This first week will provide the students with an understanding of what energy is as well as how we use it. Energy is the ability to move or change things. The teacher will model energy at work by demonstrating both the moving of something and something changing. The students will then create their own classroom definition of what energy is to refer back to throughout the unit.
The second week will focus on renewable and nonrenewable resources. Students will understand what natural resources the earth provides. They will generate a list of what the natural resources can be used for. Finally, they will act out a demonstration of how the resources can deteriorate. As a result of this week, students will understand which resources can be sustained and which resources are not sustainable. They will also create a list of energy sources that derive from the list of resources.
This week students will be researching four different energy sources. The four energy sources are wind power, solar power, fossil fuels, and hydropower. They will work in groups to support each other. Each group member will be responsible for researching one energy source and sharing their findings with the group. The research will include determining if the source is renewable or nonrenewable, the cost of the source, and the environmental or community effects of the source. They will categorize their findings into pros and cons, and will share with their group and determine which energy source will create a sustainable future. During this period of time, students will also be responsible to determine which energy source their family uses to power their home.
This final week will solidify students' understanding of how energy relates to them. Students will rank appliances based on their energy usage and will determine how energy efficient their home is. They will then use a timeline to understand how fossil fuels are transported in New Haven to their house. They will finally use the energy source that they choose as the most sustainable and create a timeline of how it can be transported to their house.