You Light Up My House
The purpose of this lesson is to show learners how electricity is used, measured, recorded and calculated. Through the use of data collection tables, this lesson will help students realize how much electrical energy their families consume. They will also develop an understanding of renewable and non-renewable resources that are used to produce electricity. The learners will recognize that stewardship of community resources is the careful management of those resources held by a community for its citizens.
The learner will:
- identify how we use energy.
- learn to read an electric meter.
- calculate energy consumption.
- record energy usage in a diary.
- define stewardship as the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care.
- Copies of Handout One, My Electric Use Diary for each learner
- Copies of Handout Two, My Electricity Use Diary Part 2 for each learner
- Picture of an Electric Meter
- Various measuring instruments: e.g. pedometer, thermometer, picture of a speedometer, Sphygmomanometer (blood pressure cuff)
Interactive Parent / Student Homework: Note: This homework assignment will be done over the course of one week.Learners will complete worksheet My Electricity Use Diary (See Handout One) at home with their families. The learners should discuss with their family three activities that they will do in order to reduce their electricity usage. These should be listed on the second data sheet My Electricity Use Diary Part 2 (See Handout Two)
Day One:Anticipatory Set:Show the learners examples of instruments used to measure things such as: pedometer, thermometer, picture of a speedometer, Sphygmomanometer (blood pressure cuff) etc. As you hold up each instrument a discussion should take place as to what each instrument is used to measure. Learners should brainstorm other things that are measured and recorded.
Introduce a meter that measures the amount of electricity consumed in kilowatt-hours.The electric company bills individual households for the amount of electricity consumed each month.Some meters have four or five dials which measure thousands or tens-of-thousands kilowatt-hours (kWh).Individuals can keep a running record of the amount of electricity used by reading their electric meter.To read an electric meter record the numbers shown on the dials by writing down the values of each of the dials starting with the far left dial first. If the hand of the dial rests between two numbers record the lesser of the two numbers.To calculate the amount of electricity used; subtract the previous day’s reading from the current day’s reading.This gives you the amount of electricity used during the time period between readings.
Teacher’s Note: Check with your local power company to see if they have a discarded electric meter that you might have to demonstrate how to read the meter.
Ask: Where does the electricity come from that we use in our homes, schools, and businesses?Accept reasonable answers then point out that electricity is generated at the local power plant through the use of various forms of energy. Those include fossil fuels like coal and oil as well as non fossil fuels like wind, solar power, and hydro (water).Energy created from fossil fuels is considered a non-renewable resource.It is a limited resource. Wind, sun, and water forms of energy can be renewed.Allow a discussion to develop around the idea that we need to conserve energy because the non-renewable fuel sources will eventually be depleted.
Distribute the worksheet My Electricity Use Diary (See Handout One).Go over the worksheet with the learners.Ask them to keep a record for a week of the kilowatt hours used by their family.Tell them to return the completed data sheet at the beginning of the next week’s class or a predetermined date.
While waiting for the return of the data sheet continue a discussion of non-renewal and renewable resources.Day Two:
After the data has been collected for one week, distribute the worksheet, My Electricity Use Diary Part 2 (See Handout Two).This will analyze the week’s electricity usage totals.
Once the learners have recorded, calculated and analyzed their own daily electricity usage for one week, discuss the totals as a class. Which activities do they think used the most energy? Which used the least energy?
Brainstorm ways to reduce energy useage. Learners should now determine three things that their family would be willing to do to reduce the amount of energy they consume.
Collect the learner’s individual My Electricity Use Diary (See Handout One) Evaluate the pages for completeness. Collect the learner’s individual My Electricity Use Diary Part 2 (See Handout Two). Evaluate the pages for completeness.
Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
Benchmark MS.5 Define <i>stewardship</i> as a trust of common resources held by a community for citizens.