Lesson 1: You Can Conserve!
40 minutes plus homework time
Scrap paper, pens or pencils, Worksheet 1
Language Arts, Science
1. Explain: In this activity you will be learning about the power of saving energy. Ask students to name some items that run on electricity. Then write the words "energy conservation" on the board.
2. Tell students: Electricity is helpful, but it's important to use only as much as we need. Conserving energy, or reducing the amount of energy we use, can help make our power plants work more smoothly, reduce costs, and most importantly, use less of our planet's resources.
3. Explain that everyone can do something to reduce the amount of electricity they use. Often, these are simple things that can be done at school or at home.
4. Tell students: Two of the easiest things to do are to use dishwashers, washing machines, and dryers only when full, and unplug items that are not being used. Ask students to explain why those two energy tips are important.
5. Round out the conversation by explaining: Some appliances, like refrigerators, need to be plugged in all the time in order to work. Other items, like laptops or cell phone chargers, don't always need to be plugged in since when they are plugged in, they use electricity even when they are turned off or not charging. These types of devices are called Vampire Electronics because they suck up energy!
6. Separate the class into teams of four. Tell students that they will be playing Energy Trivia! Have each group come up with a team name and choose one student to be the recorder. This person will write down answers for the team.
7. Read each question aloud and then read the answer choices. Give students two or three minutes to think about the question and write down their answer. Have students bring their answers up to you when they are done with each round. Once all groups have turned in their answers for the round, tell the class the correct answer. Keep a tally of the number of correct answers for each team as you go.
Trivia Questions: (correct answers in italics)
- What is the most energy-efficient way to dry your clothes?
A. Use a clothes dryer
B. Use a hair dryer
C. Dry them on a clothesline
D. Put them in the microwave
- Which of these is NOT a Vampire Electronic when plugged in?
A. A phone charger that is not being used
B. A refrigerator
C. A laptop computer that is turned off
D. A DVD player that is not being used
- Which of these forms of transportation uses the least amount of energy:
- What is the most energy-efficient way to keep cool in the summer?
A. Stand in front of an open refrigerator
B. Use fans to circulate cool air
C. Crank up the air conditioner
D. Open windows while the A/C is on
- If you are the last person to leave a room, be sure to:
A. Check for dirty dishes
B. Turn off the lights
C. Leave the lights on for the next person
D. Make sure no one's hiding
- When is the most energy-efficient time to run your dishwasher?
A. Right after dinner
B. Before 6 a.m. or after 8 p.m.
C. While you're eating dinner
D. Whenever your dishes are dirty
8. Tally all the scores to see who won. If there is a tie, give the winning teams two minutes to list as many "good" energy habits as they can on the board. Whichever team writes down the most answers wins!
9. Distribute copies of Worksheet 1. Instruct students to complete the worksheet activity for homework.