Alternative Energy Sources Lesson Plan: Fossil Fuels’ Impact on the Environment

Submitted by: Judy Ronay

Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12

In this lesson plan for grades 6 through 12, students will use BrainPOP resources to learn how alternative sources of energy can be created and utilized. They’ll explore the impact of fossil fuels and alternative energy on our society and environment, and create an informational brochure to share important information about alternative energy.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Understand how to create and utilize alternative sources of energy.
  2. Understand impacts of fossil fuels and alternative energy on our society and on our environment.
  3. Integrate computer technology with technology education to create an informational brochure in Microsoft Office.

Materials:

  • Access to BrainPOP
  • Interactive Whiteboard
  • Individual computer stations
  • Microsoft Publisher
  • Internet access for information on the theme of alternative energy sources and sample informational brochures

Vocabulary:

fossil fuel; alternative; renewable & nonrenewable energy; solar; nuclear; geothermal; hydro-power

Preparation:

Explain what energy is: energy lights our cities, powers our vehicles, and runs machinery in factories. It warms and cools our homes and schools, cooks our food, plays our music, and gives us pictures on television. Energy is defined as the ability or the capacity to do work. Use the POP Quiz before watching the BrainPOP movie "Forms of Energy" to see what students already know and talk about the different types of energy there are.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Have students create a two page brochure or flyer in Microsoft Publisher entitled 'Alternative Energy Sources' (utilizing Word Art, using BrainPOP as a tool for research.
  2. Explain what fossil fuels are and how they may harm the environment.
  3. Watch the BrainPOP movie Fossil Fuels.
  4. Try the POP Quiz again with students to assess what they learned.
  5. List and explain three alternative sources of energy.
  6. Invite students to give examples of products and services which can be run on alternative sources of energy.
  7. Watch the BrainPOP movie "Solar Energy". Use BrainPOP's interactive features (Activity Pages, FYI, Quiz) before, during, or after the movie to enhance the lesson.
  8. Have students insert clip art and images from the internet to illustrate their brochures. They should then edit their work using spelling and grammar tools and print.

Extension Activity:

Magnetic Levitation Vehicles can be created first in Auto Desk Inventor (a 3-D computer modeling program) and then a motorized foam and magnetic model can be created in the technology lab. The model MagLev can then be tested on an electronic magnetic track.