SCND homepage

Lesson Plan 3: Saving Energy

This is a sample of how a lesson on saving energy might be presented, with suggested follow-ups.

Learning Objectives

Developing knowledge in pupils of

the natural and made worlds in which they live
economic and financial aspects of individual and societal needs and wants and how these relate to issues of environmental sustainability
the potential of developments in science and/or technology to change the physical, social and cultural environment for good or ill

Developing skills

communication skills: the ability to research, discuss and share information
the ability to work confidently with numerical information
decision-making skills
the ability to respond in imaginative ways to social, moral and political situations and challenges
the developing capacity to imagine alternative realities and futures that could benefit society and the environment

Suggest using the Wasting Energy side of poster 3 for S1/2 and the Home Energy Survey side for S3 - 6 and basing activities around the posters.

Pin up the relevant side of Poster 3 in the classroom and handout A4 copies of the relevant side of Poster 3 to each member of the class. If focusing on the Wasting Energy poster also hand out Factsheet 5.

Main Part
(i) If using the Wasting Energy poster, get each member of the class to mark on his/her copy as many ways in which energy is being wasted as possible, allowing 5 - 10 minutes. Divide the class into groups and ask each group to devise a ten-point plan for this household to save energy, beginning with immediate actions (e.g. turning off unnecessary lights) and progressing to long-term actions (low-energy bulbs, replacing faulty washers on taps, draughtproofing), using the last section of Factsheet 5 as a guide. Ask them to rank these actions in order of priority and write them out on a sheet of paper.

(ii) If using the Home Energy Survey poster, get each member of the class to mark on his/her copy all the energy-using appliances in the picture. It may be useful to explain that it is taken from an American site, so the layout of the house is somewhat different from the average Scottish home. Divide the class into groups and ask each group to make a list of ten energy-using appliances shown, excluding lights and car, and rank them according to the amount of energy they think each appliance uses - the most energy greedy first.

(i) If using the Wasting Energy poster Bring the class together to find out the results, asking each group for an item for immediate and an item for long-term attention, and where it ranks in priority on their plan, and why. These could be written down on a flipchart, and the flipchart pages then used to arrive at a consensus ten-point plan for the household. Differences in prioritizing could lead to a discussion of the most useful ways to save energy. At this point additional suggestions could be brought in, using Factsheet 6 or other material.

(ii) If using the Home Energy Survey poster
Bring the class together and list on a flip-chart or whiteboard all the energy-using appliances listed by the groups. Write against each appliance L. M or H, according to whether they come low, middle or high on a group's list. There may well be differences in assessment of energy use by the various appliances.

Then hand out Factsheet 7, Appliance Energy Use, and match the assessments of energy use against actual energy use. Finally agree with the class a list of ten or so appliances which are the highest users of energy.


Energy audit Class could as a group undertake an energy audit of the school, producing e.g. a ten-point plan for reducing energy consumption. Or each students could do for homework an energy audit of his or her home and produce a plan for reducing energy. Students could also be encouraged to go to web-sites (see list) which allow people to assess their 'carbon footprint'.

Resources Cross curricular links
Factsheets 5, 6 and 7 Modern Studies
Poster 3 Geography

page last updated 31 May 2006


back to top