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Billy and the Brown Out



Young Billy adores his wasteful electronic gadgets and is utterly dismayed when the power goes out in the middle of his best video game.  As his mother explains the brown-out, Billy suddenly realizes that he can help save electricity.  Once the power is restored Billy becomes a model energy citizen, showing his family that he can "turn off" while still enjoying his favourite game!

General Assessment

Recommendation of how and where to use it

This video is from the "Speakaboo" series that encourages students to read text as stories are narrated.  Therefore, the clip provides an opportunity to combine reading outcomes with science concepts.  To give students further vocabulary practice there is an accompanying printable word search .

The story also provides an excellent introduction to a classroom discussion about sustainability and the impacts of natural resource use on daily life.  Students could describe all of the ways they use power and then identify personal energy saving actions such as powering down electronics.  A class could also conduct sustainable energy experiments like measuring the heat output from CFL bulbs compared to incandescent bulbs or constructing and testing a model wind turbine.

Relevant Curriculum Units

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Themes Addressed

Citizenship (1)

  • Sustainable Consumption

Energy (1)

  • Energy Use