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High Gas Prices



High Gas Prices
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.16

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    compounds, distribution, Gasoline-powered, hybrid, lifestyles, stabilize, volatile, exotic, production, retail, hydrogen, internal, version, federal, unique, equipment
     content words:    Nikolaus Otto, Persian Gulf, Petroleum Exporting Countries, United States, Hurricane Katrina, Energy Department, As Dorothy


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High Gas Prices
By Colleen Messina
  

1     How does your family plan vacations? You probably pack clothes, plan menus, and look at maps. Your parents also plan the budget for the trip. A budget is a plan for spending money. One part of their budget has gone up a lot recently: the price of gas. The price of gas affects everyone's travel plans.
 
2     It would be hard to go on a vacation without using gas-powered transportation. Gasoline is produced by the refinement of petroleum or crude oil. Chemicals are added to gasoline to stabilize it. They also make it look and smell better. This is called "sweetening." Gasoline is flammable, which means that it burns easily. Gasoline is a volatile liquid made up of different compounds called hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons have hydrogen and carbon in them.
 
3     Gasoline-powered engines changed the world. Even though another scientist had invented internal combustion engines, Nikolaus Otto created a unique version of it in the late nineteenth century. His engine efficiently burned fuel in a piston chamber. This made the internal combustion engine practical. Soon, thirsty cars began to drink up gasoline. Gas also fuels airplanes and farm equipment. Without gasoline, your family vacation would have to be within walking or biking distance (or else you could look for a local Budget-Rent-A-Pony)!

Paragraphs 4 to 7:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable


Extended Activities:

1.  The next time you drive around town, make a note of the price of gasoline at three different gas stations. Were the prices the same? Talk to your family about how to conserve gasoline, and write up a list of your ideas. Do you think that your family is already implementing measures to drive less? Why, or why not?

2.  Design and draw a new kind of transportation that does not use gasoline. Be sure to name your new vehicle!



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