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EnerAction: Lesson Package 2

Lessons 2,5,10,11

Elementary, Middle

Description

This package of four lessons focuses on energy use, creating and implementing energy action plans and promoting a commitment to energy conservation. Students are also asked to examine some of their personal positions on environmental issues related to energy.  Excellent background information and extension activities are included.

Students will

 

  • explore daily energy use by developing and acting out skits
  • create an energy conservation banner
  • take a position on a number of environmental issues based on their own personal ethics
  • chart their own energy use for a 24 hour period & look for ways to reduce it
  •  identify and communicate energy-saving strategies to their families

 

Acting On Energy - Groups of students create and present short skits which identify energy activities associated with everyday events (birthday party, day at the beach...) The skits are are followed by a class discussion of the implications of the various energy uses demonstrated. Students then write or sketch ideas for energy conservation on a banner which can be displayed in the school.

Exploring Our Energy Ethics - Five signs are placed in different areas of the room- Strongly Agree, Agree, Don't Know, Disagree, Strongly Agree. The teacher reads opinion statements on environmental issues and students are asked to stand in front of the sign which best represents their views on each statement. Students must be prepared to explain the reason for their choice of sign. After a class discussion based on guided questions, students reflect on their own perspectives of the various statements made in a journal writing exercise.

Changing Our Ways - After a teacher-led discussion on the differences between direct and indirect energy use, students are asked to track their energy use for 24 hours.  After prioritizing their energy consumption as essential or non-essential each student must eliminate 3 or more uses. They repeat the 24 hour tracking and compare data.  Students write a reflection of the experience based on guided questions. They then track energy use for a two-week period, focusing on reducing energy in other areas. These records are displayed in the classroom or school.

Taking The Lead - Taught over several weeks this lesson asks students to "take the lead" in reducing energy use at home. They are declared "President of the Board" of their families and over several days asked to identify areas where energy is wasted and where each member of their family might reduce energy use.  They will also prepare a presentation for  (video, PowerPoint..etc) and create a document that lists 5 strategies for energy reduction that their family members will be asked to sign. 

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

  • Working cooperatively with team members to develop and carry out a plan
  • Evaluating individual and group processes used in planning, problem solving and completing a task
  • Decision-making
  • Collecting data and interpreting patterns and trends in the data
  • Proposing solutions to a problem being investigated
  • Listening critically to other ideas and points of view
  • Engaging in and responding to oral presentations

Strengths

  • Good quantity of background information
  • Excellent links and extension suggestions
  • Worksheets are well organized
  • Package is up to date
  • Helps students form concepts, beliefs and attitudes and communicate them to the class
  • Has a good action plan
  • Connects with people in the community
  • Gives students an opportunity to obtain results that are relevant to their lives
  • Presents different ways of collecting and presenting information
  • Experiential learning is authentic

Weaknesses

  • Teacher must develop assessment tools
  • No accomondations or modifications for struggling readers
  • No authentic case studies

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
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Matter and Energy: Understandings of the physical world are deepened through investigating matter and energy
  • British Columbia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 4:Energy can be transformed
  • Manitoba
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Electricity
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Electricity
  • Northwest Territories
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 5
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Energy and Control: Conservation of Energy
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Energy and Control: Electricity
        • Life Systems: Diversity of Living Things
  • Nova Scotia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 6: Electricity
  • Nunavut
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 5
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Energy and Control: Conservation of Energy
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Energy and Control: Electricity
        • Life Systems: Diversity of Living Things
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Electricity
  • Saskatchewan
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 6: Physical Science: Understanding Electricity
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 7: Life Science: Interactions within Ecosystems
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 4:Energy can be transformed

Themes Addressed

  • Energy (1)

    • Energy Use

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Satisfactory

The resource highlights the need to decrease energy use by cutting down on  the residential use of electricity. The lesson should address the fact that the industrial and transportation sectors are bigger energy users.

Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Good

The resource effectively addresses problems and solutions. Reducing energy use will decrease environmental impacts which will make it possible for earth's natural systems to provide what society needs to survive. It also will allow the consumer to save money with regards to the spiraling costs of electrical energy.

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Good
Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Good
Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Very Good
Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Satisfactory

The resource creates empathy and concern for the future generations of the planet whose quality of life will be affected by dwindling resources and a polluted planet.

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 Satisfactory

The resource does encourage a personal affinity with earth, but has no out-of-doors experience.

Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Very Good
Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Satisfactory

There is little discussion of the past as the resource is focused more on current energy issues. The action plans will lead the students to see that they can have a positive impact on the future by implementing energy conservation strategies at home.

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 students choose the strategies they would like to implement to decrease individual and family energy use. They are encouraged in the energy ethics lesson to state and defend their energy values with the hope that this will lead to action.

Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Good
Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Good

The personal energy audit and the "family plan" for energy reduction are unique activities which allow students to make decisions on their own on how to solve problems of energy overuse.

Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Satisfactory

The resource teaches to both the cognitive and affective domains.

There are no modifications or accommodations suggested for struggling learners. The reading level will prove difficult for some students.

Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Very Good
Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory
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

There are no assessment tools provided to capture formative or summative information about students learning and performance.

There are reflection questions, but no answer key.

Rubrics are provided for self-assessment only

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

Some incidental teaching arises from presentations of skits and group discussions.

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

Poor- there are no case studies provided

Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Good
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.