About the resource
Division 1
Division 2
Division 3
Division 4
About the resource
Division 1
Division 2
Division 3
Division 4

Shining a Light on Solar Energy: Division 2 (Grades 4-6) Lessons

Download all lessons


Lesson Summary

What’s the truth about solar energy?

Judge the accuracy of statements made about solar energy.

Download lesson

In this lesson, students evaluate the accuracy of common statements made about solar energy. To begin the lesson, students rate the accuracy of sample statements, and then share their ratings and thinking. Students use these examples to co-develop the criteria for an accurate statement. Students then use the criteria and evidence to judge the accuracy of common statements made about solar energy. To conclude the lesson, students create accurate statements about solar energy.

How alike are plants and solar panels?

Select the most important similarities and differences between plants and solar panels.

Download lesson

In this lesson, students learn how a solar panel turns energy from the sun into electricity. To begin the lesson, students identify possible similarities and differences between plants and solar panels. Students use their initial ideas to develop the criteria for judging similarities and differences. Students then use the criteria to compare how plants and solar panels transform energy from the sun. After identifying similarities and differences, students select the three most important similarities and differences between plants and solar panels. To conclude the lesson, students rate the degree to which plants and solar panels are alike.

Which metaphor best describes light?

Create a powerful metaphor to describe the properties and behaviours of light.

Download lesson

In this lesson, students explore the wave-particle duality of light. Students begin the lesson by exploring the metaphor “light is a superhero” to develop an understanding of the meaning of duality. Students then explore how light can behave as a wave and as a particle. The lesson concludes with students creating their own powerful metaphors to effectively describe the properties and behaviours of light.

What factors influence the energy output of a solar panel?

Redesign the school solar PV system to maximize its energy output.

Download lesson

In this lesson, students discover how the energy output of solar panels can be influenced by various factors. To begin the lesson, students view images of school rooftop solar PV systems and judge which system would be the most efficient. Students use their decisions to develop the criteria for the optimal placement of a rooftop solar PV system. Students then use the criteria to judge the placement of two school rooftop solar PV systems. To conclude the lesson, students use their learning to redesign plans and illustrations of a school rooftop solar PV system to optimize its efficiency.

How does a school solar energy system affect the environment?

Identify the direct and indirect effects of a school solar energy system.

Download lesson

In this lesson, students examine the environmental impacts of the use of solar energy in a school. To begin the lesson, students examine a scenario from a school to learn about direct and indirect effects. Students then examine effects of the main methods used to generate electricity in Alberta. To conclude the lesson, students identify the direct and indirect effects of a school using a solar energy system.

Whose voice needs to be heard?

Determine the interests of stakeholders involved in a school solar energy project.

Download lesson

In this lesson, students learn about the importance of respecting stakeholder perspectives when making judgments about the use of solar power. To begin the lesson, students examine a news story to learn criteria and a strategy to help identify stakeholders and perspectives. After reading an article about school solar energy projects, students use the strategy to identify possible stakeholders and their perspectives. Students then use criteria to rate the usefulness of the perspectives. To conclude the lesson, students create an informative news article to describe the interests of key stakeholders in a school solar energy project.

Funded by Government of Alberta

This project was funded by the Community Environment Action Grant program.