Lesson – Energy Efficiency vs. Conservation



Title: Energy Efficiency vs. Conservation
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 Art: 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




Saving Energy at Home and School Information Text and Discussion

In the following lesson, students will be reading an informational text about saving energy at home and school from NEED.org (Saving Energy at Home and School Guide) and then completing the Energy Efficiency vs. Conservation.

While reading, students will be engaged in a teacher-guided discussion that will touch upon the guiding questions and should highlight points that will assist them when they complete develop and write a proposal will promote energy efficiency and conservation at their school. Teachers can also focus on vocabulary development and introduce students to the text features found in the text.



  1. Read informational text.
  2. Teachers may choose to read whole group, pair up students, or have students read independently.
  3. Engage students in a teacher guided discussion using the guiding questions.
  4. Have students complete the Efficiency vs. Conservation Worksheet independently.
  5. Discuss how energy efficiency and conservation work together.