Lesson 14

How Much Energy Do We Use?



Students will track their energy use for an entire day. By recording their activities, students will be more aware of the energy required in their daily activities and the amount of energy that is wasted.

Content Standards Addressed:

Common Core State Standards


Explain to students that everything we do requires some form of energy. To learn about the amount of energy they use, they'll track (for an entire day) everything they do and the energy that it takes. Encourage them to enlist the help of their families in the activity, as they will be key for its implementation.
Take some time to go over the example on the reproducible record sheets and allow for questions. Send the record sheets home and ask students to list each of their activities for the next 24 hours both at home and at school, and record how long they spent doing each.
The next day, have students bring their energy use records back to the classroom. Together as a class, using the standard chart on the reproducible, estimate how much electricity and gas each person consumed in a day.
Students can add their energy usage together to get a number for the class or find the average. They may also want to multiply the average by the total number of students in the school to get a bigger picture of how much energy they use.
Again, encourage a discussion of steps they could take to reduce the amount of energy they use. After implementing these ideas for a few days, have them reassess. How practical are their ideas? Which steps could they make part of their daily lives?