ISMAP: Lesson Plan links

Sea Secrets
Sea Connections
Ocean Market
Pollution Solution
Stranded Along the Coast
Reflections on the Sea

Pollution Solution: Procedure 3


  • Identify the problems caused to the environment and society by an oil spill and the subsequent cleanup operations.



social studies, language arts

1. To get a sense of the impact of an oil spill, have a role-playing discussion. Ask students to play the parts of some or all of the fictitious characters listed here. Have each character write some notes that would be taken to a press conference held to find out what happened when a tanker went aground and caused an oil spill along a coastline. Some members of the class can be reporters, directing questions to any of the participants. Other members of the class can record the discussion in writing or videotape it.

Fictitious characters

Captain Shipley: captain of the tanker that went aground

Ms. Petrol: spokesperson for the Giant Oil Corporation

Mr. Swab: head of cleanup operations

Ms. Cirrus: spokesperson for the U.S. Weather Service

Mr. Marchand: president of the local merchants' association

Ms. Greene: spokesperson for a national conservation group

Mr. Hook: spokesperson for the local fishing community

Ms. Wright: president of the Town Council

Mr. Labb: scientist at Innovate Corp., a bioengineering firm

Ms. Ivory: salesperson for Kleen-Up Supplies, Inc.

Mr. Byrd: conservationist from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office

Ms. Goodley: spokesperson for volunteers

2. The reporters should ask questions about (a) the chain of events that led to the oil spill, (b) how each party helped with the cleanup operation, and (c) how the spill affected their lives. Student responses will vary widely but should be consistent with the attitude and professional knowledge suggested by each fictitious character's name and position. Students should be able to conclude that the responsibilities for cleanup must be shared and that local people are affected by the oil spill long after the cleanup crews have left.

Optional: Have students use their library to access articles about recent oil spills. Encourage students to become aware of local or regional events that are similar, if not as large.

ISMAP: Links within lesson plans

[ Essay | Procedure | Student Pages | Resources | Next Lesson ]

S.O.E. Home Page || Teaching Resources
Professional Development For Teachers
Events Calendar || Exhibits || About This Site || Help

Last Modified April 8, 1998