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Nov 10, 2021


55 minutes


3rd, 4th, 5th


  • Science
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Physical Science
  • Climate Action

Regional Focus

  • Global


  • Google Docs
  • Google Sheets
  • Google Slides

How Can We Conserve Energy? (Renewable Energy #2)


In this lesson, students reflect on their personal energy use, make a bar graph to analyze data from the class, and create a conservation poster for display. 

Step 1 - Inquire: Students use their personal energy audits to create a bar graph.

Step 2 - Investigate: Students create an inspirational conservation poster.

Step 3 - Inspire: Students display their conservation posters around the classroom or school.

Accompanying Teaching Materials
20 minutes
  • Students review energy usage as it relates to water, gasoline, cooking, electricity, and AC/heat.
  • Students turn and talk about their personal energy audit worksheets that they have already completed.
  • Teacher collects data from the class for how many minutes each student used energy. Teacher displays the data so all students can see.
  • Students create a bar graph using the Our Class Energy Footprint Data Sheet & Graph.
  • Students analyze the bar graphs using the guiding questions on the Teacher Slideshow.
30 minutes
  • In groups, students brainstorm ways to conserve energy in their lives.
  • Students create a conservation poster using paper or digital design software.
5 minutes
  • Students hang up their conservation posters in the classroom or at school.
  • Students can take home their posters if they would like to display them at home.
Teaching Tips


  • This lesson includes using a spreadsheet to create a bar graph. This may be the first time students learn this skill.
  • Creating a conservation poster is a great way for students to feel empowered to take immediate climate action.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This is lesson 2 of 6 in our 3rd-5th grade Renewable Energy unit.
  • When you are collecting data for the spreadsheets and graphs, some students may respond that they spent 1,440 minutes using energy (which is the total amount of minutes in a day) due to use of electricity for refrigerators or the heating and cooling of their homes. Although true, having multiple data points of 1,440 minutes is not useful. Have them come up with a lower estimate.


  • Some students may have difficulty with data entry when adding numbers to their spreadsheet. It may be best to create groups of students so they can check each other's progress to make sure it is correct.
  • It may be best to allow students to create conservation posters individually or with a partner.
  • Some students may want to create conservation posters using digital tools like Canva or Adobe Spark.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 4-ESS3-1 Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and that their uses affect the environment.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Writing (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.


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