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Lesson Plan: Natural Resources


Subject:  Science

Grade: 4

Lesson Objective: To understand and describe how some fuel comes from natural resources and its effect on the environment

Next Gen Science Standard:  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.



  • Where does the energy that you use come from?  (Allow the students to answer.)



  • There are different places that energy comes from.  All of the energy that we use comes from natural resources.
  • Coal and oil are natural resources that can be found inside of the earth.  To get them, people mine down deep in the earth.  
  • When mining for coal, it is very dirty and the mines can be unsafe.  Using coal as a source of energy, means that it is burned.  This creates air pollution.
  • When drilling for oil, there can be oil spills.  Oil spills can destroy habitats and harm animals.  Like coal, oil is burned to create energy and this creates air pollution.
  • There are other sources of energy called renewable energy.  Renewable energy is energy that can be used over and over again and is never used up. 
  • Some examples of renewable energy are wind, solar and hydro or water.
  • Wind energy is created using the wind.  Wind creates electricity in a windmill.
  • The wind turns the blade of a windmill, which spins a wheel and creates electricity.
  • Wind energy can be made any place that is flat and where the wind blows at least 22 kilometer per hour.
  • Hydro energy is made using water.  Water flowing down a river spins a wheel that creates electricity.
  • Often times, people build dams to block water and control the flow of water.  But, hydro energy can be created anywhere there is running water.
  • Solar energy is made using the sun.  The heat from the sun is collected using big shiny panels called solar panels.
  • Those solar panels absorb the heat from the sun and turn it into electricity. 
  • Solar panels are expensive and there need to be a lot of them to create a lot of electricity.
  • Now that you have learned about different types of energy, I want you to think about which types of energy are better for the environment and why?
  • Please write down what you think.
  • Does anyone have any questions?



  • Who would like to share what you wrote?  (Allow the students to share.)

Written by Kimberly Greacen, Education World® Contributing Writer

Kimberly is an educator with extensive experience in curriculum writing and developing instructional materials to align with Common Core State Standards and Bloom's Taxonomy.

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