Activity Introduction

hero sparkyQuick summary: The 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.

Part 1 – Tune In: Students collect data about household energy consumption.

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

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

EW_logo_2016Following 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 login using your Cool Australia login details.

Learning goals:

  • Collect data about household energy consumption.
  • Demonstrate ability to work independently to read and follow instructions.
  • Perform mathematical calculations to complete activity.
  • Communicate effectively in fair and considered class-wide discussion on issues.
  • Demonstrate ability to support personal opinion on issues with independent research (extension).
  • Students will rethink everyday energy use behaviours and take action to reduce their personal impact.

Year level: Secondary (Year 7 – Year 10)

Topic: Enviroweek – Sparky

Duration of activity:

Tune in



45 mins

45 mins planning plus + Enviroweek

45 mins

Resources required: Student Worksheet, writing materials, Cool Australia Presents Energy video. You may need other resources depending on the Challenge the students choose to do.

Homework and extension opportunities: The ‘Tune in’ activity is set as homework or set over the period of one whole day

Hot Tip: Try to get the whole school taking part in the Sparky Challenge 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 7 Science:

  • Some of Earth’s resources are renewable, but others are non-renewable (ACSSU116)

Year 7 English:

  • Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations, selecting and sequencing appropriate content and multimodal elements to promote a point of view or enable a new way of seeing (ACELY1720)
  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, selecting aspects of subject matter and particular language, visual, and audio features to convey information and ideas (ACELY1725)

Year 8 Science:

  • Energy appears in different forms including movement (kinetic energy), heat and potential energy, and causes change within systems (ACSSU155)

Year 8 Mathematics:

  • Investigate techniques for collecting data, including census, sampling and observation (ACMSP284)
  • Explore the practicalities and implications of obtaining data through sampling using a variety of investigative processes (ACMSP206)

Year 8 English

  • Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations, selecting and sequencing appropriate content, including multimodal elements, to reflect a diversity of viewpoints (ACELY1731)
  • Create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that raise issues, report events and advance opinions, using deliberate language and textual choices, and including digital elements as appropriate (ACELY1736)

Year 9 Mathematics

  • Identify everyday questions and issues involving at least one numerical and at least one categorical variable, and collect data directly and from secondary sources (ACMSP228)

Year 9 English

  • Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations, selecting and sequencing appropriate content and multimodal elements for aesthetic and playful purposes (ACELY1741)
  • Create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that present a point of view and advance or illustrate arguments, including texts that integrate visual, print and/or audio features (ACELY1746)

Year 10 English

  • Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations, selecting and sequencing appropriate content and multimodal elements to influence a course of action (ACELY1751)
  • Create sustained texts, including texts that combine specific digital or media content, for imaginative, informative, or persuasive purposes that reflect upon challenging and complex issues (ACELY1756)

Syllabus outcomesSC4-12ES, SC4-10PWEN4-4B, EN5-1A, EN5-2A.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, Literacy, Numeracy.

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.


Teacher Worksheet

hero sparky 2Teacher preparation

Overarching learning goals: Students build an understanding of their personal impact on the planet by looking at their resource use and energy footprint. They collect data about how much energy the school is using. Students rethink their ideas about energy use and take action to reduce their personal impact.

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 tec

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Student Worksheet

sign heroTune In: How much electricity did you use today?

Instructions: In this activity you will be working out how much energy you use on average over one day. Follow the instructions to fill in Table 1.

Step 1: Write down the name of the appliance in column A. Write down the watts used for that appliance in column B. You also have a general guide to the wattage of many appliances. Only use the wattage printed on the appliance if you can easily see it without poking around.

Estimate how many hours you used the appliance for and write that figure down in column C.

Step 2: In column D work out the units of electricity used. To do this:

  • Multiply the watts by hours used (column B x column C)
  • Divide by 1000
  • Write the answer into column E

Step 3: In column F, write the cost by multiplying the units used by the price per unit.

You can find the unit price on the electricity bill. It is usually represented as rate c/kWh (cents per kilowatts). If you prefer, do your calculations on a sprea

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