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Resource Language:

English

Regional Focus

Global

Types of Renewable 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 solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and hydroelectric energies. It also very clearly outlines the advantages and disadvantages of each type of energy. 
  • Tidal energy, wave energy, and algal fuel are briefly mentioned at the end of the text. 
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • This text might help students understand that all of these solutions must be implemented to address climate change. There is no single easy solution.
  • The read-aloud option with highlighted text is a great feature.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Biomass energy is sometimes considered renewable and sometimes considered nonrenewable.
  • You must set up a free account to access the materials.

Differentiation

  • This text can be used as an introduction to the concept of renewable 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 five types of renewable energy. Students could write a summary, create a drawing, or share what they learned with their classmates.
  • Students could rank these types of renewable energy using the guiding question "Which type of renewable energy is the best?" Answers will vary. Students can choose any of the types of renewable energy as the "best one," as long as they can craft an argument supporting their choice with evidence and reasoning.
  • Related resources include "Sven's Search for Clean Energy," a digital storybook about renewable energy, and this lesson plan on renewable energy.
Scientist Notes
The various forms of renewable energy sources and how they are harnessed have been discussed in this resource. Renewable energy is seen as the best form of energy that presents a win-win solution. For instance it can provide sustainable energy that is clean and carbon-free. This is good for the health of the planet and also the environment. This resource is comprehensive, as it outlines the benefits of renewable energy sources and also the few setbacks which are also important for students to gain insights. Above all, there is no contradiction in the facts presented. Hence, this resource is recommended for teaching.
Standards
  • 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.
      • 5-ESS3-1 Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and 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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