Nuclear Energy


Nuclear Energy introduces students to this type of energy as a source of power. Students will learn about the sources for this kind of power and what people can use it for. They will also be able to explain the process of how to use nuclear energy.

There are a number of suggestions in the “Options for Lesson” section that you might want to take advantage of if you want. One option is to invite someone who works at a power plant (depending on where your school is) to speak to the class and answer questions they have about nuclear energy.

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What our Nuclear Energy lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Nuclear Energy teaches students about this type of power source and its effects on the world. Students will learn about the advantages and disadvantages of using this kind of power. By the end of the lesson, they will be able to explain the process by which people are able to use nuclear energy.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the yellow box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand. For this lesson, you will need colored pencils, markers, construction paper or poster boards, and scratch paper. Students will also need internet access for research purposes.

Options for Lesson

In the “Options for Lesson” section of the classroom procedure page, you will find several ideas for additional activities or tasks to incorporate into the lesson. Regarding the activity, students could vote on the posters after everyone finishes using metrics like best overall, most colorful, most creative, etc. Depending on where your school is, you could invite a power plant worker to speak to the class about nuclear energy and other energy sources. As another option, students could research locations of nuclear power plants throughout the country. They could also look into local newspapers for stories about those plants. You could also have students research disasters at coal mines and compare them to nuclear accidents. One more idea is for students to research Chernobyl and its impact and aftermath in the area.

Teacher Notes

The teacher notes page provides a little extra information about the lesson or guidance on how to approach it. It mentions how students may be familiar with aspects of the lesson but may not fully understand how they all relate to nuclear energy and power. You might also benefit from discussing the advantages and disadvantages of nuclear power and conduct a debate with the students. In addition, you could teach this lesson in conjunction with others about energy or related topics.


There are four pages of content in this lesson plan. The first page explains what nuclear energy is and how it is one of many sources of power. Students will learn that there are other power sources such as solar power, wind power, fossil fuels, and water. Then they will learn how a nuclear power plant works and what the process involves.

Students will then learn some of the pros and cons of nuclear energy. They will discover that one of the major issues many people have with this power source is its radioactive waste that is very dangerous. In addition, they will learn about some historical events that relate to nuclear energy.


The Nuclear Energy lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. Each worksheet reinforces students’ grasp of the lesson content and helps them demonstrate what they learned. The guidelines on the classroom procedure page describe when to hand out each page to students.


Students will work with a partner to create two posters that encourage and discourage using nuclear energy. (You can have students work alone or in groups if you prefer.) Each poster should contain a variety of elements, such as pictures, slogans, words, etc. Students can use the boxes at the bottom of the worksheet as scratch paper to create a rough draft before they create their final copies.


There are a few sections on the practice worksheet. The first section requires students to fill int he blanks for eight sentences. The next section requires them to match definitions to the correct terms from the word bank. There is a total of 10 statements in this section. Finally, students will describe the events in two places as they relate to nuclear energy.


For the homework assignment, students will first order nuclear power production steps in order from one to four. Next, they will mark 10 statements as either pros (P) or cons (C) of using nuclear power. Finally, they will look at five numbers and write how they are significant according to what they learned in the lesson.

Worksheet Answer Keys

The final two pages of the lesson plan PDF are answer keys for the practice and homework worksheets. The correct answers are in red to make it easy to compare them to students’ work. There may be some variation on some of their answers given the nature of the questions. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

Additional information


4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade



State Educational Standards

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

Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.

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Thomas L.

Nuclear Energy

I found this publication on Nuclear Energy engaging for both teacher and student in a language that treats the reader with respect, maturity and with a sense of adventure because it allows students to critically think about the issues and maintains interest with decent quality graphs and pictures.

Thomas L.

Nucleur Energy

It was explained in language that a lay person could understand but not too simplified as some of the ideas can be quite complex.

Emmanuel O.

Excellent and high quality educational resources!

Thank you Clarendon learning for the excellent and high quality educational resources you offer!

Chiara C.

Nuclear Energy

It was a good starting point to discuss Nuclear Energy with Grade 8 Students. However, it needs to be updated , for example, by adding the Fukushima incident.

Lauren E.

Lesson plans

Very useful tools!