In this lesson, students will learn about how families can prepare for a potential power outage or loss of electricity.
Skills supporting learning standards: making inferences, interpreting illustrations, critical thinking, sorting, participating in group discussions
- Create a Lights-Out Kit! Student Activity Sheet printable
- Whiteboard and markers
Step 1: To start, ask students to name things that use electricity. Write their responses on the whiteboard or chart paper. Encourage them to think about things in their homes that run on electricity or need to be plugged in to work, such as lights, appliances (stoves, washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators, etc.), TVs, computers, phone chargers, elevators, etc.
Step 2: Tell students that sometimes storms or dangerous weather can cause the electricity or power to go out. Ask students:
- If the electricity did not work or if the power went out, what would you not be able to do?
Answers might include turn on lights, cook, watch TV, use computers, etc.
Step 3: Explain that families can create a lights-out kit to help them be ready if the electricity goes out. Remind students that stores might be closed when a storm knocks out the power, so families should plan what they might need if they can’t get to the store. Ask students:
- What do you think would go in a lights-out kit? What do you think families should have ready when they know a storm is coming that might cause them to lose electricity for a few hours or a few days?
Step 4: Record students’ responses on the board and ask them to explain their responses. Answers might include food, water, flashlights, etc.
Step 5: Distribute copies of the Create a Lights-Out Kit! Student Activity Sheet printable. The page features images of items families should put in a lights-out kit to prepare for a potential power outage, as well as images of items families would not need in a lights-out kit. Review the instructions and images.
Step 6: Have students circle the images that would go in the kit and cross out items that would not.
Step 7: Review the answers and ask students to explain why each item would go in a lights-out kit or not.
Lights-Out Kit Items:
- battery-operated radio
- books and games
- bottled water
- food that does not need to be cold (granola bar and bread)
- fully charged cell phone
- first aid kit
Items Not Needed:
- milk and ice cream
Step 8: Brainstorm additional items families might need so they are ready if the electricity or power goes out. For more information, visit the Department of Homeland Security’s Ready website for kids. Note: If families have to leave their homes because of power outages, they would need to prepare additional items.
Step 9: Send home the Create a Lights-Out Kit! Student Activity Sheet printable with students and encourage them to talk with their families about creating a lights-out kit. There is a note at the bottom of the page to prompt discussion.