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UNIT : The Earth’s Energy-sources and Storage

TOPIC : Fossil Fuels Pg#204,205,206

Basic Objective:
Pupils should be able to
Investigate about fossil fuels through formulation of questions by exploring text
provided to them.

1. Know about non-renewable energy sources i.e. coal, oil and natural gas
2. Differentiate between renewable and non- renewable sources.
3. Suggest alternative sources of energy as fossil fuels are running out.
1. Student’s Book
2. Reference material
3. Worksheets(Keeping in view the ability of the groups)
Instructional Process
: Brainstorming
Direct Instructions
Formulation of questions (group work)
Teacher’s Exposition
New Vocabulary
Renewable, non-renewable, plankton, compression,

• Settling time(2 minutes)
• Brainstorming---(5 minutes) ask students about different energy sources they are
familiar with note down students’ responses on the basis of their responses
underline fossil fuels mentioned by them
• Declaration of the lesson (3 minutes) ---today we will study about fossil fuels and
their impotence.
• Activity—whole class will be divided in three groups (8 students in each group—
differentiated on the basis of their ability. Group A will be consisting of excellent
students who possess good reading, writing and learning abilities. They will be
termed as group of “archaeologists” .Group B will be team of “journalists” having
good verbal and written skills. Group C will be average group having good
communication skills they will be “common public”.)
• Group Work(20 minutes)---All the three groups will be required to read given
text, provided by teacher and text given in the book.
Group A---- will prepare for interview, this group will read the text given by the
teacher and text given in the book and highlight important points
Group B------ will prepare eight questions from the text given by the teacher.
Group C -----will also prepare eight questions but they will prepare from the text
given in the book.

• Step-II-Press Conference Activity(15minutes)---Group A will come and

sit in front of the class while other two groups will ask questions and note
down the answers.
• Teacher’s Exposition (10 minutes) ---Teacher will briefly summarize
main points of the lesson ie talk about fossil fuels.
• Written Work (20 minutes)–Worksheets will be given to the students (each
group will get different worksheet.)
• Wrap up(5minutes)---Through short questions
Q.1.What are the steps that you can take to save fossil fuels?
Q. 2. Suggest some alternative energy sources.

Home Work
Choose any two questions asked by “common public” and “Journalists” and write
down their answers in your note books.
Q: Complete the Worksheet.
Description: ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Stored Energy: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Extraction: -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Uses of Coal: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Advantages: 1. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Disadvantages: 1. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Description: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Stored Energy: -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Extraction: ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Uses of Coal:- -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Advantages: 1----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Disadvantages: 1. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Natural Gas

Description: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Stored Energy: ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Extraction: ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Uses of Coal: -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Advantages: 1. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


2. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q. Complete the following Table.

S# Energy Source Nature Advantages Disadvantages

1. Coal

2. Oil

3. Natural gas

Worksheet #3(Common Public)

Q. Complete the close passage .Use the given words/phrases to help you.

Methane, peat, large amount of energy, lignite, plankton, crude oil, oil, oxide of nitrogen,
Fossil Fuels

Fossil fuels are most widely used source of energy on earth. Coal, oil and gas are examples
of fossil fuels. They are -------------------source of energy. Coal formation is very long
process. Dead plants first changed into-----, a fibrous material after forcing out oxygen and
hydrogen. Further compression turns it into--------and after few years coal is formed.
Oil is formed when ----------- sank to the bottom of the sea, heat and high pressure changes
it into a thick black liquid called------------.
Natural gas is also called as--------------.It is made up of hydrogen and oxygen. It is usually
found together with oil and coal. Natural gas burns clearly but the burning of oil and coal
produces poisonous fumes of sulphur and------------------.
Amongst all these --------- is more useful fossil fuel because it stores--------------in a small
volume. The actual period that fossil fuels can last depend on how fast we use them and
how much new deposit of these fuels are discovered .However, most important fact
remains that world’s fossil fuels are running out and some serious action should be taken
without delay to overcome the shortage of fossil fuels.
Notes for the Teachers

This Lesson is based on differentiated tasks so you must be very clear about the strength of
your pupils before implementing it. Following are the key points that will help you to
conduct it effectively in your classroom.
• Students must be well aware of question formulation before this lesson i.e they must
know about the different types of questions to be asked.
• Pupils must be briefed about rules of collaborative work.
• Eight or maximum nine students in each large group as there are three main sources
to be discussed in this lesson. Three students in each large group will be assigned
one source of energy .For example
Common Public =Total members=9
Oil=3 members
Coal=3 members
Gas and general Description=3 members
They will prepare two questions from the text assigned to them without disturbing
others members of the group .When all questions will be ready they will share it with
each other.
Purpose of doing this is that each and every pupil will be involved and feel
himself/herself proud member of the class moreover it will help you to control
domination of few pupils.
• In the same manner other groups will be divided in small groups each and every
child will be actively involved and when their turn will come to ask or replay every
one will get opportunity to ask the question or reply the answer.
• You should monitor the children during preparation.
• Your explanation should focus the main points of the text.(10-15 minutes)
• Prepare three tags for groups “Archaeologists” “Common Public”, “Journalists”
hang these tags in their groups.
READING MATERIAL (For Archaeologists and

Where Fossil Fuels Come From

There are three major forms of fossil fuels: coal, oil

and natural gas. All three were formed many
hundreds of millions of years ago before the time of
the dinosaurs - hence the name fossil fuels. The age
they were formed is called the Carboniferous Period. As the trees and plants died, they
sank to the bottom of the swamps of oceans. They formed layers of a spongy material
called peat. Over many hundreds of years, the peat was covered by sand and clay and other
minerals, which turned into a type of rock called sedimentary.

More and more rock piled on top of more rock, and it weighed more and more. It began to
press down on the peat. The peat was squeezed and squeezed until the water came out of it
and it eventually, over millions of years; it turned into coal, oil or petroleum, and natural


Coal is a hard, black coloured rock-like substance. It is made up of carbon, hydrogen,

oxygen, nitrogen and varying amounts of sulphur. There are three main types of coal -
anthracite, bituminous and lignite. Anthracite coal is the hardest and has more carbon,
which gives it higher energy content. Lignite is the softest and is low in carbon but high in
hydrogen and oxygen content Bituminous is in between. Today, the precursor to coal - peat
- is still found in many countries and is also used as an energy source. The earliest known
use of coal was in China.

Coal provides around 28% of our energy, and oil provides 40%. Burning coal produces
sulphur dioxide, an acidic gas that contributes to the formation of acid rain.

Crude oil (called "petroleum") is easier to get out of the ground than coal, as it can flow
along pipes. This also makes it cheaper to transport. Petroleum: Also called crude oil, the
term petroleum encompasses multiple types of hydrocarbons, which are compounds
consisting primarily of hydrogen and carbon but possibly containing other elements as
well. Petroleum forms mainly from marine vegetation and bacteria that lived in the oceans
or other saltwater environments millions of years ago. Petroleum deposits are often found
in the same locations as natural gas, each of which can be extracted for energy production.
Petroleum is used in the production of plastic and medications among many other products.
Natural gas provides around 20% of the world's consumption of energy, and as well as
being burnt in power stations, is used by many people to heat their homes.
It is easy to transport along pipes, and gas power stations produce comparatively little
pollution. Natural gas forms mainly from the remains of plankton, or a type of small water
organisms including algae. Consisting mostly of methane, natural gas is often found on top
of deposits of petroleum due to its lower density, and is extracted in the same process.
However, deposits containing only natural gas do exist. Natural gas is desirable in part
because it burns cleaner than coal and petroleum. Natural gas is commonly used in
residential applications for home heating and has a myriad of other applications.

Other fossil fuels are being investigated, such as bituminous sands and oil shale. The
difficulty is that they need expensive processing before we can use them; however Canada
has large reserves of 'tar sands' , which makes it economic for them to produce a great deal
of energy this way.

As far as we know, there is still a lot of oil in the ground. But although oil wells are easy to
tap when they're almost full, it's much more difficult to get the oil up later on when there's
less oil down there. That's one reason why we're increasingly looking at these other fossil


• Very large amounts of electricity can be generated in one place using coal, fairly

• Transporting oil and gas to the power stations is easy.

• Gas-fired power stations are very efficient.

• A fossil-fuelled power station can be built almost anywhere, so long as you can get
large quantities of fuel to it.
• Disadvantages

• Basically, the main drawback of fossil fuels is pollution.

Burning any fossil fuel produces carbon dioxide, which contributes to the
"greenhouse effect", warming the Earth.

• Burning coal produces more carbon dioxide than burning oil or gas.
It also produces sulphur dioxide, a gas that contributes to acid rain. We can reduce
this before releasing the waste gases into the atmosphere.

Fossil fuels are not a renewable energy resource.

Once we've burned them all, there isn't any more, and our consumption of fossil fuels has
nearly doubled every 20 years since 1900.
This is a particular problem for oil, because we also use it to make plastics and many other

Reference material for teachers for further reading