What is renewable energy?
Before viewing the video, I ask students to use their Science Journal, record the date, and write a title in their journal. I ask students to focus on the question "What is renewable energy?" as they watch the video.
During the video, I ask students to use their Science Journal (Notebook) to write or draw three things they learned about renewable energy. Using a Science Journal is an effective strategy to keep students organized. In their journal, students should record notes, questions, thoughts, comments, and even draw pictures to connect to the content.
After viewing the video, I ask students, "What is renewable energy?" I draw all students into the discussion by using popsicle sticks to choose students to give a response. Some students responses to the question include: wind energy, solar energy, water energy, energy that is not used up one time and/or that comes back the next day.
This lesson focuses on NGSS MS-ESS 3-5 which states ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperature over the past century. I encourage students to make connections between climate change and its affects on pond life. Ways that I scaffold the learning for students include:
While students get directions and read the Lab Using Renewable Energy To Understand Climate Change, they are also practicing CCSS Science Literacy Standard RST.6-8.4 - Determining the meaning of symbols, key terms, & other domain specific vocabulary. Students will practice words like hypothesis, data, experiment, and conclusion.
To create a better understanding of student expectations, you may need to model the set up for the lab. Provide a few minutes for student groups to set up their lamp and paper spiral and then use a student set up as an example. Model the Student Lab Set Up and Spiral for students to visualize the experience.
Teacher Tip: If these vocabulary words have not yet been taught, they will need to be taught in context during this lesson. I tell students to highlight the vocabulary words and we discuss each word as they come up in the lesson.
I learned that . . .because . . .
Now, let's write a conclusion. As with any experiment, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but that ok. This provides opportunity to discuss what went right, what went wrong, and changes that could be made to the experiment. This step is very important for students to "come full circle."
I have learned that you need to take students back to the question so they can think about the process. What effect does climate change have on a pond? Take 1-2 minutes for students to process this question and write a conclusion. I give them a sentence starter to help with the process, for example: I learned that . . .because. . . Take 1-2 minutes to share answers with the class so students can hear other student thoughts.
One example of a student response is:
I learned that climate change could affect the pond because if climate change killed a species, it could destroy the food chain in that area.