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Topics

  • Climate Action

Competencies

  • Critical Thinking

Regional Focus

  • United States

Renewable Energy Lesson Plan | Our Climate Our Future, Chapter 8

Author: Action for the Climate Emergency (ACE)
Grades: 6th, 7th, 8th
Subjects: Science, Social Studies, Economics
Resource Type:
  • Video, 4 minutes, 9 seconds
Synopsis
This renewable energy lesson plan includes a short video to introduce kids to renewable tech, an article, and Google Doc worksheet.
  • This video features two questions: "Can we power our lives with a lot less CO2?" and "Will we choose to do it?" It introduces renewable energy, shows that people are taking climate action, and outlines the economic benefits of a just transition to clean energy.
  • This is Chapter 8 of 11 in the Our Climate Our Future series from the Alliance for Climate Education.
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • Great for virtual learning as Google Doc worksheet is included.
  • The video does a nice job of laying out the economic costs and benefits of moving to renewable energy sources in a student-friendly manner, and could be a good jumping off point for a larger discussion or project related to this topic.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teacher must make a free account.

Differentiation

  • You may consider pausing the video after each of the two starting questions is asked and having students discuss their thoughts on answers to those questions.
  • Most of the focus in this video is about personal choices, so you may want to balance this with resources and discussions about the importance of bigger policy changes as well, to make it clear that it will take more than changing individual behaviors to address climate change.

Additional Information

  • Teaching children about renewable energy can be a difficult task. Here are a few tips to help keep your students engaged:
  • Ask what they know already. Don’t retread obvious content; let them discuss among themselves and clarify when needed.
  • Explain everything in a simple and engaging way that will appeal to the age group of your students.
  • Highlight the solutions. Discussing climate change can be daunting emotionally, but highlighting what we are doing every day to fix these problems can make it more manageable and not seem like an unsolvable problem they shouldn’t care about.
  • Finally, highlight personal action. Get students involved in easy solutions that have real impacts. Keep them engaged, and make it fun!

Scientist Notes

Coal divestment and transition to a clean energy is important for students to understand, then practice to reduce their carbon footprints. This renewable energy lesson plan is recommended for teaching. There is no contradiction in the video.

Standards
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • MS-ETS1-2 Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.1.6-8 Explain how economic decisions affect the well-being of individuals, businesses, and society.

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