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Lesson plan for the film
Worst Case Scenario

Overall Objective
Students will acquire and evaluate information about the environmental impact of oil and gas mining in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta.  Students will reflect on the role of citizen participation in environmental controversy and the effect of events like these on their own lives.

Grade level
Advanced 9–12 and beyond. This unit can be adapted to younger grades and different courses of study in various Canadian provinces and territories.

Content Areas
Environmental Studies
Language Arts
Media Literacy
Social Action

Materials Required
Internet access
Desktop publishing software
Place to post a Web site or Wiki, according to the information and communications technology (ICT) access policy and acceptable use policy of your school
Graphic organizer or flowchart software such as Inspiration or Visio
Wiki creation software such as WIKIDOT.com (open source)
Spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel
Digital still camera
Digital video camera

The environmental impact of oil and gas exploration is viewed through a film about hearings on Shell’s activities in Alberta.  Through activities such as a class wiki, the creation of PSAs, and analysis of industry arguments, students deepen their understanding of the complexity of these events.  They have an opportunity to assess the effect of energy exploration on their own lives and reconsider the impact of their own lifestyle.

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Excerpt or film related to this lesson plan
Worst Case Scenario



Internet connection

Each film on this site is available for viewing at low speed or high speed.

  • Low speed: recommended if your Internet connection uses a dial-up modem (56 kbps or slower). Low-speed viewing results in lower quality image and sound.
  • High speed: recommended if you have high-speed Internet (DSL, cable modem) or are connected to an institutional network. Viewing in high-speed mode may cause occasional jerky images and sound interruptions if the speed of your connection is not fast enough.

If you're not sure which speed to use for viewing the films, try high speed first. If the results are not satisfactory, switch to low speed.



Films can be available for viewing in either Macromedia Flash or QuickTime. Image and sound quality are similar for all these formats.

  • Flash: lets you view the film directly in the Web page without launching an external application. Requires the Flash plug-in (download for free at Macromedia Flash Player).
  • QuickTime (alternative format): requires QuickTime, version 7 or more recent (download for free at QuickTime).

Closed captions (CC)

Translation of the audio portion of a film into subtitles, for example, dialogue, narration, sound effects, etc. These captions let hearing-impaired viewers read what they cannot hear. Closed captions are available for a few films. To access them, you must select QuickTime (under Format) and With closed captions (under Accessibility).


Described video (DV)

A narrated description of a film's key visual elements to enable the vision-impaired to form a mental picture of what is happening on screen. Described video is available for a few films. To access them, you must select QuickTime (under Format) and With described video (under Accessibility).

Film  (43:54)
Film related to this lesson plan
Worst Case Scenario
Film  (43:54)
Excerpt related to this lesson plan
Worst Case Scenario
Excerpt  (2:51)
Worst Case Scenario
Excerpt  (1:33)