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Resource Language:

English

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States

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

Author: ACE
Grades: 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
Subjects: Science, Social Studies, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Earth and Space Sciences, Climate Action
Formats: Google Docs, PDF, YouTube Video
Resource Types:
  • Video, 4 minutes, 9 seconds, CC
  • Worksheet
  • Article
  • Activity
  • Lesson Plan
Synopsis
  • This chapter of the Our Climate Our Future series includes a lesson plan, two hands-on activities, an article, a video, and a student worksheet.
  • The 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. 
  • The activities include making a solar oven and a wind turbine, and the article is about ocean fertilization as a potential geoengineering solution to climate change. 
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • 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.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers must make a free account to access these materials.

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 and global actions, which will also be needed to address climate change.
  • 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 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 a transition to clean energy are important for students to understand, 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.
    • 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.
      • HS-ETS1-3 Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
  • 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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