Activity Introduction

Grab your hardhat and your pickaxe as you head into the mine to extract a precious resource: chocolate chips! But while you’re busy mining, think about the damage you’re causing to the biscuit surrounding the choc chips. The same thing is happening when coal is extracted from the land. Fortunately, you won’t get soot on your face during this activity! 

This is a good activity for kids to complete independently.

Ideal for: Upper Primary Ages 10 – 12

Themes: 

  • investigate
  • playtime

Time required: 40 minutes

Curriculum connections: Geography, Mathematics, Science, Ethical Understanding

Tips for Parents and Carers

This will be a messy activity! Ensure your kids are practising safe food handling by not touching their faces whilst handling the biscuits. They will probably need to be shown the correct techniques for wiping up biscuit crumbs and not sweeping them straight onto the floor.

Remind kids that energy is there to be used, but we should try to reduce our impact on the environment as much as possible. Discuss ways you can reduce your energy consumption around the house, by turning off lights when you leave the room or wearing a jumper instead of turning on the heater.

Lesson & Curriculum Details

Curriculum codes: 

Complete lesson for classroom teachers:

Choc-chip biscuit coal mine

Resources Required

  • Packet of choc chip biscuits
  • Pencil – grey lead and colours
  • Markers
  • Toothpick
  • White paper

Learning@Home from Cool Australia

Learning@Home resources are designed for parents and teachers to use with children in the home environment. They can be used as stand-alone activities or built into existing curriculum-aligned learning programs. Our Learning@Home series includes two types of resources. The first are fun and challenging real-world activities for all ages, the second are self-directed lessons for upper primary and secondary students. These lessons support independent learning in remote or school settings.

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

Worksheets

Student Worksheet

Choc Chip Coal Mine - Activity Instructions

In our pursuit of producing energy to power our homes, devices and lots of other aspects of our lives, humans haven’t always had the environment’s best interests in mind. As an investigative journalist, use your sources to lift the lid on energy production practices, and inform the world of your findings.

Humans focus a lot on electrical energy because we require it so frequently in our everyday lives. In Australia, we make most of our electrical energy from coal. 

There are many problems associated with the generation of electricity in a coal power plant. One problem is that when coal is combusted it produces a large amount of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide - which is a contributor to climate change. Another problem is that coal power plants are not very energy efficient and on average only 30-40% of the chemical energy in coal is converted to useful energy - the rest is lost as heat in the conversion process. 

Coal is also a fossil f

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