Natural Resources: Surface Mining for Coal
NGSS 4 ESS3-1: Earth and Human Activities
Written and Illustrated by Karen Ostlund and Sheryl Mercier
In this series of activities/assessments students simulate mining coal using chocolate chip cookies. Students’ prior knowledge is assessed by having them create a concept map of how the use of energy and fuels such as coal mining affects the air, land, and water. Using the cookies as a model for what happens to the environment when strip mining is used, they remove chocolate chips with toothpicks and observe what happens to the environment. Based on their initial mining operation, they devise a plan to make more money while minimizing destruction to the environment when mining chips. Students repeat mining the chips and fines are assessed for breaking the cookie which simulates damage to the environment.
Teaching tips, teacher background, activity/assessment sheets, graphic organizers,and rubrics are included for all activities.
This activity is bundled into the Grade 4 Natural Resources Energy and Fuels Lesson and Assessment.