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Wisconsin's K-12 Energy Education Program


4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans
  • Activity - Classroom

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - Midwest, Wisconsin



Watt's Your Appliance Energy Usage?

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  • In this lesson plan, students will explore the difference between electrical power and energy as they relate to common household appliances.
  • Students will learn the average wattages of appliances, the definition of kilowatt hour, and how to reduce the energy consumption in their homes and schools.
Teaching Tips


  • This comprehensive lesson plan includes learning targets, a supply list, a vocabulary list, discussion questions, and extension activities.
  • Since the activity involves whole-class participation, it is a positive way to foster camaraderie.

Additional Prerequisites

  • It will be helpful, but not required, for teachers to have access to a color printer, a laminator, and a watt meter.
  • Since many discussion questions are multiple-choice, teachers must print them separately or provide another visual aid with possible answers displayed.
  • The resource mentions another lesson plan and a kit for checkout, but these resources do not have links to access them. You can find the lesson here and more information about the kit here.
  • It may benefit students to understand where our energy comes from and how it impacts the environment.


  • English teachers can have students answer the extension question regarding ways to conserve energy as an academic paragraph or a personal narrative.
  • Math teachers can have students answer the extension question regarding calculating energy usage for one appliance in one week, month, and year. Students can participate in a small-group activity with different groups calculating for various appliances.
  • After completing the lesson, students can create infographics to inform people how to reduce their energy consumption.
  • This lesson can fit within a larger unit discussing how to reduce emissions within homes, covering topics like efficient heating and food waste.
Scientist Notes
In this activity, students will learn about power and electricity, how to measure it, and how to reduce their energy consumption. Students will also explore which appliances or products use the most electricity and how the time of use is also impactful. These topics will help them better understand how to reduce energy use. The information presented is accurate, and this resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
      • MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.
      • 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.
      • HS-ESS3-2 Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
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