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Project Look Sharp, Sox Sperry


6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Types

  • Activity - Classroom, 10-40 minutes
  • Presentation Slides
  • Worksheet
  • Lesson Plan

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States


PDF, Microsoft Powerpoint

Comparing Renewables: U.S. vs. Global Energy Use

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  • In this activity, students will use media literacy skills to evaluate graphs that compare renewable energy use in the United States with other countries. 
  • The resource includes a lesson plan, PowerPoint presentation slides, and student worksheets. 
Teaching Tips


  • The lesson plan offers discussion questions for a variety of academic subjects. 
  • All of the documents are downloadable pdfs.

Additional Prerequisites 

  • Teachers should go over this handout on how to analyze media messages before students complete the worksheet.
  • Teachers must create a free account before accessing the resource.
  • The lesson plan refers to a "constructivist media decoding process," information about the process can be found here.


  • Students could respond to the questions individually or in small groups and then share their thoughts in a class discussion.
  • Instead of answering the questions orally or in written form, students could draw their responses in the form of a comic strip, a mindmap, or a labeled diagram.
  • Other resources on this topic include this digital book on renewable energy sources, this article on how media messaging affects peoples' opinions on natural gas, and this podcast and lesson on what Americans think about climate change.
Scientist Notes
There are no misconceptions in the methods used in calculating national energy use, and key questions were asked to provide answers for the future of clean energy that is renewable and sustainable. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
      • 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.
      • MS-ESS3-5 Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
  • 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.
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.4.6-8 Explain how cultural patterns and economic decisions influence environments and the daily lives of people in both nearby and distant places.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.4 Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6-8 texts and topics.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.7 Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
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