Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students are introduced to the topic of energy by analysing research articles and creating a Wordle cloud. Wordle is a free word art tool that crunches any chunk of text and produces a visual representation of the content. The resulting word could emphasise the most common words by amplifying their size based on frequency. Students will increase their knowledge of subject-specific vocabulary and use this knowledge to create an energy limerick. 

Learning goals for this activity include:

  • Students develop an understand of energy and the issues that result from our high energy-demanding life styles.
  • Students analyse a news articles to increase their knowledge of vocabulary and language features to build an understanding of the content.

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Year 7 English

  • Understand and explain how the text structures and language features of texts become more complex in informative and persuasive texts and identify underlying structures such as taxonomies, cause and effect, and extended metaphors (ACELA1531)
  • Create literary texts that adapt stylistic features encountered in other texts, for example, narrative viewpoint, structure of stanzas, contrast and juxtaposition (ACELT1625)

Year 7 Science

  • Some of Earth’s resources are renewable, but others are non-renewable (ACSSU116)

Year 8 English

  • Analyse how the text structures and language features of persuasive texts, including media texts, vary according to the medium and mode of communication (ACELA1543)
  • Create literary texts that draw upon text structures and language features of other texts for particular purposes and effects (ACELT1632)

Year 8 Science

  • Scientific knowledge changes as new evidence becomes available, and some scientific discoveries have significantly changed people’s understanding of the world (ACSHE134)

Year Level: 8

Syllabus OutcomesSC4-15LW, SC4-12ESEN3-1A, EN4-1A, EN4-4B, EN4-6C

Topic: Energy

Time needed: 45 minutes

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium

Resources needed: Internet, Wordle website, Cool Australia Student Toolbox.

Digital Technology: Students use Wordle to create a word cloud.

There’s an app for that: 
Dictionary.comTop-rated app with trusted reference content from & WORKS OFFLINE – no Internet connection needed when searching words. Free.

Prior learning: Students should have a basic understanding of the definition of energy, sources of energy and issues of energy use. 

Extension opportunities: Students can keep their word cloud to reflect upon at the conclusion of the lesson.

Key words: Energy, renewable, non-renewable, fossil fuels, power, watts, nuclear, geothermal, solar, oil, petrol and coal.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Overarching learning goals: Students increase their understanding of energy concepts through analysis of research articles. They develop their understanding of subject-specific vocabulary through the use of the digital tool Wordle.  

Teacher content information: 

The definition of energy is the ability to make changes or the capacity to do work. Energy appears in many different forms including kinetic (movement), potential (stored energy), gravitational, light, heat, chemical, elastic and electrical. The Sun is the source of all energy on Earth. The energy from the sun comes in the form of light and heat. Plants are able to convert the light energy from the sun into a form of energy they can use to grow, move, repair their cells and reproduce. The basic unit of energy is the joule. To give you an idea of this unit, one joule is enough energy to lift a 1 kg weight to a height of 10 cm. Power is the rate at which energy is used and the unit is a watt. 

Energy can

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: What are the first 3 words that come to mind when thinking about 'energy'?

What you need: Student Worksheet, Internet, Dictionary.

What to do:
Step 1: Go to and click on the Student Toolbox. Put in your year level and select the topic Energy. You should browse the Research Articles within the Student Toolbox and select one to read.

Step 2: Next, you are going to make a word cloud of your article. The word cloud will emphasise the most common words by highlighting their size based on frequency that occur in the article. Log onto Wordle. Click on Create your own word cloud and you will see a box to paste the text into. Your job is to copy and paste three key paragraphs into the textbox and hit submit. Within a few seconds you will have your own energy word cloud!

Step 3: Print your word cloud and answer the questions below:

1. What was the name of your Research Article?

2. What words were emphasised in your word cloud?


3. Defining key

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