Lesson Eleven: Wyoming Mineral & Energy Fair

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Grade Level:

4th Grade

Students will engage in project-based tasks focusing on minerals and energy resources, looking at how each is developed, used, and cared for.

Students will work in small groups to create a poster, PowerPoint, Prezi, etc. The purpose of their project is to teach others about key Wyoming resources, how they are developed, used and cared for, pros and cons of each, and how we can be stewards of minerals and energy. There should be one group of students assigned to each of the major energy sources and minerals important to Wyoming: Coal, Oil, Natural Gas, Wind, Hydropower, and Uranium.

Students will present their projects at a Mineral and Energy Fair. Projects will be shared with the teacher and fellow classmates. Additionally, classes might invite parents, community members, other classes, administrators, etc. to visit their fair.


Teacher should provide enough work sessions so that the class can complete their projects. A final chunk of time needs to be set aside for the fair itself.


  • Wyoming Mineral & Energy Fair success criteria/feedback sheet. (one per student or per group.)
  • Project criteria checklist (one per student or group)
  • Peer/Self Evaluation (one per student)
  • Supplies for whatever project method teacher decides his/her class should do
  • Anchor charts, worksheets, resources from all previous lessons in the unit
  • Invitations if class is inviting parents, community members, other classes, administrators, etc. to visit their fair.

Suggested Teacher Preparation:

  • Decide on time and location space for the fair. Reserve space if necessary.
  • Decide what method of project your students will present, gather all materials, reserve computer lab time/electronic devices
  • Decide on total time you are allowing for the assessment activity.
  • Post anchor charts and make additional copies of worksheets from all of the unit’s previous lessons.
  • Make available resources from previous lessons if students need to refer to them again.
  • Assign students to six small groups. Assign each small group one of the following Wyoming resources: Coal, Oil, Natural Gas, Wind, Hydropower,and Uranium.
  • Assign group roles if the teacher feels students need them to work productively and use time efficiently. Group roles are per teacher discretion depending on the project method assigned.

Project Criteria:

Students will answer the following questions in their projects:

  • Is the resource renewable or nonrenewable?
  • How is the resource obtained and developed? Students must include with this who is involved.
  • How is the resource used?
  • What are pros and cons of this resource? Students can approach this by focusing on different topics. An example would be the impact of this resource on the environment.
  • How does the resource relate to Wyoming’s culture and economy?
  • How can we steward that resource to benefit current and future generations?


Science: 4-ESS3-1 (practiced/encountered)
Social Studies: SS5.1.1, SS5.6.1 (both practiced/encountered) ELA: SL.4.4 (practiced/encountered)
CVE: CV5.2.2 (practiced/encountered)

Instructional Procedure/Steps:

  1. Explain to students that they will be making a culminating project about one of the following resources: Coal, Oil, Natural Gas, Wind, Hydropower, and Uranium. Also explain that they will be presenting these projects at a Wyoming Mineral and Energy Fair. If the teacher is planning to invite individuals/groups from outside of the classroom, share that information with students at this time.
  2. Assign specific project details pertaining to the project method that the teacher has decided upon. Pass out to each student a copy of the Wyoming Mineral & Energy Fair Success Criteria sheet and Project Checklist. Say: “After groups have been working on their projects and feel it is complete, you will present your project to me. I will give you feedback on areas your group needs to improve in your project and note which areas your project has exceeded my expectations.” Review both the sheet and checklist with students, and answer any questions students might have about them. Share any additional grading criteria you might have. Tell students how many days/how much time you have decided the groups will have to complete their projects. Be sure to specify how much time is before your feedback session and how much time group will have for project revisions after the feedback session.
  3. Point out resources you have gathered from previous lessons that the students may refer to if they need them. Assign students to their groups and give groups their topics. Let groups begin working.
  4. After however many work sessions you have decided upon, have groups present projects to you and provide feedback about their projects. Allow time for groups to revise their projects. Here are some examples of possible feedback/notes you might give to groups:
    • A way to improve the Knowledge of the Resource section: “Your project does not state if your resource is renewable or nonrenewable. Please add that.”
    • Exceeds comment for the Pros and Cons section: “Your project clearly and specifically describes three pros and three cons for this resource.”
    • Try and not include “judgement” statements in your comments such as “I liked that your project …” or “I do not like how your project …”
  5. StudentspresenttheircompletedprojectsattheWyomingMineraland Energy Fair. Grade projects according to given project criteria and whatever other criteria the teacher decided upon at the start of the unit. Have students complete the Peer/Self Evaluation either before or after presenting at the fair per teacher discretion.