Natural Resources on Earth: Renewable

Contributor: Samantha Penna. Lesson ID: 11982

Where does electricity come from? Is it stored in that box in the wall or the light switch? It's generated from some other energy source. What if that runs out? Learn about sources that won't run out!


Earth Science

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Watch this short video of a sailboat on the water.

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  • Do you know what is making the boat move?

The earth has many resources that can be used to fuel cars and create electricity.

The safest and healthiest way to get energy from the earth is to use renewable resources. Renewable resources are resources that will never run out.

This lesson explores the earth's many renewable resources.

think about energy

Think about a day when it was really windy. If you were wearing a hat, it might have blown off your head, or if you have long hair, it might have whipped around in the wind.

Wind is a powerful force that naturally occurs on the earth. Wind is what made the sailboat move in the video above!

Wind energy is made by wind and can be used to create electricity. For example, wind turbines (like the one shown below) collect energy from the wind.

The blades begin to spin when the wind hits the blades. This generates energy. The energy created by the wind-moving wind turbines can be used to make electricity.

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Solar energy comes from the sun. Solar panels (like the ones pictured below) use the sun's light and heat to create energy.

Many homes worldwide have started to use solar panels on their roof. This provides electricity to the home. Different countries are working toward using solar power to create energy.

  • Did you know some cars use solar energy?

Many different types of cars get their energy from the solar panels on their roof!

solar panels

Hydro energy can also be used to create electricity.

Think back to wind energy. The wind energy caused a turbine to spin, which created energy. This is the same for hydro energy, except instead of wind causing a turbine to move, it is water!

Water races past a turbine, causing the turbine to spin, creating electricity. Take a look at the dam below.

  • Can you see the water rushing through it?

This water is spinning turbines that are inside of the dam and creating electricity!

hydroelectric dam

Tidal energy works the same way as wind energy and hydro energy.

The one thing that makes it different is the energy is collected by spinning turbines that are moved by waves! The movement of the ocean causes the turbines to spin, creating energy.

tidal energy

You learned about four different forms of renewable energy that can be used to create electricity.

  • Can you explain what renewable means in your own words?

Move to the Got It? section to reveal the answer.

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