Oil: Saudi Arabia, the U.S. & Osama bin Laden. Three Lessons for High School Students
Most Americans are "energy illiterate." These lessons for high school students promote energy literacy, especially about oil. We begin with a student energy quiz, followed by three readings and suggested classroom activities.
By Alan Shapiro
Student Worksheet 1:
OUR DEPENDENCE ON OIL
Student Worksheet 2:
SAUDI ARABIA AND THE UNITED STATES
- Saudi-U.S. agreement
- Saudi-U.S. disagreement
- problems of the Saudi government
Further Information About Saudi Arabia
Student Worksheet 3:
OSAMA BIN LADEN
For a concise written response or discussion: Summarize Osama bin Laden's views of the Saudi Arabian government and why he holds them, and his views of the U.S. government and why he holds them.
Have any additional class questions been answered?
Divide the class into groups of six. 1) They are to share their questions, then choose after discussion the two that interest them most; 2) They are then to examine the two questions in terms of the criteria established earlier and to clarify the questions, if necessary; 3) Finally, they are to answer the questions as best they can.
A reporter from each group should summarize for the class the questions chosen and the group's answers. Class members can be invited to comment further.
- The teacher can then summarize what questions the group has answered, at least in part, and what questions remain to be answered.
The following subjects might also be worth student inquiry:
U.S. policy on Iraq, official reasons for it and criticisms of it
U.S. relationship with Israel, official reasons for it and criticisms of it
The connections between oil use and smog, acid rain, air pollution, ozone depletion, and global warming
Sources of energy that might in time replace U.S. reliance on oil, including renewable energy sources such as wind, biomass, geothermal and solar. Also, opportunities for fuel and energy efficiency.
- Operations of U.S. oil companies in countries other than Saudi Arabia-e.g., Nigeria, Angola, Colombia.
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