It’s All About Energy

Information for Teachers

Curriculum links

This investigation is linked to the following Grade 4 Next Generation Science Standards.

PS3.A: Definitions of Energy

The faster a given object is moving, the more energy it possesses (4-PS3-1)

ESS3.A: Natural Resources

Energy and fuels that humans use are derived from natural sources, and their use affects the environment in multiple ways. Some resources are renewable over time, and others are not (4-ESS3-1)

PS3.D: Energy in Chemical Processes and Everyday Life

The expression “produce energy” typically refers to the conversion of stored energy in a desired from for practical use.(4-PS3-4)

How to search the internet

1 Keep your request short

Fewer words will give a more accurate search.

2 Choose exactly what you want

For example: Arctic Circle Climate

3 Use quotes

Double quotes around a set of words tell the search engine to consider those exact words in that exact order without any change. For example: “Arctic Circle Climate”

4 Use the plus sign (+)

If you add a plus sign (+) between words, the internet will search for all the words. For example: migrate+birds+whales+mammal

5 Use the minus sign (–) to say what you don’t want

Use a minus sign (–) to show words you do not want to appear in your results. For example: if you search for burrowing animals and do not want mammals in your search,  –mammals will exclude mammals. Note that you need to put a space before the minus sign for the word to be excluded.

6 Be very clear about what you don’t want

Part 1
Ask questions and define problems

After reading It’s All About Energy, you may have many questions about the amount of energy we use and how we make that energy.

List your questions

  • Compare your list with questions that others have.
  • Choose a question you would like to investigate.
  • You can work alone, with a partner, or in a small group.

You may want to choose one or more of these questions to investigate

Q1. People often compare different countries when they talk about energy use. You might like to choose some countries to compare. You could choose to compare other countries with your country or other countries that are similar to the one where you live. You could compare how much energy is used or how they produce their energy (coal, oil, natural gas, hydroelectricity, wind, solar).

Q2. How many countries can you find that create most of their electricity from renewable energy?

Q3. Which countries use the most electricity per person?

Go to Part 2 Investigate →

Part 2

Helpful websites

You may want to use websites to help you’re your investigations.

The Australian Climate Council website has clear reports about countries increasing their renewable energy.

Ecowatch reports on five countries moving toward 100% renewable energy.

The World Atlas lists the top 20 producers of renewable energy by country and heavy users of fossil fuels.

You can use these words in your search:



Go to Part 3 Record data →

Part 3
Record data

Find ways of recording your information that will allow you to see any patterns in the data.

Data Chart for comparing electricity generation by country

Download Chart
Go to Part 4 Organize, analyze, and interpret data →

Part 4
Organize, analyze, and interpret data

1. Look over the information you have gathered and the patterns you have found.

How do the natural resources found in a country influence how it produces electricity? Why do they need to do this?

Do you think countries will be able to change the way they produce electricity?

Do you think countries will want to change the way they produce electricity?

2. Search for other patterns.

What do these patterns tell you about climate change? Why? What might happen in the future?

3. Make notes about what you find.

Go to Part 5 Present and share →

Part 5
Present and share

Look over all of the information that you have gathered in your investigation.

What are the most important ideas about your topic?

Make a chart that compares electricity generation in your country with another country.

Download Chart
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