The Great Energy Debate – 7725

The Great Energy Debate – 7725


Lesson Website: (containing all lesson materials)

Energy: it powers our lives.  We use energy to power our schools, cars, homes and so much more.  What forms of energy does the United States currently rely on?  Will those energy sources be available forever?  Should the U.S. invest in the use of other forms of energy?  How cost effective are these forms of energy?  Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?  All of these questions are important points to consider for our future. The goal of this lesson is for students to work in self – selected groups in order to research and debate which energy source has the greatest potential for our countries future. Students must develop their own questions in order to anticipate the questions that may be asked of them by the other groups. During the debate, each group will have the opportunity to ask questions using the site as the backchannel. Groups will be responsible for defending their energy source as they rely on the information and data that they have obtained and analyzed throughout the research process. Ultimately, It is my hope that the  students will discover that no one energy source can be relied on in its entirety. While each energy source has advantages and disadvantages, society must work to reduce harmful effects on the environment and to keep its citizens safe.  At the conclusion of this lesson, students will complete an evaluation via a google form to assess individual and group performance as well as areas for improvement.


TIPC Ratings

Ideal: Prior to the students researching their energy topic of choice, the teacher modeled various research techniques. This modeling was to serve as a reminder about being mindful of url endings, cross checking data, and to reinforce website reliability. Students were responsible for constructing questions to help guide their research, as well as to anticipate any questions and make predictions about the questions they might encounter from rival energy groups during the great debate. Group members collaboratively shared their information and research findings in real time through the context of Google Drive. Use of digital tools was utilized to help display information (; organize information and share data in the form of graphs and charts through Google Drive (information found from internet), all of which helped to predict future trends / outcomes of particular energy source.

Upper Approaching: This lesson has the potential to be taken to the next level seeing as how it allows for communication beyond the classroom wall through the use of digital tools such as padlet and todaysmeet. Students are given the choice on which energy source to select, and were able to collaborate in groups of their choosing with little to no influence from teacher. Groups norms were established at the beginning of lesson using a Google Drive group norms template. The backchannel Todaysmeet was used to facilitate discussion within the group. The site was a powerful digital tool that allowed students to display information contributed by each group. Students completed a reflection piece at the conclusion of the lesson to get them thinking about their roles as communicators and collaborators.

Approaching: This lesson was designed to have students discover which energy source holds the most potential in the U.S. for future use. Students had to justify their decision making by supporting answers with data obtained from digital tools (world wide web). Students had to develop their own higher order thinking questions in order to research an answer to this problem requiring students to use higher order thinking in order to evaluate, critique, justify, and draw conclusions during the the great energy debate.

Lower Approaching: Students applied critical thinking skills to address an authentic task through research, communication, and synthesis of ideas. The teacher served as a facilitator while students were given the opportunity to solve an authentic real world task pertaining to energy resources. Students reflected on the entire process and determined goals for future growth.

Student Artifact


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    • Lesson Plan
    • Rubric
    • Student Artifact


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