Lesson – The Energy I Used Today Activity



Title: The Energy I Used Today Activity
Grade: 5th Grade
Duration: 45 Minutes


Science: 3-5-ETS1-2
Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

Language Arts: LAFS.K12.W.1.1
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

Essential Question

  • Using what we know about science, what impact does energy efficiency and conservation have on the natural world around us?


Efficiency Conservation Sustainability Reduce Reuse Recycle Energy Sources Renewable Resources

Background Information

People around the world are using more electricity as technology increases. As populations increase, so does the demand for electricity. The importance of energy efficiency and conservation are often overlooked. Losses in generated electricity can occur during conversion and transmission of electricity. We must find ways to minimize this. There are numerous benefits associated with the use of less energy in our homes, schools and within our community. Whether you decide to use energy-efficient equipment or change the type of bulbs you are using in your home, you will find that the reduction of energy consumption is not only good for the environment, it is also good for your wallet.

Guiding Questions

  • What does being more efficient mean?
  • Why is it important for us to find ways to maximize efficiency of our energy sources?
  • What is fuel efficiency?
  • How can energy be lost?
  • How can we minimize losses in electricity?
  • How can we make homes/buildings more energy efficient?
  • What can be done to minimize the need for new power plants?
  • What is the difference between energy efficiency and energy conservation?

Inquiry Type

Teacher Resources



Activity: The Energy I Used Today

In the following activity, students will look at the Energy I Used Today worksheet from NEED.org and circle the things they used or did in the left column. When they have completed the list, the teacher will show students how many Energy Bucks each activity or device uses. Students will then write those numbers in the right column, then add them together to find the Total Energy Bucks Used.

This activity will assist them when they complete develop and write a proposal to promote energy efficiency and conservation at their school



  1. Go to The Energy I Used Today Activity worksheets (pages 15-16 ) from the Student Guide.
  2. Instruct the students to complete the activity by circling the energy activities or devices they used in the last 24 hours.
  3. Give students about 5–10 minutes to complete.
  4. Display The Energy I Used Today Activity master (page 15) from the Teacher Guide.
  5. Have the students use their highlighter to add the energy bucks they used to their lists and calculate their total energy bucks.
  6. Discuss the total energy bucks students used.
  7. A total of under 40 is considered very good in terms of energy savings.
  8. Have students complete the worksheet from the Student Guide. Discuss.
  9. Ask students which items they could cut out to reduce their use of energy.

The Energy I Used Today

The Energy I Used Today Activity

Saving Energy at Home and School Teacher Guide