Lesson – Energy Efficiency and Conservation


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.

Mathematics – MAFS.5.NF.1.2
Solve word problems involving addition and subtraction of fractions referring to the same whole, including cases of unlike denominators, e.g., by using visual fraction models or equations to represent the problem. Use benchmark fractions and number sense of fractions to estimate mentally and assess the reasonableness of answers.

Big Idea(s)

Energy conservation is any behavior that results in the use of less energy. Energy efficiency is the use of technology that requires less energy to perform the same function.

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 • Energy Consumption Reduce Reuse • Recycle • 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?

Essential Question

Wind power involves turning energy from the wind into other forms of useful energy.  In some countries such as Denmark and Portugal, wind power contributes around 20% of the total electricity production.  What fractional amount of total electricity produced does NOT come from these two countries?  

The answer is:

80/100 or 4/5

Instructional Sequence

Fun Facts

Did you know…

  • That about 1.1 billion of the world’s population still does not have access to electricity? 
  • That a heavy coat of dust on a light bulb can block up to half of the light?
  • That an energy-smart clothes washer can save more water in one year than one person drinks in an entire lifetime?
  • That when you turn on an incandescent light bulb, only 10 percent of the electricity used is turned into light?

Inquiry Type

Teacher Resources

Saving Energy at Home and School Guide

The Energy I Used Today