How to bring energy efficiency education into the classroom

Published on: October 4, 2022

Students of all ages can benefit from learning about energy efficiency. Lessons about energy efficiency can teach Manitoba students about the importance of saving energy, the impact human activity has had on the environment, and show them the power of working together and inspire them to learn about other ways we can protect our planet.

Ready to bring energy efficiency education into your classroom? Here’s how you can start:

Spark a conversation

Lead a classroom discussion on the ways electricity powers modern-day life:

  • What do you think life looked like before electricity?
  • What do you use electricity for? Can you live without these things?
  • What do you do for fun that requires electricity?
  • What do you do for fun that doesn’t require electricity?

The goal is to encourage students to think of how they use energy and challenge them to think of when they can save energy. Generation E’s “Lights Out” lesson plan and presentation feature questions that can kickstart thought-provoking classroom discussions and lively activities. This lesson is geared toward grade 6 students but can be adapted for older and younger learners. Click here to download the resources for free.

Introduce energy-saving habits

Saving energy and creating good habits shouldn’t require big sacrifices. After all, every little bit helps!

Challenge your class to think of energy-saving habits that can be done at home and at school. Guide your class to think of habits that are as simple as possible. Habits shouldn’t require many steps, should be as low-effort as possible, and should be so easy to complete that it would be hard to think of a good excuse not to do it. For example, turning off the lights whenever you leave the room is a habit that only takes a second to complete.

Need ideas? Check out the Classroom Efficiency Checklist for some habits you can share with your class.

Create a routine

Lead by example and incorporate energy efficiency habits into your classroom’s daily routine.

To help make these habits stick, think about where habits would fit into your current routine. Would it be best to run through the checklist at the beginning of the day? End of the day? Is there a classroom helper who can make sure that all the tasks have been completed throughout the day? The Classroom Efficiency Checklist can be laminated and reused every day to keep track of your classroom progress.

Don’t forget to come up with small ways your class can celebrate completing each habit. This will help associate positive feelings with a habit, increasing the chance of the habit taking hold.

Take advantage of Generation E’s teaching resources

Designed to complement Manitoba’s science curriculum, teachers can find lesson plans and interactive activities tailored for Grade 6 and 9 students on the Generation E website. The website also features simple resources such as an activity book and colouring pages that can introduce elementary students to basic concepts related to energy efficiency.

In addition, teachers across the province can access Efficiency Manitoba’s Generation E outreach coordinator, who can deliver presentations for free in classrooms, and help teachers use the online resources. Teachers interested in working with our outreach coordinator can get in touch by email or through the contact page.

We’re excited to help empower the next generation of energy savers and see our efforts snowball into meaningful change.