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The central idea of this unit is "The choices we make every day about how we use energy impact our environment and our lives." In this six-week unit, I will begin with the concept of energy. The students will brainstorm about what energy is, why it's important to us, and where it comes from. From that point, I will demonstrate the different types of energy, the sources of energy, and the effects each has on the environment. I will structure my lessons by teaching about fossil fuels first and then carbon-free powers. Upon completion of instruction on fossil fuels, I will use a map to demonstrate where our reserves are, and initiate discussion on our reliance to other countries and what problems that can cause. Similarly, in concluding the lessons on carbon-free powers, I will use maps to show what countries are using these sources. Throughout the unit we will work on a large comparison matrix to compare all energy sources, including the pros and the cons of each. We will also discuss what countries or areas are doing a better job at using clean energy. This should get the students thinking about our role as a nation and what we could or should do to help.
(Recommended for Science, Math, and Social Studies, grade 5)