TEL Lesson Plan
Oil in the Gulf

Grade Level: 5
Subject: Science: Life Science
Time Frame: 2 class sessions


Using scientific articles to understand the ecology of the Gulf of Mexico, and the effects the oil rig disaster has on the wild life in the ecosystem,. Students will create a poster illustrating those effects, and demonstrate possible solutions for clean-up.

Databases/Other Resources

Jr Edition -K12;


Students will use the first class session to research the Gulf of Mexico, and read related articles on the 2010 oil rig disaster. The second class session will be used for presenting posters.


Steps for Teacher


Steps for Librarian


Show the students how to access the Junior Edition-K12 database:

  1. Go to
  2. Select Browse Resources by School Grades
  3. Select Middle School Resources
  4. Select Junior Edition K-12 link.
  5. Enter the subject search: Gulf Oil Spill

Steps for Student

  1. Go to
  2. Select Browse Resources by School Grades
  3. Select Middle School Resources
  4. Select Junior Edition K-12 link.
  5. Enter the subject search: Gulf Oil Spill
  6. Select View Newspapers or View Periodicals to see articles on the Gulf Oil Spill. Or Select View Subdivisions to view articles by category.
  7. Select articles relating to the impact of the oil spill on humans and the environment.

Related Activities


Students interested in helping clean up the oil spill can sign-up with Matter of Trust using the following website: Members can donate hair to the organization to help sop up the oil.


Content Standards


Science--Life Science

Grade 5: Standard 2-Interdependence

Conceptual Strand 2
All life is interdependent and interacts with the environment.


Learning Expectations/Grade Level Expectations


Grade 5: Standard 2 - Interdependence

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GLE 0507.2.3 Establish the connections between human activities and natural disasters and their impact on the environment.


Performance Indicators State


Grade 5: Standard 2 - Interdependence

Performance Indicators

SPI 0507.2.3 Use Information about the impact of human activities and natural disasters on the environment to support a simple hypothesis, make a prediction, or draw a conclusion.

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Poster should reflect student’s understanding of the impact, and demonstrate student’s ability to draw conclusions about the impact of oil spills on the environment.

Poster Evaluation Form


ISTE Computer Literacy and Usage Standards


1. Creativity and Innovation: Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology. Students:

a. apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.

b.create original works as a means of personal or group expression.

d. identify trends and forecast possibilities.


3. Research and Information Fluency: Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information. Students:

a. plan strategies to guide inquiry.

b. locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.




AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner

1. Inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge.

2. Draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge.