Lesson Plan: Keep It Clean


Based on the article “Keep It Clean: Clean Coal Technology”

Click here for a printable PDF version of this lesson.


Lesson:   Understand the different methods that scientists use to clean coal and help keep the environment clean.

Objective:   To create a scientific diagram showing one method of keeping coal clean.

Overview:  Students will read through the list of methods that scientists use to clean coal.  They will then choose one method and create a scientific diagram to illustrate that method.

Standards Addressed:     National Science Education Standards, Content Standard A

  • As a result of activities, students should be able to develop an understanding of the use of evidence, models, and explanations to explain their own work and critique the work of others.


  • Article on Clean Coal Technology
  • Drawing paper for rough copy
  • Large white construction paper and color pencils or crayons

Activity Steps:

  1. Students will read the article, either as a shared reading with the teacher or as a partner reading with another student. After reading, each student will go back and choose one method that they wish to illustrate and reread that paragraph again.
  2. Using the drawing paper, students will create a diagram of the coal-cleaning method chosen. They will need to include basic text and graphic features, such as labels for each component, titles, and boldface vocabulary words. Once the rough drawing is done, the teacher will check it for accuracy. The student will then use the good drawing paper to make their final copy.


After all drawing are complete, group together the same ones and have the students present their diagrams to the class. Compare how different students addressed the same topics. Create a bulletin board display of the various methods for cleaning coal.


Continue the theme of coal companies helping to keep the environment clean.  Have students research on the internet other methods that are being used.  Have them write up a paragraph or create another diagram that shows other things being done.  Add these to the bulletin board and expand the topic to ways the coal companies care about our environment. Below are example diagrams: