Renewable vs. Non Renewable

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SWBAT compare and contrast renewable and nonrenewable energy.

Big Idea

All living things share resources that can be renewable or nonrenewable. The way in which we use one resource can affect other resources.

Bell Ringer-Renewable Energy vs Nonrenewable Energy

5 minutes

How are these alike? How are they different?

Before viewing the video: It is important to state the specific purpose for watching a video. It makes the activity accountable. It's best practice.

Today, the purpose is to compare and contrast Renewable Energy vs. Nonrenewable Energy. I ask students to identify ways that renewable energy is like nonrenewable energy and how they are different. I tell students they will discuss these ways with their partner after the video.

After viewing the video: I ask students to turn and talk with their partner for one minute. This gives students an opportunity to process their thoughts and share their thinking about the two focus questions. Then, I ask students to share with the large group, which allows all students to hear what other students are thinking. There is more than one way to make student talk accountable - one is the share out where students can expect that they may be asked to share their thinking. Another would be to ask students to share what their partner said during the discussion.

Make A Foldable

30 minutes

This lesson focuses on the CCSS RI.6.4 determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings. I ask students to focus on the terms renewable resource and nonrenewable resource. Students should identify the meaning, examples, and relevant facts about each term. In the foldable, I encourage students to write and/or draw their answers.

A foldable is an easy to use, easy to implement learning tool for students. Foldables allow students to use their hands to create a manipulative. They are hands-on and promote content learning. 

Foldables help students to:

  • write general information about one concept
  • remember key points
  • self-check what they know about a topic


After each student has a copy of the foldable, I model how to fold it and cut it. As a class, we list the various resources for students to get information for their foldable. The list could include: the textbook, articles, videos, and a dictionary.

Teacher Tip: To streamline the process, I pre-print the foldable with a FOLD line and a CUT line. This makes it easier for ELL and Special Education students to follow along.

Wrap It Up

5 minutes

Where can you find information to complete your foldable?

Helping students identify where to find accurate, reliable information is a valuable skill. First, I direct students to the science textbook. I discuss the value of the table of contents, the glossary, and the index. Next, I direct students to additional resources in my classroom such as a dictionary, thesaurus, and a variety of trade books. Finally, I encourage students to go online to gather information to complete their foldable.