Light Up Someone's Life with Knowledge

6, 7, 8

The purpose of this lesson is to increase the learners’ knowledge of various types of renewable energy. The learners will research those resources and develop a plan for an area to implement its energy stewardship.

PrintTwo 45 minute class periods.

The learner will:

  • research renewable energy resources.
  • develop an action plan for using renewable resources.
  • present their plan to various groups in the community.
  • Piece of coal
  • Piece of wood
  • Small pile of clean yardclippings
  • Motor oil that has been poured into a glass container. This will represent the oil found in the earth.
  • Container of water
  • Child’s toy pinwheel
  • Picture of the Sun
  • Picture of a geyser
  • Access to research materials including the internet.
  • Copy of Renewable Energy Report (Handout One) for each group
  • Copy of City Council Plan (Handout Two) for each group.


  1. Day One:Anticipatory Set:Have a piece of coal, a piece of wood, a small pile of “clean” yard clippings, motor oil that has been poured into a glass container,a container of water,a child’s toy pinwheel, a picture of the Sun and the picture of a geyser available. Ask the learners to share what they think these objects have in common.Ask for a volunteer to come to the display and sort the objects into two groups.Allow the class to help out if necessary.Group one should include; coal, oil.Group two should include yard waste, toy pinwheel, water, the wood, the picture of the Sun, the picture of the geyser.

  2. Ask a volunteer to explain what each group has in common.(Group one contains non renewable resources or fossil fuels and group two contains resources that are renewable.)

  3. Post the following terms on the board for discussion: Hydro Power; Biomass; Solar Power; Wind Power, Geothermal,Tidal and Wave energy, Green Energy

  4. Allow the learners to discuss what they think the terms mean.Some may have extensive knowledge of these terms.Tell them that they will be doing some further research to discover what these types of energy are used for and how they are made.They will also be developing an action plan for ways a city to use these resources.

  5. Ask the learners to reassemble into their groups from the previous lesson. Give each group a topic to research.Allow a few minutes of organizational time for the groups to decide on the method of research and make plans to get together outside of class time, if necessary, to do the research.

  6. Distribute Renewable Energy Report (Handout One).Tell the learners that at the end of their research, during the next class period, they will be asked to complete this reporting form.

  7. Day Two:

  8. Tell them that they are representing a “city council” that has the responsibility of developing an alternative energy plan for their city to use.The plan should describe the type of energy that they proposed.(Be sure that learners understand that cities need more than one form of energy.) In order to be prepared to recommend at least two energy sources for the community they need to be informed about all the possible energy sources.This means they need to share their research with all the members of the class.

  9. Have learners reassemble in their groups and create a summary of their research by completing Renewable Energy Report (Handout One), one report per group.Post the reports around the room and invite all the groups to do a “walk about” in their groups to read and informally discuss each group’s findings.Tell the groups they are looking for one energy source, in addition to the one their group researched, that they will include in their recommended Energy Action Plan.

  10. Distribute copies of the City Council’s Energy Action Plan (See Handout Two)

  11. Discuss the relationship between individuals’ rights and the community’s responsibility as it relates to using renewable resources.

  12. Allow approximately fifteen minutes for the learners to create the action plan and share it with the class.

  13. Ask the learners to share their thoughts on this activity.Ask: Did you learn ways to help the community both individually as well as collectively conserve energy?

  14. Arrange for the City Council members to present their plan to designated groups chosen by the teacher.This presentation may be to another class in the school, school student council, City Council or other groups throughout the community. Teacher’s Note: Schedule these outside the classroom presentations in advance of this activity.


The teacher will subjectively observe the learners working in groups as well as completing their Action Plan.

Cross Curriculum 

The learners will research and develop an action plan for the responsible use of alternative/renewable energy resources.They will present their plans to other groups in the school, or the area as a catalyst.The objective is to persuade those groups to use alternative/renewable energy resources.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark MS.5 Define <i>stewardship</i> as a trust of common resources held by a community for citizens.
      2. Benchmark MS.7 Give examples of common resources in the community.
    2. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Identify the relationship between individual rights and community responsibilities.