Expose learners to reading a scientific text and improving their writing skills in the context of fossil fuels and renewable energy

 This resource accompanies the Education in Chemistry article Energy boost.

Learning objectives:

  1. Explore how the raw materials for energy production are linked to global politics.
  2. Revisit organic chemistry concepts in a new context.


This resource helps students revisit some key topics from organic chemistry and atmospheric chemistry within a new context.

How to use the article

Some of the language in the accompanying article may be difficult for learners with a reading age below their actual age. In this situation, the resource is recommended as a whole class activity. This will give learners the support they may need to access the text as well as a good environment for concentrating on writing at length. Ask your learners to read the whole text or an allocated section initially themselves and highlight each word they struggle with. As a class, go through the article together, discussing the highlighted phrases and writing the definitions. Spaces can be added between each line of the article to allow for annotation. Although this may take more time, learners will be more confident in completing the structure strip questions as they will better understand the content and what is being asked.

How to use structure strips

Structure strips guide learners to write longer responses by providing side-by-side prompts. They make practising extended response questions, such as six-markers, more accessible to all learners by providing scaffolding. Structure strips also help learners overcome the fear of a blank page. Learners stick a strip in the margin of their exercise books and follow the questions to write their summaries.

Answers are provided in the teacher notes. You can use them when marking or give them to learners for peer or self-assessment.

More resources

  • Show your learners an example long-form answer and get some top tips with Modelling answers to GCSE six-mark questions.
  • Link your lessons on renewable energy to the UN’s Sustainable development goal 7 while debating Fossil fuels and global carbon emissions.
  • Use the differentiated, editable Crude oil worksheets to provide your 14–16 learners with a range of assessment questions.
  • Meet Xameerah, a senior committee specialist in the UK government, who provides specialist scientific advice to inform policies.