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        8-10, 13+

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        Interpreting Data, Facts and Ideas from Informational Texts - A Different Kind of Fuel

        In this lesson, students watch a video about the world’s need to find a replacement for fossil fuels and scientists' attempts to produce energy. The video focuses on the possiblity of using solar energy to create hydrogen fuel.  Students then answer questions by using their understanding of the text and details from the segment.

        Lesson Summary


        Students will watch a video segment that discusses the world’s need to find a replacement for fossil fuels and scientists' attempts to produce energy from the heat of the sun using a man-made photosynthesis process.  Students will then answer questions by using their understanding of the text and details from the segment to support their answers.

        Why is this an important concept?

        Learners must be able to interpret various informational texts including those with a scientific basis (i.e., doctor’s reports, warning labels and nutritional information).  In these instances students need to be able to use context clues to help them define words or phrases that are unknown to them.  They also must be able to generate inferences based on the facts and data provided and use these inferences to determine the overall message of the text.

        Grade Level:


        Suggested Time

        (1) 40-minute period

        Media Resources


        The Lesson

        Part I: Learning Activity

        1. Provide the purpose for this activity: to learn about the world’s need for renewable energy and the research being done to develop this technology.  Students will answer questions regarding this topic after watching a related video segment.

        2. Before watching the video, ask students what they think is the world’s major source of fuel.  Then ask them to list some other sources of fuel.  Are certain fuels better or worse than others?  What makes one type of fuel better than another? Before playing the segment, tell students to pay attention to whether their ideas about energy are in synch with the information presented in the video segment. Play the video.

        3. After watching the video the first time, ask them the same questions that you asked before previewing the video.  If the students’ answers changed, ask them what was mentioned in the video that made them change their minds. 

        4. Distribute A Different Kind of Fuel Questions handout and review the questions.  As the students watch the video segment a second time, instruct students to listen for information that will help them answer the questions.  Show the segment an additional time so students can confirm the details they included in their answers.

        For students who need additional guidance:

        • Meet with students between viewings of the video segment to support their note-taking and writing skills.
        • Arrange for students to watch video again.
        • Use listed websites to find additional details about solar energy, photosynthesis, and fossil fuels.
        • Allow students to work in cooperative groups to answer the questions.

        For advanced students:

        • Students research the effects of fossil fuels on the environment and write a cause and effect essay that outlines these.
        • Student teams debate which energy source is better, fossil fuels or solar energy, using details from the video segment and listed websites.

        Part II: Assessment

        1. Collect questions and use the A Different Kind of Fuel rubric to evaluate their answers as well as their comprehension of the video segment.


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