Pupils should know the main sources of energy that we use, and also that non-renewable resources are running out. Introduce the concept of renewable and non-renewable. Use a ‘small steps approach’ giving examples of things which run out which the children can actually relate to. For example what happens when the food in the fridge runs out? Is anything left? Can it be ‘renewed’? It is important pupils understand that non-renewable means something will ‘run out forever’ and that renewable means it ‘can be got again’. How will we get our energy when theses sources run out?
Do pupils have any ideas on what could be used to provide energy? They should understand that whatever is used, needs to be powerful and strong in some way. You could help them understand the ‘power’ of the wind, rain and seas through movement, dance and drama activities, paintings, stories, poetry and songs.
Help pupils understand what it would be like if our energy sources actually ran out by using:
Consolidate pupils’ understanding that some energy sources will run out and some will not by using:
Help more able pupils to understand that an energy source must be powerful in some way and to compare a renewable and non-renewable source by using:
Ensure pupils understand that our main sources of energy are running out and are non-renewable whilst encouraging them to consider how we can move forward in energy production. Remind them that non-renewable sources of energy are damaging the environment. Can pupils identify the sources of energy which would enable us to live in a safer, healthier environment and cut down the damage we are doing to the planet? Can they accurately explain why renewable sources of energy would help us achieve this?
What are the best ways forward? What difficulties can they foresee in developing a whole new approach to the provision of energy? Ask them to consider, cost, planning difficulties and human needs?
Work within pupils’ own experience and understanding by keeping the discussion to their home location/country at this stage. Older or more able pupils can be later challenged by considering this question on a worldwide basis.
Examine planning and cost issues by using:
Consider a way of generating electricity that is in harmony with both the needs of a community and the environment by using: