Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson students synthesise what they have learnt about energy and develop a class or school program that will help reduce the amount of energy used. Students will work in groups to select an action that is important to them, then brainstorm an idea for making this action happen. Next, they collaboratively plan a project based on their idea and then execute this plan. Finally, students are asked to reflect upon the success of their project and their role in creating and executing the project.

Essential questions:

  • How can we reduce the amount of energy being used in our classroom or at our school?
  • How can we plan and design a class or school energy saving plan?
  • How can we share what we have learnt about energy and reducing energy use with the school and wider community?

21st century skills:

social action skills

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: This lesson can be integrated into a number of subject areas as the focus is on developing the Cross-curriculum priorities and General capabilities of the Australian Curriculum and 21st century skills.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.6, OI.8.

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Literacy, Personal and social capability.

Topic: Energy

Time required: 120 mins +

Level of teacher scaffolding: Assist students to focus their ideas, assist communication between students and appropriate school leadership team.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet. Device capable of presenting a website to the class. One printed copy of Project Planning Tool for each group. Project checklist. Butcher’s paper and pens/pencils, online stopwatch.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Keywords: Energy, electricity, school, save, plan, action.

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


Teacher Worksheet

light-bulb-photoframeTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students recognise where energy is being used in their classroom and at their school, and understand the ways they could reduce the amount of energy used. They recognise the ways we could share what they know about reducing energy at school or in the classroom and why this is important. Finally, they understand some of the steps required in designing and implementing a school or class energy reduction plan.

Teacher content information: Energy is the lifeblood of our modern life. It powers our industry, it fuels our cars, and charges our iPhones. The problem is that much of our energy is produced by burning fossil fuels like coal, and this has a range of environmental, social and economic impacts, one being the emission of greenhouse gases.

Cool Australia Presents... Energy (Shortened Version) from Cool Australia on Vimeo.

Teaching sequence

10 minutes - Introduction
10 minutes - Part A: Why Do We Need To Take Action?
15 minutes - P

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Student Worksheet

light-bulb-photoframeReflection questions

Complete the following questions independently.

Project reflection questions

1. How does our project help to reduce the amount of energy our school uses?

2. What impact did our project have?

3. Was our project a success? Why or why not?

4. What did I learn during the implementation of our project?

5. What parts of the project were the most successful and why?

6. What parts of the project were the least successful and why? How would we improve these parts?

7. How would we improve the project overall?

8. What challenges did we face and how did we overcome them?

9. How could we extend our project?

10. Does our project have a legacy?


Self reflection questions

1. What did I learn about using less energy at our school or in our classroom?

2. How did I work in the group?

3. What would I do differently next time?

4. What was the best part of working on this project and why?

5. What was the worst part and why?

6. What impact did I

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