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A World of Energy

Lesson Objective: Teach the students about renewable energy and why it is important.

Concepts: Renewable and non-renewable energy

The Challenge: To have students participate in a class discussion on renewable energy

and complete the related worksheets.

• Visual aides of various energy sources

• Energy – ability to do work
• Renewable energy – from sources that cannot be used up
• Solar energy – from sun
• Fuel – something used to make energy
• Appliance – a device used in a house that uses electricity.

ENERGY REVIEW: What is the source of energy used by humans? What kind of food do
you like to eat to get energy? Are there some types of food that give more energy than
others? What other things eat food for energy? What other ways do we use energy in our
daily lives? Can you list some of the things that need energy to work? As you can see,
energy powers much of our daily lives. Humans need energy in the form of food to
survive. Many other things that we use every day also need energy to work, but they do
not use our food for energy. Instead, they require other types of energy.

ENERGY SOURCES: Hand out Energy Sources Worksheet (students can view when
discussing various sources). Ask the students to list other sources of energy such as fossil
fuels (coal, natural gas, oil) and nuclear. How do these sources help us in our daily lives?
We have two different types of energy, renewable and non-renewable. Some sources are
called nonrenewable because they have limited supplies. For example, Petroleum, or oil,
was created millions of years ago from dead plants and animals. It cannot be reproduced
in a short amount of time. What’s bad about these types of energy? They create
pollution and will eventually run out. Ask about how we extract many of these resources.
Explain about what the production of energy from each source entails.

ACTIVITY: Complete Energy Sources Worksheet and discuss.

RENEWABLE ENERGY: Renewable energy is energy that comes from sources that are
available in the natural world and cannot be used up. Renewable sources, including
biomass (trees and other plants), geothermal, hydropower, solar energy and wind energy,
are replenished in a short time. For example, the sun shines and the wind blows almost
every day. Trees and plants only need a few years to grow. Because they do not
disappear once we use them, these sources are renewable. Explain each one. Teach the
students the movements for each energy source (attached). Why is it important?

ACTIVITY: Complete the Renewable Energy Worksheet. Discuss the results.

ACTIVITY: Talk about how much of the energy we use in the United States comes from
renewable/nonrenewable sources: get 10 students to stand at the front of the room to
represent people who use renewable/nonrenewable energy. Ask the rest of the class to
guess how many of the students should stand on the nonrenewable side and how many
should stand on the renewable side. (The correct answer is 9.5 on the nonrenewable side)

SOLAR ENERGY: Talk specifically about solar energy. How much energy does the sun
produce? What allows solar energy to be used as fuel?


Global Energy Sources as Percentages of Total

• Petroleum - 38%
• Natural Gas - 23%
• Coal - 23%
• Uranium - 8%
• Biomass - 3%
• Hydropower - 2.7%
• Propane - 2%
• Geothermal, solar and wind - .3%

Q: Why did the foolish gardener plant a light bulb?

A: He wanted to grow a power plant.

Q: How did Benjamin Franklin feel when he discovered electricity?

A: He was shocked!

Q: How is energy conservation like a baseball team?

A: They can both use a switch hitter.

Q: How are renewable power plants like people who like to go to the beach?

A: They all like sun, wind, and water.

Q: What is a renewable energy source that is used every day at your school?

A: Brain power!
Wrap-Up and Sharing:
• What is the difference between renewable and non-renewable energy?
• What are some types of renewable energy?

Resources and Credits:

• Princeton Engineering Education for Kids.:
• Energy Source Information:
• Worksheets:
• Riddles:
Name: __________________________ Date: _________________

Name: ___________________________ Date: _______________