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Energy Conservation Learning Activities- Elementary

Grades1 to 8

Elementary, Middle

Description

Energy Conservation Learning Activities offers a progressive, grade-by-grade discussion of ecological concepts related to energy conservation. A range of activities provide teachers with ideas and resources to incorporate ecological thinking into their teaching while integrating environmental learning expectations within different strands of the curriculum. Each learning activity provides background facts and specific student activities in a lesson plan format, 

Students in grades 1 to 4 will:

  • explore the electricity requirements of household devices and the sources for that electricity
  • brainstorm a list of ways to conserve energy at home and in the classroom.
  • describe their own and their family’s use of energy; suggest ways to reduce personal energy consumption 
  • learn how to use wind energy to move various objects 
  • conduct an experiment to see how plants and certain colours of paint can be used to help keep a house cool.
  • turn the classroom into a forest community so that they can explore the effects of  habitat loss on the species living there. 
  • consider habitat impacts from human energy needs 
  • graphically represent what happens to their forest species (cartoon, graph, mural, poster), due to habitat destruction
  • write their own story of habitat loss from the perspective of their species.                                                                                                                                         
  • To help teachers find additional information or lesson plan ideas, each learning activity lists relevant resources with website links. Wherever possible, outdoor learning opportunities are outlined for each grade.

 

General Assessment

Strengths

  • The resource offers teachers ideas for integrating the environmental learning expectations within the elementary curriculum.
  • The resource is thorough and easy to use.
  • Provides suggestions for outdoor experiences.
  • Provides hands-on, inquiry based learning experiences.
  • The resource allows teachers to incorporate ecological thinking into their teaching.
  • To help teachers find additional information or lesson plan ideas, each learning activity lists relevant resources with website links to enhance the learning.
  • The resource encourages students to become part of the EcoSchools program. It encourages students to discuss ways to save electricity in the school, such as having a light monitor, not having all the lights on during a bright day, turning off the computers at night, etc. The resource suggest schools use the EcoSchools program EcoReviews to assess how effective their classroom and school practices are at conserving energy. The EcoReviews sheets can be downloaded from the website located under the Forms and Resources section.

Weaknesses

  • Needs to include some assessment tools as well as accommodations for students with learning difficulties.
  • Include stronger opportunities for students to share their learning.
  • Include some Canadian case studies.
  • Incorporate stronger economic and social connections to the environmental theme.

Recommendation of how and where to use it

  • The resource offers teachers ideas for integrating the environmental learning expectations within the elementary curriculum.
  • Lesson activities for grades one to four
  • Science

What important ideas are implied by the resource, but not taught explicitly?

  • The high consumption of energy in North America affects plant and animal habitats and communities.
  • There are significant advantages and challenges to using renewable energy sources such as wind and water energy.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

  • Step 1Select a province
  • Alberta
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    • Grade 1
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      • Science
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        • Needs of Animals and Plants
        • Seasonal Changes
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      • Arts
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        • Arts: Drama
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      • Science
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        • Rocks and Minerals
    • Grade 4
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      • Science
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        • Plant Growth and Changes
    • Grade 5
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Electricity and Magnetism
  • British Columbia
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    • Grade 1
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      • Science
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        • Earth & Space Science: Daily & Seasonal Changes
        • Life Sciences: Needs of Living Things
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        • Arts Education: Drama
      • Science
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        • Earth & Space Science: Air, Water & Soil
    • Grade 3
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      • Science
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        • Life Science: Plant Growth & Change
    • Grade 4
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Science: Habitats & Communities
  • Manitoba
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    • Grade 1
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      • Science
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        • Characteristics and Needs of Living Things
        • Daily and Seasonal Changes
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        • Arts: Drama
      • Science
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        • Air and Water in the Environment
    • Grade 3
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Forces That Attract or Repel
        • Growth and Changes in Plants
    • Grade 4
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitat and Communities
        • Rocks, Minerals, and Erosion
  • New Brunswick
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    • Grade 1
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • You and Your World: Healthy Lifestyles
        • You and Your World: Our Environment
    • Grade 3
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Invisible Forces
        • Plant Growth & Changes
    • Grade 4
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitats
        • Rocks, Minerals, and Erosion
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
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    • Grade 1
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      • Science
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        • Daily & Seasonal Changes
        • Needs and Characteristics of Living Things
    • Grade 2
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      • Arts
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        • Arts: Creating, Making, and Presenting
      • Science
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        • Air and Water in the Environment
        • Relative Position and Motion
    • Grade 3
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Invisible Forces
        • Plant Growth & Changes
    • Grade 4
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitats
        • Rocks, Minerals & Erosion
  • Northwest Territories
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    • Grade 1
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    • Grade 2
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      • Arts
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        • Arts Education 2: Drama
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Earth and Space Systems: Air and Water in the Environment
        • Energy and Control: Energy from Wind and Moving Water
        • Structures and Mechanisms: Movement
    • Grade 3
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    • Grade 4
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    • Grade 5
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Energy and Control: Conservation of Energy
  • Nova Scotia
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    • Grade 1
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Daily & Seasonal Change
        • Needs & Characteristics of Living Things
    • Grade 2
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Air and Water in the Environment
        • Relative Position and Motion
    • Grade 3
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Invisible Forces
        • Plant Growth and Changes
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitats
        • Rocks, Minerals & Erosion
  • Nunavut
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    • Grade 1
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    • Grade 2
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      • Arts
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Arts: Drama
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Earth and Space Systems: Air and Water in the Environment
        • Energy and Control: Energy from Wind and Moving Water
        • Structures and Mechanisms: Movement
    • Grade 3
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Energy & Control: Forces & Movement
        • Life Systems: Growth and Changes in Plants
    • Grade 4
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    • Grade 5
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Energy and Control: Conservation of Energy
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 1
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Daily and Seasonal Changes
        • Needs and Characteristics of Living Things
    • Grade 2
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Air & Water in the Environment
        • Relative Position & Motion
    • Grade 3
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Invisible Forces
        • Plant Growth & Changes
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitats
        • Rocks, Minerals & Erosion
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 1
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Daily and Seasonal Changes
        • Needs & Characteristics of Living Things
    • Grade 2
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Arts
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Arts Education 2: Drama
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Air and Water in the Environment
        • Motion and Relative Position
    • Grade 3
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Plant Growth and Changes
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitats and Communities
        • Rocks, Minerals, and Erosion
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 1
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Earth & Space Science: Daily & Seasonal Changes
        • Life Sciences: Needs of Living Things
    • Grade 2
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Arts
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Arts Education : Drama
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Earth & Space Science: Air, Water & Soil
    • Grade 3
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Science: Plant Growth & Change
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Science: Habitats & Communities

Themes Addressed

  • Ecosystems (1)

    • Habitat Loss
  • Energy (2)

    • Alternative Energy
    • Energy Use

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Bias Minimization Good
  • The experiments allow the students to draw their own conclusions based on the information they gather in the classroom. Students are not influenced to any particular point of view.
Bias Minimization: Presents as many different points of view as necessary to fairly address the issue(s).
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Good
  • The lesson activities for grades one to four only address the environmental dimension, the economic and social issues are addressed in the other lesson plans.
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

The resource effectively addresses multiple dimensions of problems and solutions. These should include the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

Respects Complexity Good
  • The lesson activities allow students to identify interactions between the human and the natural world. Analyzing these interactions helps students understand some of the causes and consequences of human impact on the environment and vice versa.
Respects Complexity: The complexity of problems is respected. A systems-thinking approach is encouraged.
Action Experience Good
  • The resource encourages students to become part of the EcoSchools program. It encourages students to discuss ways to save electricity in the school, such as having a light monitor, not having all the lights on during a bright day, turning off the computers at night, etc. The resource suggest schools use the EcoSchools program EcoReviews to assess how effective their classroom and school practices are at conserving energy.
Action Experience: Provides opportunities for authentic action experiences in which students can work to make positive change in their communities.
  • Poor = action activities poorly developed
  • Satisfactory = action opportunities are extensions instead of being integral to the main part of the activity
Action Skills Satisfactory
Action Skills: Explicitly teaches the skills needed for students to take effective action (e.g. letter-writing, consensus-building, etc.).
Empathy & Respect for Humans Poor/Not considered
  • Not considered in this resource.
Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Good
  • Wherever possible, outdoor learning opportunities are outlined for each grade which are identified by a foot graphic in the resource.
Personal Affinity with Earth: Actively encourages a personal affinity with non-humans and with Earth. For example, this may involve practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors.
Locally-Focused Good
  • The lesson activities suggest ways to conserve energy at home and in the classroom.
Locally-Focused: Encourages learning that is locally-focused/made concrete in some way and is relevant to the lives of the learners.
Past, Present & Future Satisfactory

  • The resource activities help students develop both ecological literacy and environmental practices to become environmentally responsible citizens and reduce the ecological footprint of schools.

Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Good
  • The learning activities provide students with opportunities to engage in scientific inquiry. Students raise questions about the issue, gather evidence through many types of investigations including observing and doing experiments.
Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Learning Satisfactory
Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Learning: Multidisciplinary= addresses a number of different subjects Interdisciplinary= integrated approach that blurs subject lines Good: The resource provides opportunities for learning in a number of traditional 'subject' areas (eg. Language Arts, Science, Math, Art, etc.). Very Good: The resource takes an integrated approach to teaching that blurs the lines between subject boundaries.
Discovery Learning Good
  • The learning activities provide students with opportunities to engage in scientific inquiry. Students raise questions about the issue, gather evidence through many types of investigations including observing and doing experiments.
Discovery Learning:

Learning activities are constructed so that students discover and build knowledge for themselves and develop largely on their own an understanding of concepts, principles and relationships. They often do this by wrestling with questions, and/or solving problems by exploring their environment, and/or physically manipulating objects and/or performing experiments.

  • Satisfactory = Students are provided with intriguing questions, materials to use & some direction on how to find answers. The learning involves unique experience & provides some opportunity for an 'ah-hah' event
  • Good = Students are provided with intriguing questions, materials to use, & make their own decisions on how to find answers. The learning involves unique experience & provides definite opportunity for an 'ah-hah' event.
  • Very Good = Students choose what questions to investigate as well as the materials/strategies to use to answer them.
Values Clarification Satisfactory
  • Students are not explicitly given an opportunity to clarify their own values but share their findings during discussions.
Values Clarification: Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
  • Poor = Students are not explicitly given an opportunity to clarify their own values.
  • Satisfactory = Students are given a formal opportunity to clarify their own values. The range of perspectives in the resource is limited, therefore, students do not have an appropriate amount of information to clarify their own values.
Differentiated Instruction Good
  • The lesson activities address a range of learning styles, The activities provide a variety of discussion and brainstorming activities, individual and cooperative learning assignments, hands-on and outdoor opportunities.
Differentiated Instruction: Activities address a range of learning styles/different intelligences. They teach to both cognitive and affective domains. Accommodations are suggested for people with learning difficulties.
Experiential Learning Good
Experiential Learning: Direct, authentic experiences are used.
  • Satisfactory = simulation
  • Good = authentic experience
  • Very Good = authentic experience related to the primary goal of the lesson
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory
  • Students work individually, with a partner, and in small cooperative learning groups during some of the activities.
Cooperative Learning: Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
  • Satisfactory = students work in groups
  • Good = cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good = cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Poor/Not considered
  • No assessments tools are suggested or provided.
Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Satisfactory
  • A few of the lesson activities involve a think-pair-share and discussion opportunities. 
Peer Teaching: Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
  • Satisfactory = incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good = an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Poor/Not considered
  • Not considered in this resource.
Case Studies: Relevant case studies are used. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events in real situations that can be used to examine concepts in an authentic context.
Locus of Control Good
  • Extension activities and numerous websites to enhance the learning are provided throughout the resource.
Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.