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Climate Change, Nonfiction


3rd, 4th, 5th


Science, Earth and Space Sciences, English Language Arts


55 minutes

Regional Focus



Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Energy Resources? (Renewable Energy #3)

Created By Teachers:
Last Updated:
Feb 29, 2024
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This lesson introduces students to renewable and nonrenewable energy resources. Students read about an energy resource, complete a graphic organizer, explain to their classmates why their energy resource is the best, and vote for their favorite type of energy. 

Step 1 - Inquire: Students practice turning their energy on and off with a mindfulness exercise.

Step 2 - Investigate: Students read a nonfiction book on a specific type of energy and take notes in a graphic organizer.

Step 3 - Inspire: Students "pitch" their energy resource in a mock town hall, hoping to gain the most votes from their classmates to adopt their energy resource. Students vote for their favorite energy to decide a winner.

Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • Students will have to weigh the pros and cons of different energy resources. This is happening in real life, as policymakers and other leaders decide the best way to rapidly deploy clean energy.
  • Students practice their public speaking skills.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This is lesson 3 of 6 in our 3rd-5th grade Renewable Energy unit.
  • It is important for students to understand the advantages and disadvantages of different energy sources. However, it is critical for them to know that burning fossil fuels is causing catastrophic climate and ecological breakdown. The students who are pitching the burning of oil and natural gas, therefore, should most likely "lose" the voting in the town hall. If natural gas or oil "win" in the voting, it's probably best to pivot and spend time teaching about the devastating effects of climate change.
  • If your students need to see the clear disadvantages of burning fossil fuels, you can show them this video on the causes and effects of climate change, this video on the sixth mass extinction, or this video explaining how climate change makes extreme weather worse.


  • It may be best to choose well-liked or confident students to research the fossil fuels. They will most likely "lose" when your students vote. These students should be good sports and have good humor.
  • It may be best to group students of different abilities so stronger students can model good note-taking for weaker students.
  • Each student should have at least one speaking part when they give their "pitch" to the rest of the class.
Scientist Notes

It is important for cities to shift to renewable energy. This lesson spotlights the offerings of renewable and nonrenewable sources and allows students to create and pitch a real-life renewable energy product. There are no contradictions in the lesson. Thus, this lesson is hereby approved for classroom use.


This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

Primary Standards

  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • RI.3.2 Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.
      • RI.3.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction at grade level text complexity or above, with scaffolding as needed.
      • RI.4.2 Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
      • RI.4.10 By the end of year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction at grade level text complexity or above, with scaffolding as needed.
      • RI.5.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction at grade level text complexity or above, with scaffolding as needed.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 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.

Note On Standards:

This lesson is aligned to SubjectToClimate standards. Review the aligned standards directly in the lesson plan document and teacher slideshow.

Discover more on SubjectToClimate.
Renewable Energy Unit Lesson Plans


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