Students watch a video about the Bakken Formation and the oil reserves on the border of North Dakota and Montana. Students complete a KWLS worksheet about the formation.
This lesson is part of "Great States | North Dakota | Unit 6: Agriculture and Economy" where students will learn about the major resources and enterprises that form the basis of North Dakota’s economy.
4.3.2: Identify ways that natural resources (e.g. soil, minerals, trees, fish, people) contribute to the economy of the local community and North Dakota
4.3.4: Identify principal exports of North Dakota (e.g. crops, energy, livestock)
- Video: Montana Mosaic: Montana Industry - The Oil and Refinery Years
- An interactive whiteboard, projector, or other type of screen to project videos to the class
- Class set of the Bakken Formation handout
- Distribute the Bakken Formation handout. Ask students to fill in the 'K: What I know’ portion of a KWLS worksheet to describe what they already know about the Bakken Formation and the oil reserves of the state. Have them fill out the ‘W: What I want to know’ portion of KWLS—what is it they want to know about these topics. Give students 5 minutes to complete these columns on the handout.
- Explain to students that oil is one of the major natural resources in North Dakota, and the Bakken Formation is one part of a larger oil basin (the Williston Basin) in the state. The Bakken Formation sits on the border of North Dakota and Montana. Oil was discovered here in 1951.
- Play the video, Montana Mosaic: Montana Industry - The Oil and Refinery Years [1:07].
- Explain to students that newer drilling technology makes it possible to extract oil from Bakken’s tightly folded rock formations. It has led to another boost in oil production for the past decade. North Dakota has the second-largest proved oil reserves (Texas being the largest) and is one of the top resources of new oil production in the Unites States.
- Have students complete the KWLS grid.