In this activity, students will learn about different types of energy. They’ll think about how they use energy and brainstorm ideas for energy-free ways to have fun.
Skills supporting learning standards: reading comprehension, participating in group discussions, creating artwork to demonstrate a topic, theme, or concept
Copies of the “Ways to Have Fun!” student activity sheet
- Start by asking students the following questions:
- What is energy? (Energy is usable power. We use it to heat and light our homes and buildings, fuel our cars and buses, and operate appliances and electronic devices.)
- Where does energy come from? (Energy comes from fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas. These are nonrenewable resources. Energy also comes from renewable sources, such as sun power, wind power, and waterpower. These sources of energy can be used to create electricity that we use to power appliances and machines.)
- How can we use less energy? (We can conserve energy by making informed choices about how we use it so we use less. For example, we can make sure to turn off lights and TVs when we leave the room. We can open the windows instead of turning on the air conditioner, or sleep with extra blankets instead of cranking up the heat. We can also use appliances and devices that are more energy efficient. Some technology is designed to use less energy. Compact fluorescent lightbulbs, for example, require less energy than incandescent bulbs, but produce the same amount of light.)
- Copy and distribute the student activity sheet. Read and discuss the instructions aloud.
- Ask students to work independently to identify favorite activities that require electricity to perform and those that do not. To wrap up, ask students to share their illustrations and discuss ideas for fun activities that do not require electricity.
- Extend the conversation by discussing ways that energy is used within the school. Ask students to brainstorm ways to conserve energy at school. (Examples: Turn off lights in classrooms during lunch breaks or other times that the room is empty; use blinds or shades to help keep the room cool on hot, sunny days; collect paper for recycling instead of throwing it away.)
U.S. Energy Information Administration Energy Kids: What Is Energy?: eia.gov/kids/energy.cfm?page=1
U.S. Energy Information Administration Energy Kids: Saving Energy: eia.gov/kids/energy.cfm?page=about_energy_efficiency-basics