Renewables in the developing world lesson plan

Renewable energy offers a cheap and low-carbon way of getting electricity to people in developing countries who have little or no access to power. Find out what poorer nations are doing to move towards low-carbon energy production and what obstacles they face in this two part lesson plan plus extension activity.

Download the student worksheet in the related resources section below the curriculum links.

Download (285 kb)
  • Age groups: 11-14s
  • Subjects: English, Geography, Mathematics, Science
  • Topics: Energy



KS3 English


Pupils should be taught to: 

·       understand increasingly challenging texts through: 

o   learning new vocabulary, relating it explicitly to known vocabulary and understanding it with the help of context and dictionaries 

o   making inferences and referring to evidence in the text 

o   knowing the purpose, audience for and context of the writing and drawing on this knowledge to support comprehension 

o   checking their understanding to make sure that what they have read makes sense.



Pupils should be taught to: 

·       write accurately, fluently, effectively and at length for pleasure and information through: 

o   writing for a wide range of purposes and audiences, including: 

·  a range of other narrative and non-narrative texts, including arguments, and personal and formal letters 

o   summarising and organising material, and supporting ideas and arguments with any necessary factual detail 


KS3 Science



Calculation of fuel uses and costs in the domestic context

·       fuels and energy resources


KS3 Mathematics

Working mathematically

Solve problems

·       begin to model situations mathematically and express the results using a range of formal mathematical representations 



·       construct and interpret appropriate tables, charts, and diagrams, including frequency tables, bar charts, pie charts, and pictograms for categorical data, and vertical line (or bar) charts for ungrouped and grouped numerical data 


KS3 Geography

Locational knowledge

·       extend their locational knowledge and deepen their spatial awareness of the world’s countries using maps of the world to focus on Africa, Russia, Asia (including China and India), and the Middle East, focusing on their environmental regions, including polar and hot deserts, key physical and human characteristics, countries and major cities


Place knowledge

·       understand geographical similarities, differences and links between places through the study of human and physical geography of a region within Africa, and of a region within Asia 


Human and physical geography

o       understand, through the use of detailed place-based exemplars at a variety of scales, the key processes in: 

·   physical geography relating to: geological timescales and plate tectonics; rocks, weathering and soils; weather and climate, including the change in climate from the Ice Age to the present; and glaciation, hydrology and coasts 

·   human geography relating to: population and urbanisation; international development; economic activity in the primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary sectors; and the use of natural resources 

o       understand how human and physical processes interact to influence, and change landscapes, environments and the climate; and how human activity relies on effective functioning of natural systems 



Literacy and English

Listening and talking

Finding and using information

I can independently select ideas and relevant information for different purposes, organise essential information or ideas and any supporting detail in a logical order, and use suitable vocabulary to communicate effectively with my audience.

LIT 3-06a / LIT 4-06a



Finding and using information

I can make notes and organise them to develop my thinking, help retain and recall information, explore issues and create new texts, using my own words as appropriate.

LIT 3-15a / LIT 4-15


Understanding, analysing and evaluating

To show my understanding, I can comment, with evidence, on the content and form of short and extended texts, and respond to literal, inferential and evaluative questions and other types of close reading tasks.

ENG 3-17a



Organising and using information

I can use notes and other types of writing to generate and develop ideas, retain and recall information, explore problems, make decisions, generate and develop ideas or create original text.

I recognise when it is appropriate to quote from sources and when I should put points into my own words. I can acknowledge my sources appropriately.

LIT 3-25a

By considering the type of text I am creating, I can independently select ideas and relevant information for different purposes, and organise essential information or ideas and any supporting detail in a logical order. I can use suitable vocabulary to communicate effectively with my audience.

LIT 3-26a / LIT 4-26a


Creating texts

I can convey information, describe events, explain processes or concepts, and combine ideas in different ways.

LIT 3-28a

I can persuade, argue, evaluate, explore issues or express an opinion using a clear line of thought, relevant supporting detail and/or evidence.

LIT 3-29a



Information handling

Data and analysis

I can display data in a clear way using a suitable scale, by choosing appropriately from an extended range of tables, charts, diagrams and graphs, making effective use of technology.

MTH 3-21a



Planet Earth

Energy sources and sustainability

By investigating renewable energy sources and taking part in practical activities to harness them, I can discuss their benefits and potential problems.

SCN 3-04b


Processes of the planet

I can explain some of the processes which contribute to climate change and discuss the possible impact of atmospheric change on the survival of living things.

SCN 3-05b


Social Studies

People, place and environment

I can investigate the climate, physical features and living things of a natural environment different from my own and explain their interrelationship.

SOC 3-10a

I can compare the social and economic differences between more and less economically-developed countries and can discuss the possibilities for reducing these differences.

SOC 3-11a

I can use a range of maps and geographical information systems to gather, interpret and present conclusions and can locate a range of features within Scotland, UK, Europe and the wider world.

SOC 3-14a


People in society, economy and business

I can use my knowledge of current social, political or economic issues to interpret evidence and present an informed view.

SOC 3-15a

I can describe how the interdependence of countries affects levels of development, considering the effects on people’s lives.

SOC 3-19a



KS3 English


Locating, selecting and using information

Responding to what has been read



Organising ideas and information


KS3 Geography

Locating places, environments and patterns

Locate places and environments using globes, atlases, maps and plans

Enjoy the spatial patterns of features, places and environments at different scales and how they are interconnected


Understanding places, environments and processes

Describe and explain natural and human features

Explain the causes and effects of physical and human processes and how the processes interrelate

Explain how and why places and environments change and identify trends and future implications



Analyse and evaluate ideas and evidence, answer questions and justify conclusions



Develop opinions and understand that people have different values, attitudes and points of view on geographical issues


Pupils develop their geographical skills, knowledge and understanding through learning about places, environments and issues at a range of scales in selected locations within Wales, the European Union and the wider world

o       study

·    the rich and poor world: economic development in different locations/countries

·     threatened environments: characteristics of, and possibilities for, their sustainable development

o   tomorrow’s citizens: issues in Wales and the wider world of living sustainably and the responsibilities of being a global citizen


Carry out

o   Investigations into ‘geography in the news’, topical events and issues in the locality and the wider world


o      Ask and answer the questions:

·   What are the features, the processes and patterns of this place/environment and why do they occur?

·   How and why is this place/environment changing? What might happen next, in the short/long term and why?

·   How and why is this place/environment/ feature connected to and interdependent with other places/environment/features?

·   How do environments and people interact?

·   How can changes be sustainable and why is it important for this place/environment?

·   What are the geographical issues for people living in this location? How and why do people’s views on issues differ and what do I think?


KS3 Mathematics

Developing numerical reasoning

Represent and communicate


Using data skills

Present and analyse data


KS3 Personal and social education

Active citizenship


·        topical local and global issues


Sustainable development and global citizenship

Learners should be given opportunities to:

·        Develop a sense of personal responsibility towards local and global issues



·        The key issues of sustainable development and global citizenship, e.g. climate change, and the need to reflect on personal decisions about lifestyle choices

·        Global issues which threaten the planet

·        How conflict can arise from different views about global issues and be aware of the role of pressure groups.


KS3 Science

Interdependence of organisms


Pupils use and develop their skills, knowledge and understanding by investigating how humans are independent yet rely on other organisms for survival, applying this to life in countries with different levels of economic development.

·        How human activity affects the global environment, e.g. acid rain, greenhouse effect, and the measures taken to minimise any negative effects and monitor them

·        Applications of science, medicine and technology that are used to improve health and the quality of life, including those in countries with different levels of economic development.




KS3 Mathematics with financial capability

Knowledge and understanding of:

·        Handling data


The application of mathematical skills to real life and work situations


Explore issues related to Education for Sustainable Development


KS3 Environment and society: Geography

Develop a sense of place through the study of:

·        range of local, national, European and global contexts;

·        contrasting physical and human environments;

·        issues of topical significance;


in order to develop an understanding of:

·        physical processes of landscape

·        development;

·        the interrelationships between physical and human environments;

·        the dynamic nature of physical and human environments;

·        the ways in which places are interdependent;

·        the need for social, economic and environmental change to be sustainable.


Develop an understanding of how people in different places interact with their environment, for example, contrast how people from different parts of the world adapt to threats/ opportunities posed by their environments (physical, social, economic).


Investigate the impact of conflict between social, economic and environmental needs, both locally and globally, for example, erosion, flooding, pollution, loss of biodiversity, climate change, desertification, deforestation, etc.


Explore how we can exercise environmental stewardship and help promote a better quality of life for present and future generations, both locally and globally, for example, sustainable classrooms, Citizenship Action Projects, resource and waste management strategies, promotion of geo- and biodiversity, sustainable towns/cities, conservation of natural resources, eco-tourism, Fair Trade, etc.


KS3 Science and Technology: Science

Research scientific information from a range of sources


Learn about:

Earth and Universe

·        The environment and human influences


Investigate specific measures to improve and protect the environment, for example, renewable energy, efficient use of resources, waste minimisation, etc.