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Facts About Fuel

Where do people get the energy used in daily lives here and around the world? Which resources create clean energy? How can energy production be done in innovative ways that help lessen pollution? Make a mural that shows facts about fuels.

  • Grades 9-12
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Ask students to brainstorm a list of resources used to produce energy that could include: wood, wind, water, oil, coal, gas, solar energy, nuclear energy, etc. Explain that this lesson involves students researching various types of energy, exploring the benefits, barriers, history, and relative cleanliness.
    2. Speak briefly about the ColorCycle program in which Crayola helps schools send their used markers to a facility which has an innovative process of turning plastic into fuel. Ask for a few students to research this innovative fuel source, as other students research more traditional sources of energy, including solar energy farms. Students might work in small teams and divide their research responsibilities collaboratively.
    3. As students gather facts about the process of obtaining and using various sources of energy ask them to explore the effects the energy sources have on the environment. For the fossil fuels, ask them to explore what toxins might be emitted as the fuel is used and to compare how “clean” the various fuels are.
    4. As students gather information the small groups should brainstorm ways to visually communicate to others what they have learned. Each team can contribute to a class mural with illustrations representing the various fuels. “Fact flaps” that open to reveal information about each fuel make the mural interactive and information. Display the mural in an area where other classes can flip the fact flaps and learn more about energy.
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

    LA: Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

    MATH: Construct and interpret scatter plots for bivariate measurement data to investigate patterns of association between two quantities. Describe patterns such as clustering, outliers, positive or negative association, linear association, and nonlinear association.

    SCI: Examine the interaction of human beings and their physical environment, the use of land, building of cities, and ecosystem changes in selected locales and regions.

    SCI: Explore causes, consequences, and possible solutions to persistent, contemporary, and emerging global issues, such as pollution and endangered species.

    SCI: Apply knowledge of economic concepts in developing a response to a current local economic issue, such as how to reduce the flow of trash into a rapidly filling landfill.

    SCI: Use knowledge of facts and concepts drawn from history, along with elements of historical inquiry, to inform decision-making about and action-taking on public issues.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas.

    VA: Use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks.

    VA: Analyze, describe, and demonstrate how factors of time and place influence visual characteristics that give meaning and value to a work of art.

  • Adaptations

    Invite a scientist to speak to the class about some sources of energy. Prior to the visit ask students to prepare a list of questions that address what they have learned about fossil fuels, nuclear energy, solar power, and fuel from repurposing plastic.

    Have a Power Party! Invite younger students to visit your classroom to see the mural and learn about energy from your students. You might even charge “admission”: one used marker per student! Make pinwheels with the younger students to demonstrate the energy produced by wind and show them how solar cookers use energy from the sun to cook in the desert. Talk about how your school is helping to keep plastic out of landfills by collecting used markers to produce clean energy.


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