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Active Energy Sources

In this game, students will become familiar with renewable and non-renewable sources of energy

Primary energy sources can be either renewable or non-renewable.

The Earth has a limited supply of non-renewable energy sources.

  • fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, and coal)
  • nuclear fuels (uranium)

These newable energy sources sources are disappearing rapidly. In the year 2000, 91 per cent of the world's electricity was generated using non-renewable energy sources.

Renewable energy sources are either limitless or naturally regenerated in a useful amount of time.

  • hydropower (energy from moving water)
  • geothermal energy (heat energy from the earth)
  • energy from the sun (solar)
  • wind power
  • earth's biomass (such as wood)

Almost 61 per cent of Canada's electricity (and 95 per cent of British Columbia's electricity) was generated using renewable energy sources by 2019, however, Canada obtained only 18.4% of its energy supply from renewable sources.

This game was adapted from The NEED Project, Manassas, VA, Energy Exchange – Sept./Oct. 2004.


  • List and define common sources of renewable and non-renewable energy.


  • Per Class or Group:
    large defined area to run in (indoor or outdoor, depending on the weather)

Key Questions

  • Where did the students get the energy to play this game?

What To Do

Key Words and Corresponding Actions

Renewable—these actions are low-energy cost:

  •      Solar—walk to the West side of the playing field (the sun sets in the west)
  •      Wind—curl up in a ball (to protect from the wind)
  •      Hydropower—four players link hands and do a wave (like logs in a stream)

Non-renewable—these actions are high-energy cost:

  •      Natural gas—two players link arms and spin in a circle
  •      Coal—run to the East side of the playing field (coal power is a common energy source is eastern North America)
  •      Uranium—three players form a chain and hop
  1. Practice a few words and corresponding actions. Make sure the players know where West and East are and identify the playing area boundaries.
  2. Choose one student to be the leader. All the other players should start in the middle of the playing field.
  3. When the leader calls out a word, the players must complete the correct action before the leader counts to five. Choose a number of word-action combinations depending on the age and ability of the group of students.
  4. Players can be eliminated for the various reasons and the decisions of the leader are final. Reason for eliminations include:
  •      Not completing the action in the allotted time (i.e. one-to-five)
  •      Being the last person to complete an action
  •      Not forming a group with the correct number of students
  •      Performing an incorrect action
  1. Have the leader call out words until all but one of the students are eliminated.
  2. The remaining student then becomes the leader for the next round.


  • Have students research an energy source. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages for that energy source?Get students to write a paragraph that outlines how they would spend a day using no energy.

Other Resources

National Energy Board of Canada | About Renewable Energy

 BC Hydro | Conservation

BC Hydro | Sustainability