Why Are Some Natural Resources Limited?

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Students will be able to explain why some natural resources are limited.

Big Idea

Students will view a digital resource to determine why natural resources are limited and what they can do to save them.


1 minutes

Warm Up

10 minutes

I will begin this lesson with a class discussion. As a whole group, we will discuss how natural resources are used to meet human needs. We will talk about what we have learned thus far; such as using natural resources to create food, fuels, and fibers. Reviewing what was previously taught to the students allows the students to make connections while activating their newly acquired knowledge from previous lessons.

Next, we will discuss the positives and negatives to creating such products to meet our needs as humans. I will ask students to think of all the great benefits to creating these products. I will allow the students the opportunity to think, pair, share to encourage peer discourse and share ideas. I will select students randomly to share their thinking. Next, I will ask the students to share some negative things that may occur when we take natural resources and create things to satisfy our wants and needs. Students will again be allowed the think, pair, share prior to sharing their thoughts with the class.


25 minutes

I will begin the Explore section by sharing the objective of today's lesson. I will inform students that we will be watching a video resource that gives more information about natural resources and how they are used to satisfy wants and needs. 

I will display the first four minutes of the Discovery Education video clip, Facts About Resources. I will remind students that in previous lessons we discussed the importance of weighing the costs and benefits prior to obtaining the natural resources for human use. I will explain to the students that this is exactly what humans have to decide when determining when and how to use the natural resources.

Next, I will have students group together into groups of five. Each group will randomly select a natural resource card with a scenario on it. The students will have to work together to determine the costs and benefits of using this natural resource. As students work, they will complete the Cost VS Benefit Recording Sheet. In the end, the group has to decide whether it is worth it to use the resource, or not. Having students work together on decision making promotes a classroom culture where new ideas are welcomed and respected. It also allows students the opportunity to share their thinking.

As students share, I will observe each group and ask probing questions to encourage critical thinking. Some of the questions I will ask are, "What are some things you need to consider before deciding whether to use this resource or not? What are the costs and benefits of using this resource? What happens if you use all of it? What can we do as humans to make sure that we are using our scarce natural resources more carefully/"

Wrap Up

10 minutes

To conclude the lesson, students will be given the opportunity to share their scenarios and what their team has decided to do with their resource. Students will share with the class what their resource was and how their group plans on using it (if they decided that it was worth using). Students will share their responses to some of the probing questions that I asked as they worked and discussed their scenario. 

Lastly, as a class we will discuss why some natural resources are limited. I will ask students to share their opinion about why some resources availability are becoming less and less. What we can do as humans to ensure that we are using our natural resources carefully so we can save the scarce ones and prevent others from becoming scarce.