Solar Energy Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Sharon Linde
Teach your students about solar energy with the help of this lesson plan. Students will read a text lesson that explains solar energy, how it's used and the pros and cons on the topic, then extend their understanding with a project.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • explain solar energy
  • describe ways solar energy is used
  • discuss and debate the pros and cons of solar energy


1 - 1.5 hours


Key Vocabulary

  • Solar energy
  • Passive solar
  • Solar cells

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.1

Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.2

Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.3

Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.4

Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.

Warm-Up and Preparation

  • Take students to an area of the classroom where they can see and feel the sun, or go outside. Bring notebooks and a pencil.
  • Have them stand still for a few minutes, then ask them to write down what they see and feel.
  • Next divide students into small groups to share notes and ask:
    • What do you feel when you stand in the sun? Why?
    • What do we see when we stand in the sun? Why?
  • Review the definition of energy, then ask:
    • How do we use energy in our classroom?
  • Tell students they will be learning about solar energy and allow them to share prior knowledge with the topic.

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