Exploring Natural Resources and Products

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Students will be able to identify natural resources and products by completing a sort.

Big Idea

Natural resources and products are important concepts in both science and social studies. Students will have the opportunity to better understand these concepts in this interactive lesson.


10 minutes

Supplies Needed:


This lesson begins with a constructivist activity.  The students must create the "rules" for the activity that we will be doing.  It is their job to look for connections and apply knowledge that they have amassed to the activity.  This style of activity helps students build important critical thinking skills.

I begin the lesson by passing out the packets of cards to the students.  You will notice the cards have realistic pictures of things that the student might see in their world.  These pictures help the students to make connections to the items and possibly pick up on the relationship between pairs.  It also provide great support for my English Language Learners. 

I say to the students, I want you are and your table group to work to find partners for each of the cards that I placed on your table.  You must match a red card to a blue card.  You cannot match up two red or two blue cards.  Make sure your matches make sense.  Why are you putting these two cards together?  There should be some type of relationship between the cards.  As I come around, I will ask you why you partnered the cards the way you did.

The students begin working and I move about the room, interacting with them.  I ask them to explain to me some of the different partners that they have put together. (see video)

After all the students have grouped the cards together, I go around the room and ask each table to tell me about one of their pairings.  We then move to the SmartBoard for the direct instruction portion of the lesson.




Direct Instruction

15 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, I use my SMART Board.  If you have a SMART Board, the file Learning about Natural Resources can easily be downloaded and opened.  If you have a different type of interactive whiteboard, you can still use this lesson by opening the file in Smart Notebook Express.  There is also a pdf of the slides so you can recreate this part of the lesson: Learning About Natural Resources

I gather my students in front of the SMART Board.  I have cards with each student's name on.  These cards are used for selecting who will come up to the SMART Board.

I open the first slide (Smartboard Slide 1) with the lesson objective written in "student friendly" terms.  There is a content objective and a language objective to help focus on vocabulary expansion for my English Learners (ELs) to be congruent with SIOP instructional techniques.  I read these objectives aloud for my students.

Content Objective
I can tell what a natural resource and a product are.

Language Objective
I can tell an example of a natural resource and a product.

I then advance to Slide Two.  

Slide Two: What Is a Natural Resource?  A natural resource is anything that people use that comes from nature. Often times, they can be used to make or create other things called products. 

Slides Three-Five:  Let's look at some natural resources and products.  We go through the slides and discuss the natural resource and the product that comes from it.  

Slides Six-Seventeen: Now, let's try to figure out what natural resource each of these products comes from.  Click on the next slide to reveal.  We go through each slide and discuss the product and the students try to guess the natural resource it comes from. 

Slides Eighteen-Nineteen:  My students are familiar with “Turn and Talk”.  We use Turn and Talk to help build oral language skills, especially with my EL students.  My students have an assigned “Turn and Talk Partner”.  I then tell the students, Now, turn to your Turn and Talk partner and answer this question, What natural resource do these products come from? 

After the students have had a chance to talk, I ask for a volunteer to share what their group came up with.  We then click on the next slide to reveal the natural resource.  I use the vocabulary in a sentence to help reinforce it.  The dairy products are products that come from cows, which are a natural resource.

I then ask the students to return to their tables because we are going to revisit the matching activity from the beginning of the lesson. 

Guided Practice

10 minutes

For the guided practice portion of the lesson, we return to the activity from the opening.  I have the students return to their seats and then I say to them, Now, we know what natural resources and products are.  Take a look at your cards you were matching up earlier.  What is on these cards?  That's right.  There are natural resources and product on these cards.  Your job is to match the natural resource with its product.  All of the cards should have matches.  Go ahead and match them up and I will stop by your group and see how you are doing. 

The students quickly match up the natural resources and products.  There were just a few that were a bit challenging for them because they were not familiar with the item or where it comes from, but overall, they did a great job.

After I have a chance to check in with each group, we collect the cards and prepare for independent practice.

Independent Practice and Informal Assessment

10 minutes

Materials Needed:

  • Natural Resources Lift the Flap.  included as PDF with this lesson.  The file includes two pages.  The students need the activity page and half a page that has the items they will be cutting out and gluing.. 
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Crayons (optional)


I distribute the sheets to the students and have them write their names at the top of the paper.  I then give them directions on how to complete the project.  I say to them, We are going to make a lift-the-flap project.  It will be fun for you to share this with your family. You will cut the products out that are on this page.  You will place the products on top of the natural resource they come from.  When you have them matched up, raise your hand and I will come and check your work.  After I have checked your work, you can glue the flaps on.  We only put glue across the top of the square where it says, "Glue here."  I want you to take this home and quiz your family to see what they know about natural resources.

The students begin working (see video) and I check their work.  When everyone has completed their project (see sample), they put it in their mailboxes to take home.  As an exit ticket, I give the students a product and they need to tell me the natural resource it comes from.