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Resources Lesson Plan

Renewable & Nonrenewable Resources

Grade: 4th

Subject: Science

Lesson Topic: Renewable, nonrenewable resources, and conservation

Lesson Objective: Describe what “renewable resource” means and identify resources that are renewable; describe what “nonrenewable resource” means and identify resources that are Nonrenewable; describe what “conservation” means and how it applies to the management of natural resources.

TEKS: (4.7) TSW identify and classify Earth’s renewable and nonrenewable resources including air, plants, water, and animals; and nonrenewable resources, including coal, oil, and natural gas; and the importance of conservation.



Natural Resources

Nonrenewable Resources

Renewable Resources


• Gather enough “small items” for the size of the class; one thing per student

For example:

- Foil balls can represent bauxite

- Candle wax can represent oil

- Plastic wrap can represent natural gas

- Stones or pebbles can represent coal

- Blue dots represent water

- Brown dots represent plants

• One paper, cloth or plastic bag (shouldn’t be able to see through it)

Anticipatory Set: Review what renewable and nonrenewable resources are and ask students if they know what conservation is and what they can tell me about it.

Student Expectations: Tell the students that they will be learning more about renewable and nonrenewable resources and how we can help conserve them. Ask the students why it’s important to conserve all of our resources, including the renewable ones. Tell students that we want to make sure to help our Earth by conserving our resources (turning off water while brushing teeth, recycling, and planting trees.)

Instructional Process: In preparation, count out the items so that there is exactly one item per person in class in the bag. There should not be equal amounts of each item (or resource) in the bag but there are no specific counts for each for this activity.

• Explain to students that they will participate in an activity where they will each remove “resources” (items) from a bag circulated among them. (No rules or guidelines for the activity should be provided. Without these, the lesson presumes that all of the items will be taken before the bag reaches some of the students but do not reveal this to the class.) Explain to them that the activity will be discussed after it is completed.

Guided Practice: • Ask students to circulate the bag to each other and to remove items from the bag. Allow each student to take any number of items they want. Also, they do not need to expose the # of items that they removed from the bag.

• It is predicted that the bag should be empty before it reaches all of the students.


 • Ask students the following questions after the activity is completed:

- For those of you who have items - what did you think about when the bag came to you and you removed an item(s)? How many items did you take? Why did you select certain items and not others that were in the bag?

- For those students who do not have items – how do you feel? What do you think about the actions of the students who have items?

- Did the items in the bag represent renewable or nonrenewable resources? (Nonrenewable resources.) Why?

- There was one item in the bag for each student. Why do you think the bag was empty of items before some students were able to remove at least one? (Because demand for each resource was greater than the supply that was available and the resources were not managed. No rules were provided regarding the use and distribution of these resources.)

• Ask the class if anyone can explain what the term “conservation” means. Clarify the meaning of this term with them.

- If we conserved the items in the bag would there have been enough for everyone?

Independent Practice:

* Assessment: Participation in group discussion, in the activity, and the vocabulary review.


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