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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Have you ever watched a sailboat sail or a yard light that goes on at night and off at dawn? Do you know what makes them work?

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.

In this lesson, you will explore Earth's many renewable resources. Before you read on any further, you will need to complete this lesson on a sunny day. If it is not sunny, you will not be able to complete the experiment in the Got It? section.

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 Earth. Wind energy is made by wind and can be used to create electricity. For example, wind turbines (like the ones pictured below) collect energy from the wind. When the wind hits the blades, the blades begin to spin. This generates energy. The energy created by the wind moving wind turbines can be used to make electricity.

wind turbines

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 around the world have started to use solar panels on their roof. This provides electricity to the home. Different countries are working towards using solar power to create energy. Did you know some cars use solar energy? There are many different types of cars that get their energy from the solar panels on their roof!

solar panels

Hydro energy can be also be used to create electricity. Think back to wind energy. The wind energy caused a turbine to spin that 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, which in turn creates 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 and this creates energy.

tidal energy

In this section, you learned about four different forms of renewable energy that can be used to create electricity. Tell your parent or teacher what the four types of energy you learned about are.

After sharing, move on to the Got It? section to reveal the answer.

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