Teach PA History
Edible Coal Mining
What to Know
Teaching Time
2 50-minute sessions
Grade Level
Middle School
  • Ecology and Environment
  • Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening
  • Geography
  • History
  • Science and Technology
Historical Period
  • New Nation - 1761-1800
  • Expansion and Reform - 1801-1855
  • Civil War and Reconstruction - 1856-1876
  • Development of the Industrial Pennsylvania - 1877-1900
  • The Emergence of Modern Pennsylvania - 1901-1928
  • The Great Depression and World War II - 1929-1945
  • Post-WWII Pennsylvania - 1946-1974
  • Contemporary Pennsylvania - 1975 to Present
In the past and present we all have used electricity, benefited from steel, and received products from far away by means of railway or ship. Yet, have we ever really thought about the one resource that ties all of these items together? This lesson has been created to give students an appreciation for the importance of bituminous coal and more of an understanding about how we get it out of the ground. We will identify the uses of coal and then explore how extraction methods vary depending on location of the coal seams. This is a hands-on, cooperative lesson to bring this magnificent "rock" into perspective.


Students will be able to: 1. Identify the uses and importance of bituminous coal. 2. Model different coal extraction techniques. 3. Identify types of coal mines used based on geological formations and coal seam locations.

Standards Alignment

  • Environment and Ecology

    4.8.7. B. Explain how people use natural resources.

  • Geography

    7.2.6. A. Describe physical characteristics of places and regions.

  • History

    8.1.6. D. Describe and explain historical research.
    8.2.6. B. Identify and explain primary documents, material artifacts and historic sites important in Pennsylvania history from Beginnings to 1824
    8.2.6. C. Identify how continuity and change have influenced settlement patterns (e.g. Development of towns)

  • Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening

    1.1.8. D. Identify basic facts and ideas in text using specific strategies.
    1.1.8.G. Demonstrate after reading understanding and interpretation of both fiction and nonfiction text, including public documents.
    1.6.8. A. Listen to others.
    1.6.8. D. Contribute to discussions.
    1.6.8. E. Participate in small and large group discussions and presentations.
    1.6.8. F. Use media for learning purposes.

  • Science and Technology

    3.5.7. B. Recognize Earth resources and how they affect every day life.

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