- Develop vocabulary
- Make observations
- Problem solve and communicate solutions for reducing wasteful energy use
- Write a story about an energy-saving problem they observed
- Counters, small blocks or buttons
- Observe Your Family’s Energy Use Activity Sheet printable
- Help New York Save Energy Mini Poster printable
- Make copies of the Observe Your Family’s Energy Use Activity Sheet printable for each student.
Step 1: Distribute bowls of counters. Read the statements below and have students take two counters when they hear an activity they have participated in:
- I have helped to cook dinner.
- I have played games on a computer.
- I have helped to do the laundry.
- I have ridden in a car or taken the bus.
- I have taken a hot bath or shower.
- I have read a story on a tablet.
Step 2: Tell your students that the counters represent the energy (such as gas or electricity; not human energy) that was needed to complete their activities. How much energy have your students “used”?
Step 3: Ask your students to suggest ways each task could be completed using less energy or no energy. Students move one counter to the side for options that use less energy and two counters for options that use no energy. How much energy were your students able to “save”?
Step 4: Build a definition of the term energy conservation (or energy-saving) as a class and ask your students why they believe this concept is important.
Step 5: Introduce the Observe Your Family’s Energy Use activity sheet. Students should take note of energy use at home and return to class with their observations for Part B.
Step 1: Display the Help New York Save Energy mini poster. Discuss the energy-saving strategies shown on the poster with your class.
Step 2: Direct students to create a story about an opportunity for energy-saving they have observed in their home and how it can be addressed. Prompt students to clearly demonstrate the energy being used by the characters in the story, as well as a solution for using less energy.
- For Kindergarten: Create stories with drawing and writing, supported by dictation. Use sequence prompts like: at first, then, and finally.
- For Grades 1—2: Create stories with drawing and writing. Present a clear problem, resolution, and conclusion.
- For Grades 3—5: Create stories with characters who experience a problem, resolution, and conclusion, using dialogue and descriptive details.
Step 3: Have students share their stories in small groups or with the class. To help make the planet healthier, which energy-saving ideas might students like to try themselves at home? At school?
Visit scholastic.com/powerofgreen and watch the video Help New York Be Energy Smart with your class to learn more about practical, everyday ways they can conserve energy at home.