Published on: May 14, 2024

Spring has arrived! As the last traces of winter melt away, it’s the perfect time to shake things up. Explore the world of energy efficiency in a fresh way by bringing your learning outdoors! 

Keep reading for three ways you can lead your classroom lessons outside this spring.

1. Study Outdoors

Stepping out of the classroom and into an outdoor space can shift how we think about energy use. While your students are studying, encourage them to appreciate the natural light and how it’s different from the artificial lighting indoors. Once study time is over, your class can discuss how they can save energy by spending time outdoors.  

Discussion questions: 

  • How have we saved energy by being outside instead of in the classroom?  
  • What have you learned today that can help you save energy at home? 

Tip: Make sure to turn off the lights and electronic devices in the classroom before heading out.   

2. Take Nature Walks

There’s no better way to discuss energy than by immersing students in nature, where they can witness firsthand a variety of sources and consumers of energy. A leisurely walk around the school grounds or a nearby park allows students to unplug and engage in real-time observations and discussions about energy efficiency.  

Discussion questions: 

  • Can you identify any energy sources we use at school?
  • Why is it important for schools and other buildings to use energy wisely? 

Tip: If possible, pre-plan your walking route so you come across a variety of energy sources and consumers. 

3. Create an Outdoor Scavenger Hunt

Add some adventure into your lesson plan by creating an energy efficiency scavenger hunt based on energy-efficient and inefficient elements in your school environment. You can create a checklist and then send your students on the hunt.  

Here are a few ideas for scavenger hunt items: 

  • Solar panels 
  • Outdoor lights 
  • A classroom with lights off 
  • A classroom with lights on 
  • An energy-saving habit (and have them write down what it was) 
  • An energy-using habit (and have them write down what it was) 

Discussion questions: 

  • What are some actions we can take to reduce energy use at school? 
  • Have you noticed any habits or practices around the school that could be changed to save energy? 
  • What was the most interesting checklist item you came across?  

Tip: Have students to work in groups to encourage collaboration and critical thinking.  

Integrating outdoor activities into your curriculum this spring is a fun way to help your students learn about energy efficiency. By stepping outside, students not only get a much-needed change of scenery but can also gain a practical understanding of energy use and efficiency.  

Explore the Generation E website for more classroom resources and ideas to bring energy efficiency into your lesson planning.