

Read the News

Click for a printable version of this week's news story Gas Prices Keep Rising.

Reading the News

You might use a variety of approaches to reading the news:

* Read aloud the news story to students as they follow along.

* Students might first read the news story to themselves; then call on individual students to read the news aloud for the class.

* Arrange students into small groups. Each student in the group will read a paragraph of the story. As that student reads, others might underline important information or write a note in the margin of the story. After each student finishes reading, others in the group might say something -- a comment, a question, a clarification -- about the text.

More Facts to Share

You might share these additional facts with students after they have read this week's news story.

  • You might point out to students that all prices in the news article they read refer to the cost of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline.
  • Gasoline prices follow what economists call "the law of supply and demand." Gas supplies are tight right now; there is not a lot of extra gasoline to be had. If prices stayed low, we might soon run out of gas. That's why gas prices go up when supplies are tight. If people start driving less, the supply of available gas might increase and prices might start drifting downward.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Energy, American consumers and businesses use an average of 20 million barrels of oil a day. Forty-five percent of that oil is used to produce gasoline. The rest is used for producing fuels for heating our homes and jet travel, and for manufacturing a wide variety of products.
  • The current price for one barrel of crude oil -- from which gasoline is manufactured -- is more than $70. That price is a record high.
  • The American Petroleum Institute says that the reality of rising gas prices is causing gas consumption to decrease. Their data indicates that usage is down about 0.6 percent from the same time a year ago.
  • Carmen Ross is co-owner of a company that ships snack products to grocery stores within a 200-mile radius of Rapid City, South Dakota. Rising gas prices are causing her company's shipping expenses to skyrocket. "In the last few months, our fuel expense has jumped from about $1,200 a month to about $1,700," Ross told ABC News.
  • The Internet can help people save money. Web sites -- such as GasPriceWatch.com, GasBuddy.com, and Automotive.com -- are seeing a lot more "traffic" lately. Those sites use teams of volunteer spotters around the country to report local gas prices. Consumers can use those sites to "shop around" for the best gas prices in their area.

Comprehension Check

Recalling Detail

  • By how much has the cost of a gallon of gas increased in the past year? (Students might use the data in the news article, or local data, to determine this answer. If they use the data in the article, the price has risen more than 66 cents a gallon [from $2.24 to more than $2.90].)
  • Why does the cost of crude oil affect the cost of gasoline we put in our cars? (gasoline is manufactured from crude oil)
  • How does the price of gasoline affect the prices of other things? (Accept reasoned responses. For example, rising gas prices will make airline ticket prices rise; or the cost of gasoline increases shipping costs so products that need to be shipped might increase in price as a result.)
  • How many barrels of crude oil do Americans use each day? (more than 20 million barrels)

Think About the News
Discuss the Think About the News question that appears on the students' news page.

Follow-Up Activities

Science. Students might be surprised to learn how many products require oil as part of their manufacturing processes. Share with your students this illustration. Each colored item in the illustration (the curtains, the radio, the girl's sneakers, the bandage, the candle) links to an explanation of how crude oil plays a role in that item's manufacture. Students can use the information they learn from this activity to expand the list of things you began creating in the Anticipation Guide activity at the start of the lesson.

Math. Choose gas stations in your area and track the price of a gallon of gasoline in the weeks ahead. Does the price increase? Decrease? Figure the average price each day. (If you teach young students, you might round off the prices instead of using tenths-of-a-penny prices that are usually charged for gasoline.)

More math. Create a class graph to illustrate how far the adults in your students' lives drive to work each day. Once you have collected data, ask students to group it in categories such as 0-5 Miles, From 5 to 10 Miles, From 11 to 15 Miles You might even figure the average commute for the adults in your students' lives.

The Internet. Many people are using the Internet to help them find the lowest-priced gas in their areas. If you have access to the Internet, share with students the sites called GasPriceWatch.com, GasBuddy.com, and Automotive.com. Ask students to examine the sites and report how they differ from one another. For example, GasPriceWatch.com uses spotters to create its database; consumers can type in their ZIP codes to locate the lowest price at the pumps in their areas. GasBuddycom uses spotters and gets prices direct from gas stations too; it uses colorful maps to guide consumers to low prices. Automotive.com, which is sponsored by automobile companies, provides information in a state-by-state list format.

Assessment

You might

  • have students respond in their journals to this question: What did you learn from this week's news story that you did not know before you read it?
  • use the Comprehension Check (above) as an assessment.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

National Standards

National Standards

LANGUAGE ARTS: English
GRADES K - 12
NL-ENG.K-12.1 Reading for Perspective
NL-ENG.K-12.2 Reading for Understanding
NL-ENG.K-12.6 Applying Knowledge
NL-ENG.K-12.7 Evaluating Data
NL-ENG.K-12.8 Developing Research Skills
NL-ENG.K-12.11 Participating in Society
NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills

MATHEMATICS: Number and Operations
GRADES Pre-K - 2
NM-NUM.PK-2.1 Understand Numbers, Ways of Representing Numbers, Relationships Among Numbers, and Number Systems
NM-NUM.PK-2.2 Understand Meanings of Operations and How They Relate to One Another
NM-NUM.PK-2.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
GRADES 3 - 5
NM-NUM.3-5.1 Understand Numbers, Ways of Representing Numbers, Relationships Among Numbers, and Number Systems
NM-NUM.3-5.2 Understand Meanings of Operations and How They Relate to One Another
NM-NUM.3-5.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
GRADES 6 - 8
NM-NUM.6-8.1 Understand Numbers, Ways of Representing Numbers, Relationships Among Numbers, and Number Systems
NM-NUM.6-8.2 Understand Meanings of Operations and How They Relate to One Another
NM-NUM.6-8.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
GRADES 9 - 12
NM-NUM.9-12.1 Understand Numbers, Ways of Representing Numbers, Relationships Among Numbers, and Number Systems
NM-NUM.9-12.2 Understand Meanings of Operations and How They Relate to One Another
NM-NUM.9-12.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates

MATHEMATICS: Data Analysis and Probability
GRADES Pre-K - 2
NM-DATA.PK-2.1 Formulate Questions That Can Be Addressed With Data and Collect, Organize, and Display Relevant Data to Answer
GRADES 3 - 5
NM-DATA.3-5.1 Formulate Questions That Can Be Addressed With Data and Collect, Organize, and Display Relevant Data to Answer
GRADES 6 - 8
NM-DATA.6-8.1 Formulate Questions That Can Be Addressed With Data and Collect, Organize, and Display Relevant Data to Answer
GRADES 9 - 12
NM-DATA.9-12.1 Formulate Questions That Can Be Addressed With Data and Collect, Organize, and Display Relevant Data to Answer

MATHEMATICS: Representation
GRADES Pre-K - 12
NM-REP.PK-12.1 Create and Use Representations to Organize, Record, and Communicate Mathematical Ideas
NM-REP.PK-12.3 Use Representations to Model and Interpret Physical, Social, and Mathematical Phenomena

SCIENCE
GRADES K - 4
NS.K-4.2 Physical Science
NS.K-4.4 Earth and Space Science
NS.K-4.5 Science and Technology
NS.K-4.6 Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
GRADES 5 - 8
NS.5-8.2 Physical Science
NS.5-8.4 Earth and Space Science
NS.5-8.5 Science and Technology
NS.5-8.6 Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
GRADES 9 - 12
NS.9-12.2 Physical Science
NS.9-12.4 Earth and Space Science
NS.9-12.5 Science and Technology
NS.9-12.6 Science in Personal and Social Perspectives

SOCIAL SCIENCES: Economics
GRADES K - 4
NSS-EC.K-4.1 Productive Resources
NSS-EC.K-4.7 Markets and Market Prices
NSS-EC.K-4.8 Supply and Demand
NSS-EC.K-4.9 Competition in the Marketplace
NSS-EC.K-4.11 Money
NSS-EC.K-4.18 National Productivity
GRADES 5 - 8
NSS-EC.5-8.1 Productive Resources
NSS-EC.5-8.7 Markets and Market Prices
NSS-EC.5-8.8 Supply and Demand
NSS-EC.5-8.9 Competition in the marketplace
NSS-EC.5-8.11 Money
NSS-EC.5-8.18 National Productivity
GRADES 9 - 12
NSS-EC.9-12.1 Productive Resources
NSS-EC.9-12.7 Markets and Market Prices
NSS-EC.9-12.8 Supply and Demand
NSS-EC.9-12.9 Competition in the Marketplace
NSS-EC.9-12.11 Money
NSS-EC.9-12.18 National Productivity

SOCIAL SCIENCES: Geography
GRADES K - 12
NSS-G.K-12.1 The World in Spatial Terms
NSS-G.K-12.2 Places and Regions
NSS-G.K-12.4 Human Systems
NSS-G.K-12.5 Environment and Society

TECHNOLOGY
GRADES K - 12
NT.K-12.1 Basic Operations and Concepts
NT.K-12.3 Technology Productivity Tools
NT.K-12.4 Technology Communications Tools
NT.K-12.5 Technology Research Tools

See recent news stories in Education World's News Story of the Week Archive.

Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World®
Copyright © 2006 Education World

05/03/2006


 

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