LESSON PLAN: Fracking and the Natural Gas Revolution (80-90 mins)

Print Friendly

Students will consider the pros and cons of fracking (hydraulic fracturing). Through research and role play, they will evaluate its potential to revolutionalise the energy landscape, the implications for geopolitics etc.


Understand what the process of fracking involves (ie. hydraulic fracturing – extracting natural gas from shale rock layers deep within the earth)

  • Consider the pros and cons of fracking

Materials Needed:


  • Run through introductory Powerpoint slides with students

  • Elicit: alternatives to fossil fuels

  • Explain idea of ‘unconventional fossil fuels’. Explain that focus of lesson will be on shale gas.

  • Explain shale gas + its importance eg. Potential to revolutionalise the energy landscape, implications for geopolitics

  • Briefly explain process of fracking using the powerpoint slides (this will also be covered in the video)

  • Run through rest of slides. Re: Slide 9 – Elicit that fracking often takes place near residential areas. Ask students about implications.

  • Ask students to read the article “Stepping on the Gas” (WSJ, 2 Apr 2011). Highlight 3 important points/arguments.

  • Brief whole-class feedback.


  • Play the GASLAND Trailer [2:47]. Tell students to focus on the problems of fracking that the trailer highlights.

  • Quick discussion after that.

Role-playing exercise:

  • Divide students into 5 groups: 4 groups indicated in the student handout + 1 small group of MPs (suggest that the better students of the class be nominated for this)

  • Each of the 4 groups to decide on a response to the issue of whether the UK should encourage the development of shale gas industry (see student handout).

  • For MPs: Tell students to think of the concerns they have when it comes to fracking (eg. Using brainstorming tool). Once they’ve come up with the concerns, they can be directed to come up with questions to ask the different groups during their presentations with regard to the issue of fracking in the UK.

  • Allow groups to make presentation to group of MPs.

  • MPs to evaluate their arguments.

  • Provide feedback on presentations eg. Quality of arguments. Teacher may wish to refer to additional notes.

  • Reflections + Final comments.

CONTRIBUTOR: Jared Er started teaching General Paper at a junior college not too long ago. While not busy trying to get his students to read more, he’s busy trying to get his cat to acknowledge him.
PICTURE CREDIT: http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/
This entry was posted in 17+ years, All Activities, All Levels, All Subjects, Business & Economics, Debate & Discussion, Drama & Role Play, General Paper, Geography, Sciences and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *