Natural Resources

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This lesson was created by a preservice teacher at Texas A&M San Antonio, for the Science methods: Early Childhood at the Elementary level.
This lesson is about natural resources vs nonrenewable resources and how students can make informed choices on the use and conservation of the natural resources.  This lesson will help students to understand the impact that recycling has on the planet and how they can help make a difference.


This lesson is anchored in the 4th grade science and involves social studies and language arts.
Students will need to know prior to beginning this webquest:

  • Envelope foldable from the “Big Book of Books and Activities” by Dinah Zike
  • That these are two common misconceptions about the Earth’s resources
  1. That water resources are inexhaustible.
  2. The misconception of the Earth as both an endless supply of resources (fresh water and energy commodities in particular), and a limitless sink for the waste products of our society (where does your trash go once its picked up, and what happens to it over time?).

National Science Education Standard Addressed

Earth and Space Sciences [ESS]
    Content standard D: As a result of the activities in grades K-4, all students should develop an understanding of
  • Properties of earth materials [ESS 1]

Science Content TEK Addressed
(7)  Earth and space. The students know that Earth consists of useful resources and its surface is constantly changing. The student is expected to:
(C)  identify and classify Earth's renewable resources, including air, plants, water, and animals; and nonrenewable resources, including coal, oil, and natural gas; and the importance of conservation.

Science Process TEK(S) Addressed
(1)  Scientific investigation and reasoning. The student conducts classroom and outdoor investigations, following home and school safety procedures and environmentally appropriate and ethical practices. The student is expected to:
(B)  make informed choices in the use and conservation of natural resources and reusing and recycling of materials such as paper, aluminum, glass, cans, and plastic

Student Objectives (ABCD format)
TSWBAT identify and classify the Earth’s renewable resources and nonrenewable resources and why it is important to conserve natural resources using a foldable with 90% accuracy after completing the activities form the webquest.

Bring in different materials that are both renewable and nonrenewable and have the students classify each of the items and record it on a table.  Have the students discuss why each of the items belong in that classification.
Use this to spark interest in what a renewable and nonrenewable resources is.

  • Ask your students higher level thinking questions to check for understanding and deepen their inquiry into the topic.

  • Set aside time to be able to conference with your students to make sure that they understand what they should be doing during this phase of the 5e model.

  • Have class discussion time while students are in the elaboration phase to help them understand the effects of human population on natural resources.
  • Discuss differences between renewable and nonrenewable resources
  • Discuss the importance of conservation of natural resources
  • Before having the students go on their own to create the poster go over the rubric so they understand what is expected of them.
  • Have the students create an poster on the importance of recycling using all recycled materials as a way to evaluate their understanding of natural resources.
If there are time constraints or not enough materials for every student you could break the students into groups and have them assigned jobs to complete the task on the evaluation part of the lesson plan.

Materials and Resources
Two Envelope foldable

Overall Evaluation
You will know if this lesson is successful by how the students are able to classify renewable and nonrenewable resources.  Then they will create a poster describing the importance of preserving our natural resources using recycled materials, the students will be graded with the rubric provided in the evaluation tab.

This webquest is designed to help students understand the importance our natural resources have to us and why we need to conserve them for the future generations.  Also helps students to understand the difference between renewable and nonrenewable resources.  This is aligned with the TEKs at the top of the page.

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