Nuclear Energy

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The lesson introduces students to nuclear energy, also referred to as nuclear power, which is an often-misunderstood source of electricity.  Most students are familiar with the terminology, such as splitting atoms, uranium, and fission, but are not clear as to their relationship with nuclear energy and power.  The advantages and disadvantages are discussed and a debate may ensue following the lesson.  The nuclear energy lesson may be used in conjunction with lessons related to other sources of energy or atoms.

Nuclear Energy Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about Nuclear Energy
  • Hands-on homework activities
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 4-6 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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Description

The lesson introduces students to nuclear energy, also referred to as nuclear power, and helps clear up some common misconceptions about the power source.  Your students may be familiar with some of the terminology, such as splitting atoms, uranium, and fission, but are not clear as to their relationship with nuclear energy and power.  The advantages and disadvantages of this controversial power source are discussed and a debate may ensue following the lesson.  The nuclear energy lesson can be used in conjunction with lessons related to other sources of energy or atoms.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction: 

  1. Display the image of a Nuclear Power plant cooling tower. Ask students where or when they may have seen a structure as shown in the image.
  2. Allow for responses and discussion. Ask students if they know what it is or what it is used for.
  3. Allow for responses and discussion. Introduce Nuclear Energy to the students.
  4. Distribute Nuclear Energy content pages. Read and review the information with the students.  Save the final question for the lesson closing.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  5. Distribute Activity page. Read and review the instructions.  Pair students.  Distribute supplies and allow students access to the Internet.  Encourage creativity and cooperation.  Circulate through the room to approve poster drafts before students complete the final copies.
  6. Once completed, students will share their posters with the class. Posters should include facts from the content pages, especially the pros and cons of nuclear energy.
  7. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
  8. Distribute the Homework page. The next day, check and review the students’ responses.
  9. In closing, ask students: What is your opinion? Would you want to live near a nuclear power plant?  Why or why not?
  10. Allow for responses and discussion. Plan a debate following the lesson.  Allow students to do further research, and debate nuclear energy one-on-one or hold a class debate.

Common Core State Standards: 

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.3

Class Sessions (45 minutes): At least 2 class sessions

Additional Resources:

Want more science resources? Check out our other Science Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade

Subject

Science