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"So what about energy resources? After all, we have electricity! What is renewable energy and where does wind come from anyway?" This introductory lesson provides answers to these students' questions, as well as a relevant understanding of how the different kinds of renewable energy relate to the future. The mathematical concept of the algebraic equation is also introduced and applied through a cooperative group activity.
ITV Series
"Futures #203: Renewable Energy"
Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
for student group of 2:

for each student:

Wind Experiments

for class use:
Vocabulary Vocabulary
Pre-Viewing Activities
The teacher will give each student group of two a packet of M & M 's. Ask students to mathematically write in their math journal what is in the packet. Through questioning, have students discover that their explanation will be clearer if the packet is opened and examined. If students do not initiate opening the packet, ask students, "Do you think you should open the packet to write your response? Why?" (Note: students should not eat the candy until later instructed!)

After students have completed this part of the activity, ask for student responses and write them on the board.
Focus Viewing
To give students a specific responsibility while viewing, introduce the video with the following directions: "Today we are going to learn a new mathematical way to explain numbers. As you watch this video, see if you can find the mathematical word you think we will be studying to write as the title/heading in your math journal for today's lesson."

Viewing Activities
BEGIN the Tape after the introduction when Jaime Escalante is at his podium and says, "You need to know equations, or how to read equations". The video continues with no narrative, only music, and several types of equations shown.

PAUSE Tape immediately as soon as Jaime has written "Equations" and underlined it on the board. Ask students "What mathematical word will help us understand more about numbers?" (Equations) and to write this word as the title or heading on the page in their journal.

To give students a specific responsibility while viewing, say "Now, let's watch to discover what the only thing is that you have to know to solve an equation."

RESUME Tape. After Jaime says, "Piece of cake; simple.", Pause Tape. Ask students, "What is the only thing you have to know for solving an equation?" (How to substitute) Ask students to add this information to their new math journal page on equations.

To give students a specific responsibility while viewing, ask students to watch for a way Jaime uses substitution in an equation. RESUME Tape. After he says, " What would you put in that box?", PAUSE Tape. Replicate on the board the equation he wrote on the board:

Ask students to write this equation in their journals and write the number in the box to solve this equation.

To validate students' answers, RESUME Tape and quickly PAUSE Tape when Jaime says "Two equals Two ". Use Jaime's style and say "Piece of cake; simple." Discuss how he substituted an empty box for a number that was unknown.

To give students a specific responsibility for viewing, ask students to predict what is done in mathematics instead of having an empty box in the equation by writing in their journals. RESUME Tape. After Jaime says, "That's equation. Simple", PAUSE Tape for students to discuss their predictions.

To give students a specific responsibility for viewing, ask them to write the equation: 2X = 6 in their journals. Ask, "What must X be equal to?" (3). RESUME Tape. When Jaime says "2 X 3 = 6" PAUSE Tape to validate the answers of your students.

To give students a specific responsibility while viewing, introduce the next viewing with "Watch for Jaime's review of what the only thing you have to know about an equation." RESUME Tape. After Jaime says, "Got It?", PAUSE Tape. Review with students what Jaime said: to solve an equation, you only have to know how to substitute.

To give students a specific responsibility for viewing, ask them to watch to see if they recognize any of the equations in this next segment. RESUME Tape. When Jaime says, "The only way to get two is when X is equal to one. Equation." STOP Tape.

Discuss equations that students may know. Write student responses on the board. Add familiar equations (circumference; area; mass-energy equation; etc.) and discuss equations. Expand this discussion by including other different types of equations such as chemical equations and recipes. Can you substitute? (What if the equation is for water - can you substitute Helium for Hydrogen and still have water? When baking a cake, can you substitute butter for margarine and still have a cake? Explore substitution and how it is related to equations.)

Return to the packet of M & M's. Have student write an equation for their packet of M & M's. Student can now write an equation using substitution. This can be used for other student groups to solve or for the class to solve. Have students share equations, adding them to their math journals.

To give students a specific responsibility for viewing, give the following instructions: "As you watch this next part of the video, listen for an equation which involves energy." Start Tape when students are clapping, as Ed Begley, Jr. enters and says "Thank you very much."

PAUSE Tape after Ed says "That's Math." Ask students to repeat the equation ( 4.8 mpg X 57 people/hr = 273.6 mpg). Write this equation on the board and review this energy usage with students as it was presented by Ed.

To give students a specific responsibility for viewing, ask students to find one way mathematics relates to renewable energy. Resume Tape when Ed says "Math is the key to all this. That is how they figure it out." When Beth Richards, Mechanical Engineer, U.S. Dept. of Energy Lab says, "These panels convert the energy directly into electricity.", PAUSE Tape.

Discuss the ways mentioned in the tape. Continue discussion of solar energy. Ask, "What types of solar energy do you know of?" (solar calculators and watches) Discuss solar energy. "The next part of the tape presents another type of renewable energy, wind energy, using wind turbines. How does wind make energy? Let's see." .

RESUME Tape where windy corn field is shown and Ed begins speaking "Electricity from the wind is being harvested today." When Ed says "Solar , wind energy. Those are resources that we will have for a long, long time." , PAUSE Tape. Check for comprehension of how the wind makes the turbine motor go around, making the generator spin, thus making electricity.

REWIND Tape for this last section. To give students a specific responsibility for viewing, ask them to listen this time for one of the wind energy benefits mentioned.

RESUME Tape where windy corn field is shown and Ed begins speaking "Electricity from the wind is being harvested today." When Ed says "Solar , wind energy. Those are resources that we will have for a long, long time." , STOP Tape.

Discuss the benefits of both wind and solar energy. Include the tape components of no pollution, no imported oil, and always having the sun and wind.
Post-Viewing Activities
Now say to your students, "With a better understanding of the wind as a renewable energy, you will now conduct experiments with wind."

Did you ever wonder what makes the wind? To understand wind energy, you will perform two experiments that turns an ordinary light bulb into a wind-making machine."

Windy Experiment 1

a lamp and a small amount of talcum powder

1. turn on the lamp (without a lamp's shade) 2. when the bulb is hot, sprinkle a tiny bit of talcum powder just above it, and watch what happens.

Set up a lamp to demonstrate this activity for students. Once the lamp bulb is hot, sprinkle a tiny bit of powder just above it to demonstrate how the powder moves up due to the rising current of warm air, or wind.

Hand out the worksheet for Wind Experiment 1 "Where does wind come from anyway?" . Have students repeat this demonstration with a lamp or lamps that you have set up for this experiment.

How Does it work? The power is carried upwards by a rising current of warm air, or wind, warmed by the light bulb. Real wind starts when the sun heats the earth. As the earth gets warm, it heats the air just above it. This hot air expands, making it lighter. The warm, light air rises, leaving room for heavier, cooler air to move in and take its place. This movement of air is what we call wind.

Windy Experiment 2

a light bulb, a pencil, a piece of paper, scissors

Procedure: 1. cut a spiral out of the piece of paper, as shown on the worksheet. 2. balance the center of the spiral on the point of a pencil. You may have to make a small indentation in the paper to keep it from slipping off, but be careful not to make a hole. 3. Turn on the light bulb and wait a few minutes until it is hot. Then hold your pencil with the balanced spiral just about the bulb. What happened?

Have your spiral cut and ready for a demonstration for students. Turn on the lamp bulb and once it is hot, hold the pencil with the balanced spiral just above the bulb to demonstrate that the spiral is moving because the air is being heated and rises as a result, creating a mini-wind that causes the spinning.

Hand out wind experiment worksheet 2. Have students cut out their spirals and repeat the experiment with the lamp bulb or bulbs you have set up for this activity.

How does it work? The spiral started to spin because the hot light bulb warmed the air around it. This hot light air started rising, creating a mini-wind that spins the spiral like the real wind spins a pinwheel.
Action Plan
1. Through a letter writing assignment, have students contact the company which provides electricity in your area. Find out if the company is considering making more use of renewable sources of energy.

Arrange for a tour of a local power facility if possible, or have a speaker come to your class and discuss the energy usage in your area and the sources of that energy. Discuss methods of conserving energy and why this is important.

2. What are the different ways in which energy is used at your school? Have students gather energy information to conduct an energy audit of the school. Have the school district energy budget representative visit the classroom to present the information. Have students determine ways the school could conserve energy and make a presentation to the school student council, administrators, and school board.

Estimate the amount of energy used to light the classrooms from the wattage of one light bulb and estimates of the number of bulbs per room and the number of rooms. How much energy is used for lighting per day, in kilowatt hours? watts X 8 hours/1000. What does this cost per day? Per student?

On the Web:

Envirolink - a listing of over 350 environmental groups: http://envirolink.org/orgs

Econet - provides a long list of environmental organizations with links to their World Wide Web homepages: http://www.econet.apc.org

Sierra Club - national organization address: http://www.sierraclub.org

To get on the Sierra Club Internet mailing list, send an e-mail to: http://listserve@netspace.org. Leave the subject line blank, in the body of the message enter sc-cosierra. The club's 24 hour bulletin board number is 860-1242; set your modem (the BBS handles up to 14,400 baud) to 8-N-1

University of Colorado Environmental Center: http://stripe.colorado.edu/%7eecology/newjfy.php

Boulder Community Network - links to Eco-cycle, Sinapu, Boulder Energy Conservation Center and E-town. It also has local and national subjects listed: http://bcn.boulder.co.us/environment/center.html

Research the latest technology of future energy sources.

Gain information on renewable energy through the Internet

Research the development of renewable energy sources. Use a map to locate areas where renewable energy is prevalent.

Integration Study parabolas as used in solar energy and make parabolic reflector solar cooker.

Equations: sports statistics to compute batting averages, on base percentages, etc.

Art/Science Integration
Design a solar satellite/space station of the future

Language Arts/Science Integration
Write a short story using renewable energy as the only form of energy

Make different kinds of solar tea and have a taste testing activity.

Master Teacher: Beth Bouchard

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