Standard Lesson

Fashion Fun with Fossil Fuels

9 - 12
Lesson Plan Type
Standard Lesson
Estimated Time
Seven 50-minute sessions
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With a partner, students choose a specific issue dealing with fossil fuels to support or oppose. After conducting research to learn about their issues, then students create a clothing brand and design a clothing line and logo that promotes their stance and informs the public about the specific issues. In either a PowerPoint presentation or a Prezi, students share their research with the class, including premiering their line of clothing.

Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice

Angela Maiers writes educators need to teach students “habitudes,” which she defines as a combination of specific attitudes and habits that will guarantee students “success both inside and outside our classroom walls.” This lesson is aimed at teaching three of the six “habitudes:” curiosity, imagination, and self-awareness. First, it sparks curiosity as students select their own issues and develop their questions to support their opinions. Second, this lesson encourages students to use their imaginations as they design their clothing brand, logo, and line of clothing. Last, students become more aware of their strengths and weaknesses through their evaluation of their performance with their partner.

Osburg cautions that while we want to encourage students to use their imaginations, they must use their imaginations in conjunction with knowledge so that students can understand “the interaction and interdependence of these aspects of human thought and human experiences” (p. 49). Because students have researched prior to creating their line of clothing, students will have this important knowledge base.

Cronin suggests that interdisciplinary assignments, such as this lesson, prompt students to create connections between the different segmented school subjects. It allows students to “find solutions for authentic problems without sacrificing the instructional goals of any English language arts curriculum.” In this lesson students will employ their researching and oral presentation skills that are typically part of the English curriculum.

Common Core Standards

This resource has been aligned to the Common Core State Standards for states in which they have been adopted. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, CCSS alignments are forthcoming.

State Standards

This lesson has been aligned to standards in the following states. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, standard alignments are not currently available for that state.

NCTE/IRA National Standards for the English Language Arts

  • 1. Students read a wide range of print and nonprint texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.
  • 3. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).
  • 4. Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
  • 6. Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts.
  • 7. Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and nonprint texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience.
  • 8. Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.
  • 11. Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.
  • 12. Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

Materials and Technology

  • Computers with Internet connection
  • Books on fossil fuels
  • One computer with LCD projector and Internet connection
  • Digital cameras (optional)
  • Unlined paper and markers/colored pencils (optional)



Students can either use Microsoft PowerPoint or this online website to create their presentations.

This website will provide examples of clothing that express opinions, for example about recycling, breast cancer, and autism, and for clothing items that teach information, such as those that feature elements of the periodic table.

This website will help students who do not feel comfortable drawing their clothing items.  Using the Design Online tab, students can easily create clothing items that will include clipart and text. The images can then be saved to a computer and inserted in either type of presentations.

This website provides a reference students can use when citing their sources.

This Purdue OWL resource provides a reference for formatting in MLA style.


  1. Make one copy per student of the first page of the printout Group Evaluation Form and one copy per two students of the Fashion Fun Rubric.
  2. Save three to five images of clothing from Café Press that stress a cause, show an opinion, or provide information to the computer connected to the LCD projector. These images will be shown during session one.
  3. Arrange to have books from the Suggested Print Materials about Fossil Fuels printout available to students. Consult with your school librarian for additional sources of information, such as databases, e-books, and other print materials.
  4. Arrange for students to have access to computers and/or school library during sessions two to six.

Student Objectives

Students will

  • demonstrate the ability to conduct research using a variety of resources including websites, print materials, and databases.
  • evaluate sources to determine which are best for their research.
  • correctly cite sources of information.
  • analyze an issue concerning a fossil fuel.
  • create a clothing brand, logo, and clothing line that inform others about a fossil fuel issue.
  • evaluate their performance as well as their partner’s in this project.

Session One

  1. To activate students’ prior knowledge, project one of the clothing images you have saved from Café Press. Ask students if they saw someone wearing this item of clothing, what they can learn from the clothing. Show the other images and ask the same question. Ask students to recall other examples they have seen of clothing that informs or gives an opinion.
  2. Explain to the students they will create a clothing brand that will inform others about an issue concerning fossil fuels. Ask students to define what the term fossil fuels means. Be sure to cover the following characteristics:
    • Formed millions of years ago by organic remains of prehistoric plants and animals
    • Includes coal, oil, and gas
  3. Ask students to think about how fossil fuels are used. Then divide the class into pairs and have them share their thoughts with a partner. Come back together as a class to share the ideas.
  4. Hand out to the students the Introduction Sheet to the project and together go through in detail what this project involves. Hand out the Fashion Fun Rubric and cover the project’s expectations.
  5. Divide students into groups of two. Give them time to look through the print materials and the Internet for issues that they would like to research for this project and what their stance—either for or against—will be. Students can also use the Fossil Fuel Topics handout as a starting point in selecting an issue. Tell the pairs when they have found a topic they would like to research, the pair needs to sign up with you so that no topics are repeated. However, both sides of an issue can be presented.
  6. Once a pair has selected their issue, tell them to come up with a list of questions that will help guide their research and divide the questions.
  7. Assign students to begin researching their issue. Remind them to cite sources as they work both inside and outside the classroom.

Sessions Two and Three

  1. Have students meet with their partners to discuss what they have found so far about their issue.
  2. Move the class to the library or computer lab for students to research online as well as use print materials that are available.
  3. Remind students as they look for websites, they should evaluate the website before taking notes. They should consider the following:
    • Who is the author of the website? Can the author be considered an expert?
    • What is the purpose of the website? Is it to inform or sell the form of energy? What is the domain of the website—edu, org, com, gov?
    • When was the website written? Is it current material?
    • Where did the author get his or her information? Are there links to other sites that might be useful?
    • Why is this website useful? Is it easy to read and navigate?
  4. Remind students cite their sources they decide to use.
  5. As students work, circulate throughout the room and assist those who have trouble finding information. Check on students’ notes and probe students for information. Remind students to cite sources. Even though students will evaluate their own performance as well as their partner’s, note cooperation and time on task.
  6. When students think they have found all the information they need, have them refer to the Introduction Sheet to check they have covered all areas of information that are required in the presentation.
  7. For both sessions, assign students to work on finding more material outside of the classroom. At the end of session three, tell students in the next session they will create their presentations so all research must be completed before that session.

Session Four

  1. Have students review the Fashion Fun Rubric again and then start their PowerPoint or Prezi.
  2. As students work on their presentations, circulate throughout the room, assisting students who are having trouble with the technology and checking on students’ notes. If notes are incomplete, tell students to fill in the gaps. Question both partners about their topic to make sure both understand the issue. Check that students are not writing lengthy sentences in their presentations since they will be evaluated on concise language.
  3. Remind students that their sources are to be correctly cited and included in their presentations and refer them to the website of the citation style you want. Assist those who have trouble completing this task.
  4. After students complete their presentations, have the pairs brainstorm on names for their clothing brands that will support their issue.
  5. Assign students to continue to brainstorm about the name of their clothing brands and logos that would support and illustrate their issues.

Session Five

  1. Tell students to share with their partners what names and logos they thought of for their assignment. Tell students to choose which ideas work the best and then begin designing their three items of clothing.
  2. Remind students that each item of clothing is to include their logo and be distinctive. For example, the pair can have three t-shirts but each t-shirt will not have the same design. All three items must feature a different design that promotes their opinion and/or informs the public about their issue.
  3. Explain to the students their options for creating the logo and clothing items that will become part of their presentation. Students can
    • draw their clothing and logo, use digital cameras to photograph, and then upload to their presentation.
    • use the website CustomInk.
    • use Microsoft Paint.
    • try modifying clipart in Microsoft Windows.
  4. As students work, question students on how their logo and brand name reflects their stance on the issue. Question them on how their clothing items show their stance on the issue. Check that all three clothing items are unique. Again note cooperation and time on task.
  5. Assign students to complete all logo and clothing designs for the next session.

Session Six

  1. Allow student time to add their clothing brand, logo, and designs into their presentations. Let students decide how they will divide the presentation between the two of them.
  2. Have students practice giving their presentations and timing themselves. Remind students that they need to be well prepared and able to present without glancing frequently at the projection.
  3. After students have practiced with their partners, have one pair of students present to another pair. Have students use the Fashion Fun Rubric to evaluate each other’s presentations. Allow students time to correct any problems that might have been discovered.
  4. Assign students to complete any tasks that may prevent them from presenting at the next session.

Session Seven

  1. Have the students share their presentations by projecting them through the LCD projector.
  2. Allow time for students to ask questions after each presentation.
  3. Hand out the Group Evaluation Form and instruct students to honestly evaluate their performance as well as their partner’s.


  • Have students write persuasive essays or produce podcasts following the lesson Creating a Persuasive Podcast to persuade others to agree with their opinions about their fossil fuel issues.
  • Post links on a class wiki or website to Prezi presentations. For students who used PowerPoint, ask them to upload their presentations at Brainshark and share the links.
  • Have students create at least one actual item of clothing for their issue. Have a fashion show for other classes to promote their issues.

Student Assessment / Reflections

Possible student assessment include

  • Use the Fashion Fun Rubric to evaluate student work.
  • Keep notes on students’ time on task and group dynamics.
  • Examine the students’ Group Evaluation Form.
  • Ask students to complete the following statements:
From this project I learned ___________________________
I would improve this project by _______________________

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