Students learn about energy conservation and protecting Earth. They will look at a set of images and determine which show energy being saved and which show energy being wasted.
Skills supporting learning standards: make inferences, comparing and contrasting, participating in group discussions
- Copies of the “Who Is Saving Energy?” student activity sheet
Using the Activity Sheet
1. Start by asking students the following questions:
- What kinds of things need energy, such as electricity or gas, to work? (Answers may include lights, appliances such as refrigerators, stoves, ovens, phones, TVs, air conditioners, heaters, elevators, cars, buses, subways, trains, etc.)
- Explain that electricity provides energy or power. Electricity can be made from fossil fuels, such as natural gas, oil, or coal, or from renewable sources like wind and solar (sun) power, etc. Fossil fuels 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.
- How do you think saving energy can help the planet? (Explain that creating and using energy can cause pollution. Renewable resources create less pollution than fossil fuels. Using less energy can help reduce the amount of pollution we create. Saving energy can also help us conserve or keep more of our natural resources, such as fossil fuels.)
- What other things can we do to save energy and natural resources to help Earth? (Explain that it takes energy and natural resources to make many things we use. For example, trees are a natural resource used to make furniture and paper. We can help save energy and resources and reduce pollution by reducing, reusing, and recycling. Reduce or use fewer things so we create less trash; reuse things such as plastic bags and paper instead of throwing them away; recycle paper, cans, and glass bottles so that they can be made into new things, etc.)
2. Copy and distribute the reproducible student activity sheet. The page features pictures and brief descriptions demonstrating energy-saving and energy-wasting actions. Have students circle the images that save energy and cross out those that waste energy. Read the introduction and directions with the class. Then have students work independently or in pairs to complete the page. Review the answers together.
Answers: Circle: walk instead of driving, turn off the lights, turn off the water. Cross out: leave the TV on.
3. Have students brainstorm additional ways to save energy, as well as ways energy is wasted. Challenge them to suggest tips to prevent the energy-wasting habits they present.
Books to Explore
Our Earth: Saving Energy by Peggy Hock
Earth Day by Linda Lowery
Where Does the Garbage Go? by Paul Showers
Recycle Every Day! by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
10 Things I Can Do to Help My World by Melanie Walsh