Activity Introduction

hero sparky 2The Enviroweek Sparky action encourages students to use energy smartly by “switching off” or “dressing for impact”. This resource is presented in the form of three separate but linked activities and has been differentiated into two activities, one for lower primary and one for upper primary.

Part 1 – Tune In: Students explore options for keeping comfortable in the classroom during cooler months and take personal responsibility for their comfort, rather than solely relying on classroom heating and cooling systems, and/or turning lights off during class if the amount of natural light is good.

Part 2 – Act: Students develop their own challenge and take action to save energy in their school community.

Part 3 – Share: Students share their experiences and inspire others to take action.

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Following this lesson plan is an ideal way for your school to take part in Enviroweek. You’ll be joining thousands of amazing teachers in making a difference and creating positive environmental change. Simply sign in using your Cool Australia login details.

 Learning goals:

  • Students understand the impact of energy use on the environment.
  • Students begin to take responsibility for energy use in the classroom.
  • Students collect data about their classroom energy use.
  • Students will rethink everyday energy use behaviours and take action to reduce their personal impact.

Year level: Year 3, 4, 5, 6

Topic: Enviroweek – Sparky

Duration of activity:

Tune in

Act

Share

45 mins

60 mins planning plus + Enviroweek

45 mins

Resources required: For older students (Year 3 to Year ): Sparky CO2e Cheat Sheet, Creature Comforts Worksheet, Record sheet,advise students to bring in extra clothes, see list included under Preparation. For younger students (Foundation to Year 2): What are you wearing worksheet. You may need other resources depending on the challenge the students choose to do. 

Homework and extension opportunities: Students may choose to try this activity at home. They can report back differences between who felt comfortable in different light levels and clothing layers – did it depend on the person? On the building?

Safety: Students need to ensure they are keeping themselves warm enough and can see their work when challenging themselves to use less energy.

Hot Tip: Try to get the whole school taking part in the Sparky action for Enviroweek. Your class can plan how the whole school can take part. You may need to seek approval from the School Council or the Principal.

Key words: energy, power, renewable, non-renewable resources

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Year 3 Science

  • Safely use appropriate materials, tools or equipment to make and record observations, using formal measurements and digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS055)
  • Use a range of methods including tables and simple column graphs to represent data and to identify patterns and trends (ACSIS057)

Year 3 English

  • Use interaction skills, including active listening behaviours and communicate in a clear, coherent manner using a variety of everyday and learned vocabulary and appropriate tone, pace, pitch and volume (ACELY1792)
  • Plan and deliver short presentations, providing some key details in logical sequence (ACELY1677)

Year 4 Science

  • Safely use appropriate materials, tools or equipment to make and record observations, using formal measurements and digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS066)
  • Compare results with predictions, suggesting possible reasons for findings (ACSIS216)

Year 4 English

  • Use interaction skills such as acknowledging another’s point of view and linking students’ response to the topic, using familiar and new vocabulary and a range of vocal effects such as tone, pace, pitch and volume to speak clearly and coherently (ACELY1688)
  • Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations incorporating learned content and taking into account the particular purposes and audiences (ACELY1689)

Year 5 Science

  • Use equipment and materials safely, identifying potential risks (ACSIS088)
  • Compare data with predictions and use as evidence in developing explanations (ACSIS218)

Year 5 English

  • Use interaction skills, for example paraphrasing, questioning and interpreting non-verbal cues and choose vocabulary and vocal effects appropriate for different audiences and purposes (ACELY1796)
  • Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations for defined audiences and purposes incorporating accurate and sequenced content and multimodal elements (ACELY1700)

Year 6 Science

  • Use equipment and materials safely, identifying potential risks (ACSIS105)
  • Compare data with predictions and use as evidence in developing explanations ACSIS221)

Year 6 English

  • Use interaction skills, varying conventions of spoken interactions such as voice volume, tone, pitch and pace, according to group size, formality of interaction and needs and expertise of the audience (ACELY1816)
  • Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations, selecting and sequencing appropriate content and multimodal elements for defined audiences and purposes, making appropriate choices for modality and emphasis (ACELY1710)

Syllabus outcomesST2-4WS, ST3-4WSEN2-1A, EN2-6B, EN3-1A.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.

Cross-curriculum priorities: Sustainability OI.8.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

hero sparkyTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goals: Students build an understanding of wise energy use in the classroom by comparing their current energy consumption with that of the past, and modifying their behaviour so that they use less energy (in terms of light, electrical items and heat) during the school day.

Teacher content information: Energy is the lifeblood of our existence. Energy powers our industries, our homes, our cars. It drives the machinery of factories and farms that produce everything we need. Our energy-hungry lifestyle is powered by the burning of fossil fuels. Fuel sources like a lump of coal, which is the decomposed remains of tiny organisms and plant life formed in the appropriately named 'Carboniferous period'. From the 1800s, the energy created from burning coal and oil drove engines that changed how people lived. We called it 'the Industrial Revolution'. It caused widespread change, just like 'the Digital Revolution' that describes today's technological era.

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Student Worksheet

Act - Enviroweek Sparky Project Action Planning

In groups, you are to design your Sparky Action! The aim is to encourage people to think twice before wasting energy or using power unnecessarily. Think outside the box but ensure that the details of your project are aligned with the SMART principles of project design: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Bound.

Project Action Plan

Steps

Actions/Decisions

Person Responsible

1. Brainstorm Ideas

No idea is too big or too small at this stage. Have one group member record all the ideas generated, then begin discussing them. Complete this task as a group.

2. Project Aims

What do you hope to achieve through this project? Complete this task as a group.

3. Background Research

Use the Internet to search for case studies similar to your proposed project. Using information about a similar project, estimate how much CO2e could be saved through your plan.

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