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Natural resources

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This unit for Key Stage 3 (ages 11-14) provides a series of lessons, activities and associated materials focusing on natural resources. It aims to introduce students to the global distribution of natural resources, and the international relationships these resources generate and some of the key issues related to the use of natural resources. It also provides a framework for understanding the relative importance of different types of natural resources for human activity. Students will develop their knowledge of distribution of resources, issues related to the abundance or shortage of resources, and how natural resources influence international relationships, as well as how events can affect the value of resources. Ultimately students will gain an appreciation for the variegated nature of natural resource distribution but also an awareness of the interrelated nature of human activity and the physical environment. After an introduction to natural resources, exploring different types and their distribution, the module covers the following different types of resources in more detail exploring issues of exploration, trade, networks and recycling.

  • Unearthing black gold - How is oil used in our daily lives? How has oil created a global network?
  • Minerals on the Market – What factors can affect the trade of minerals?
  • Dragons in Africa - Why does China need Africa’s natural resources?
  • A World of Rubbish - How is the world connected through recycled materials?
  • Digging up the earth – Why are diamonds and rare earths important?

There is an accompanying Teacher Factsheet and a multiple choice assessment which can be used at the end of this unit.

Resource contents


Environment and Sustainability

Age Ranges

KS3: ages 11-14



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