Title

Grade Level

Type

Time

Materials

Summary and Activity Goals

K – 8

Introduction

5 – 10 min

None

Open the class by assessing student knowledge and generating curiosity about solar and renewable energy. This can be a whole group discussion, or modified to groups or pairs, at the teacher’s or your discretion.


K – 8

Introduction or Presentation

10 – 15 min

Printed photos

Students gain a basic understanding of the ways we generate electricity.


6 – 8

Introduction

5 – 10 min

None

Share some quick facts about solar energy to get students interested.


K – 8

Presentation

15 – 20 min

Handout

Following a simple visual diagram/coloring page, students gain a basic understanding of how a PV solar system works. You may tailor the level of detail to the students’ level.


K – 2

Group Game

5 – 10 min

None

Students physically model how photons “excite” electrons inside a solar cell to create an electric current.


K – 2

Individual or Group Activity

10 – 20 min

Coloring pages, pens, pencils, markers

Students complete coloring activities to gain a basic understanding of solar energy.


3 – 5

Group Game

5 – 10 min

None

Students play a game to actively model how photons travel through a solar electric system.


3 – 5

Individual Activity

10 – 15 min

Sticky notes

Students independently think about how to creatively implement or invent a renewable energy technology.


3 – 8

Individual or Group Activity

15 – 20 min

Markers, colored pencils, or crayons. Large pieces of paper.

Students apply what they have learned about solar and other forms of renewable energy to imagine a 100 percent renewable home, school, city, or world. Students will think about the forms of renewable energy discussed in class, and have a chance to think creatively about ways to apply current technology or invent new ones!


6 – 8

Presentation

10 min

Printed or projected graphs

Students see how solar production varies depending on season and time of day.

Opening Questions (Grades K3)
The following is an example of how one might lead young students into a discussion about solar energy. Consult with the teacher to make sure your approach is appropriate for students’ levels.