In this lesson, students are introduced to where energy comes from and explore how it’s used at school.
This is the first of three lessons to investigate school energy use and plan actions to promote energy conservation. For more lesson ideas, visit FortisBC Energy Leaders
What you’ll need
- Energy resources slideshow
- Energy resources slideshow notes
- Energy backgrounder
- Tips for leading energy observations
- Energy at school observation sheet
- Energy in our classroom student handout
- Présentation sur l’énergie et la terre
- Enquête sur l’énergie
- L’énergie dans notre classe
- computer, projector, and screen
Read the Energy Backgrounder to prepare for student discussion and questions around forms and sources of energy.
- Prepare the computer, projector and screen for the Energy and earth resources slideshow.
- Review the Energy and earth resources slideshow notes to help guide the presentation of the slideshow.
- Print a class set of the Energy in our classroom student handout.
- Print enough copies of the Energy at school observation sheet for each pair of students.
- Each pair will also need a clipboard.
- Review the tips for leading energy observations.
- Encourage the use of technology during the observations. Students can take photos as part of their observations or consider digital means of notetaking (voice recording, etc.).
Activity 1: Classroom energy hunt (20 minutes)
- Provide each student with a copy of the Energy in our Classroom Student Handout. Have them use the back side of the handout to record notes and questions.
- Have students explore the classroom to find at least five examples of energy being used. Have them record these in the first column on their handout.
- Explain that this is a silent activity—students should use their observation skills to look and listen closely and consider possible questions while they look for evidence of energy.
- Have students find a partner to share some of their examples of energy. Repeat with another partner.
- Have students return to their seats and share examples as a class. Have one or two students record answers on the board.
- As a class, discuss the idea that energy is all around us and we use it every day.
Activity 2: Exploring where energy comes from (20 minutes)
- With a partner, have students fill in the second column beside each example, noting where the energy comes from.
- Show the students the Energy and Earth Resources Slideshow.
- Have students review their second columns and revise as necessary.
- As a class, explore NB’s Energy Resource Map and discuss:
- Where does the electricity to power our computers come from?
- Where does the heat in our school come from?
- Where do we get the fuel to power our vehicles?
Activity 3: Energy observations (to be completed over multiple classes or days)
- Explain to students they will be investigating, through observation and data collection, how the school uses energy and resources that come from the Earth.
- With students in pairs or groups, provide each with an Energy Observation Student Handout.
- Review the questions as a class and provide students with tips and guidance for using observation skills (see Tips for Leading Energy Observations).
- Assign students to certain areas of the school or certain questions and have them record these on their handout.
- Provide enough time for students to complete their energy observations.
- Collect the Energy in our Classroom Student Handout and assess for completion and understanding of different forms of energy.
- Review the Energy Observation Student Handout for completion and accurate data collection
NB curricular outcomes
ELA grade 4
- SCO 2.3 – give and follow instructions and respond to questions and directions
Science 3 – 5
- SCO 1.1 – Students will ask questions about relationships between and among observable variables to plan investigations (scientific inquiry and technological problem-solving) to address those questions.
- SCO 2.1 – Students will consider factors that support responsible application of scientific and technological knowledge and demonstrate an understanding of sustainable practices.
NB global competencies
The Global Competencies are the skills, sets of knowledges, and attitudes of a well-rounded person. They cross disciplines and contexts, and enable a person to thrive in local, virtual, and global communities.
- Critical thinking and problem solving
- Sustainability and global citizenship
Activity downloaded from Energy at school | FortisBC – Energy Leaders