The Power of Green program reinforces language arts, math, and science skills while exploring tips for conserving energy and recycling, and teaching about electric and gas safety.
- Learn about smart meters
- Explore ways to save energy and reduce waste
- Make inferences
- Develop vocabulary
- Participate in group discussions
- Be an Energy Saver Activity Sheet printable
- Earth Day Family Pledge printable
Make a class set of the Be an Energy Saver Activity Sheet printable.
Step 1: To start, remind students that April 22 is Earth Day. Ask them to share why they think people celebrate this day.
Step 2: Explain to students that Earth Day is celebrated by people around the world to honor the planet and think about how to protect it and stop pollution. On Earth Day, some people clean up and beautify their neighborhoods, plant trees and flowers, or do other things to help keep Earth healthy.
Step 3: Ask students to name ways they can help Earth. Answers may include recycling (or reduce, reuse, recycle), conserving water, not littering, reusing paper, not wasting energy, donating toys and clothes, composting, etc.
Step 4: Next, ask students: How do you think saving energy can help the planet?
Step 5: Explain the connection between energy and electricity:
- Electricity gives us energy to use things like computers, lights, heating, refrigerators, etc.
- Electricity can be made out of resources from Earth called fossil fuels, such as natural gas, oil, and coal, or from renewable sources like wind and solar (sun) power.
- Fossil fuels, also called natural resources, take millions of years to form, and once they are used, they can’t be replaced. Renewable sources build up again naturally and much more quickly.
- Saving energy can help us use fewer natural resources from Earth.
- Creating and using energy can also pollute Earth’s air. Using less energy can help reduce the amount of pollution we create.
Step 6: Copy and distribute the Be an Energy Saver Activity Sheet printable. The page introduces students to some basic features of a smart meter and challenges them to assess actions that will help a family save energy. Students also brainstorm their own tips to help the family save energy. Read the introduction and directions with the class.
Step 7: When done, review the answers together and have students share their tips.
1. Run the dishwasher only when it is full.
2. Wash clothes in cold water.
3. Take short, warm showers.
4. Turn off the water while brushing teeth.
5. Turn off the lights when leaving a room.
6. Use fans to cool rooms.
7. Open shades on sunny days to help keep rooms warm in cold weather.
8. Unplug phone and tablet chargers when not in use. (Explain that some electronics continue to draw energy even when off. This is called phantom power.)
Step 8: As a group follow-up activity, brainstorm a list of activities Max’s family can do that do not require electricity, such as play board games, so that the family can “unplug” and have fun.
Make copies of the Earth Day Family Pledge printable and send them home with students. The page includes conservation tips to help families save energy.