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Resource Language:

English

Regional Focus

Global

Nonrenewable Energy

Authors: Newsela, National Geographic Society
Grades: 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th
Subjects: Science, Earth and Space Sciences
Resource Type:
  • Digital Text
Synopsis
  • This digital text outlines coal, petroleum, natural gas, nuclear energy, and biomass energy. It also very clearly outlines the advantages and disadvantages of each type of energy. 
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • The text features an introductory section on nonrenewable energy before outlining the specific types of nonrenewable energy.

Additional Prerequisites

  • You will need to set up a free account to access the materials.
  • Biomass energy is sometimes considered renewable and sometimes considered nonrenewable.
  • The list includes three fossil fuels (coal, petroleum, natural gas) and two non-fossil fuels (nuclear energy, biomass energy).

Differentiation

  • This text can be used as an introduction to the concept of nonrenewable energy in science classes.
  • The content can be set to five different reading levels for students of different abilities: 490L, 610L, 750L, 870L, and MAX.
  • In groups, students could research one of the types of nonrenewable energy. Students could write a summary, create a drawing, or share what they learned with their classmates.
  • Students could rank these types of nonrenewable energy using the guiding question "Which type of nonrenewable energy is the worst?" Answers will vary. Students can choose any of the types of nonrenewable energy as the "worst one," as long as they can craft an argument supporting their choice with evidence and reasoning.
  • Related resources include this digital text and this lesson plan on renewable energy.
Scientist Notes
This resource underscores nonrenewable energy sources like coal, natural gas, biomass, nuclear, etc. It also describes how they are formed, fractured, and utilized. Globally, about 66% of electricity generated comes from nonrenewable sources. This has also caused key environmental problems such as pollution and climate change. This resource is recommended for teaching.
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.
      • 4-ESS3-1 Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and that their uses affect the environment.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.10 By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 6-8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 2-3 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 4-5 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
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