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Expressions and Equations


6th, 7th, 8th




60 minutes

Regional Focus



Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Calculating Wind Turbines for a Community (Renewable Energy Algebra #3)

Created By Teachers:
Last Updated:
Feb 23, 2024
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In this lesson, students use algebra to calculate the number of wind turbines needed to power a local community.
Step 1 - Inquire: Students watch a short video introducing wind energy and discuss the possibility of wind energy powering their community.
Step 2 - Investigate: Students complete a series of mathematical calculations related to wind energy.
Step 3 - Inspire: Students discuss the benefits of wind energy using their calculations to support their ideas.
Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • Students use their algebra skills in a real-world application.

  • The calculations are relevant to students because they estimate the number of wind turbines needed for their own city.

  • Students practice supporting their ideas with evidence, which is a skill that is applicable across all disciplines.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This is lesson 3 of 5 in the 6th-8th grade Renewable Energy Algebra unit.

  • Students will need calculators.

  • Teachers may need to provide the population of their city to students for question 5 on the Student Document.
  • One-to-one technology is ideal. If this is not possible, omit questions 9 and 10 on the Student Document or complete these questions as a class.


  • Teachers can have students work in pairs or small groups to complete the calculations instead of individually.

  • The discussion at the end of the lesson could be done as a whole group instead of first in pairs.

  • Teachers can complete the first few questions with students to get them started before letting them work individually.

Scientist Notes

This lesson has students determine the energy generated from a wind turbine. They would be able to analyze the number of units needed for a household, a community, or a small town and share with their community the pros and cons of investing in wind power. All materials were thoroughly reviewed, and this lesson has passed the credibility review process.


Primary Standards

  • Common Core Math Standards (CCSS.MATH)
    • Expressions & Equations (6-8)
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.EE.A.2 Write, read, and evaluate expressions in which letters stand for numbers.
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.EE.B.6 Use variables to represent numbers and write expressions when solving a real-world or mathematical problem; understand that a variable can represent an unknown number, or, depending on the purpose at hand, any number in a specified set.
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.EE.B.3 Solve multi-step real-life and mathematical problems posed with positive and negative rational numbers in any form (whole numbers, fractions, and decimals), using tools strategically. Apply properties of operations to calculate with numbers in any form; convert between forms as appropriate; and assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies. For example: If a woman making $25 an hour gets a 10% raise, she will make an additional 1/10 of her salary an hour, or $2.50, for a new salary of $27.50. If you want to place a towel bar 9 3/4 inches long in the center of a door that is 27 1/2 inches wide, you will need to place the bar about 9 inches from each edge; this estimate can be used as a check on the exact computation.
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.EE.B.4 Use variables to represent quantities in a real-world or mathematical problem, and construct simple equations and inequalities to solve problems by reasoning about the quantities.
    • Ratios & Proportional Relationships (6-7)
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.RP.A.3 Use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical problems, e.g., by reasoning about tables of equivalent ratios, tape diagrams, double number line diagrams, or equations.
Renewable Energy Algebra Unit Lesson Plans


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