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The student categorizes nonrenewable vs. renewable resources in this lesson and learns the effects of overusing our resources


Science, Social Studies  



Title – Natural Resources: Renewable vs. Nonrenewable
By – Cynthia Gaucin
Primary Subject – Science
Secondary Subject – Social Studies
Grade Level – 3

Texas Essential Knowledge & Skills Science Standards:

    (3.11) Science Concepts. The student knows that the natural world includes earth materials and objects in the sky. The student is expected to:

      (A) Identify and describe the importance of earth materials including rocks, soil, water, and gases of the atmosphere in the local area and classify them as renewable, nonrenewable, or inexhaustible resources.

Learning Objectives:

  • The student will be able to identify and know what a natural resource is.
  • The student will be able to categorize nonrenewable vs. renewable resources.
  • The student will be able to identify and understand the effect and importance these materials have on earth.

List of materials needed:

  • student science notebook
  • natural resources and their products worksheet (teacher created)
  • overhead or board
  • pencil
  • transparency
  • teacher notes
  • pictures showing the long term bad effects of overusing our natural resources

Pre-Activity Preparation:

    Before the lesson, make sure you have you transparency ready and the notes ready. On your transparency, make a T-chart into two sides. Name one “Nonrenewable” and the other “Renewable”.


    The students will all sit in their assign seats and will stay seated until directions are given out.

Establishing Set/Motivational/Introduction:

    Show pictures of the long term effects of overusing our natural resources.

Learning Experiences/Presentation/Procedure:

  • After all the students are seated and have their science notebook out, proceed to the overhead and turn it on.
  • You will need the transparency with the T-chart of Nonrenewable vs. Renewable. Ask your students to copy the chart with the title being “Natural Resources.”
  • As you take out your teacher notes, ask the students if they are aware of what a natural resources is.
  • After the students have given you their thoughts of what a natural resource is, explain to them what a natural resource is and what it consists of.
  • Explain to them that a natural resources can be grouped into the two categories Renewable and Nonrenewable.
  • Explain what a nonrenewable resource is and give examples.
  • Explain what a renewable resources is and give examples.
  • Make sure to have a list of natural resources and call them out to see if your students can categorize them between nonrenewable and renewable
  • After the students have done this, explain to them the long term effects overusing and wasting our natural resources has on habitats, animals, and even humans.
  • Explain to the students the importance of these resources and how they help us.
  • Introduce the three R’S (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle)
  • Explain and show the students how they can save our environment doing simple tasks at home.
  • Let the students ask questions and give their ideas on how to save their environment.
  • Pass out worksheets.

Closure Questions:

  • What is a natural resource?
  • What are two types of natural resources?
  • What are the three environmental “R’s” ?
  • Based on what we discussed today, what can we do to help out the environment?
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