Lesson Overview: Students will learn about wasting energy, conserving energy, energy crisis and what to do about this by doing a hands on, minds on, classroom activity throughout the week.
Time: 5 days on going during class periods
Materials: 15 Energy Trip Tickets per student
Vocabulary: conserve, waste, crisis, strategies
Students use energy every day without thinking about where it comes from, how it arrives or even that they are using it. This activity will help to make students aware of their energy usage by making them “pay” for each energy trip they make throughout the day. This activity will also get students thinking about ways they can conserve or eliminate energy use by making them look at their day.
Have the students make a list of all their school trips: to the pencil sharpener, the lunchroom, the rest rooms, music class, and so on.
Give each student 15 Energy Trip Tickets and announce that for the next five days, every trip will cost one ticket. At the end of each day, record the number of tickets each student has left on a large chart for all to see. Who’s wasting energy? Conserving it? How are they doing it? Discuss energy-saving strategies such as combining several errands on one ticket and “pencil pooling” (rotating the task of pencil sharpening within a small group of students). By the third day, the room will be a-buzz with talk of the impending “energy crisis.”
Ask your students what effect the crisis is having on their standard of living. Now they are ready to devise some real-life conservation strategies. Developing conservation strategies can be fun, especially when your students know the priceless reward of their knowledge of energy conservation.
Have students write down their energy trip conservation goals at the end of the week. Have them keep track of their own energy trips for the next week and see how they did and what modifications were necessary to meet those goals.