I like to start this unit with important vocabulary. Oil comes with a whole set of language all its own, and I think it is important for students to understand what they are reading about.
Of course we love to read all about Spindletop and the birth of the oil industry, and there are some pretty good choices out there! The (affiliate) links below take you to some of our favorites.
It really is truly amazing how quickly transportation changed from covered wagons to automobiles with combustion engines.
Finally, I like to end the unit with a bit of an "experience," in the form of a dice simulation. My students LOVE these simulations, and I LOVE the narratives they create afterwards in addition to the conversations that they lead into. They get so excited about completing the simulation, and it really gives them an experience to remember. I have had students come back years later and tell me that what they remember most are completing these simulations.
this bundle is a great place to start!
Books to Support the Unit: