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Day 6: Students compare U.S. energy use to that of other count

Subjects:

Language Arts, Science, Social Studies  

Grades:

7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12  

Title – Do Something about… the Environment 10-Day Unit
Day 6: Energy Hog – Who’s using up all the energy?
By – Jordyn Wells/Do Something, Inc./ www.dosomething.org
Primary Subject – Science
Secondary Subjects – Social Studies, Language Arts
Grade Level – 7-12

Unit Information:

      The following lesson is the sixth lesson of a 10-day

      Environment Curricula from Do Something, Inc.

      Other lessons in this unit are as follows:

Day 1: Introduction

      Introduction to global warming, energy conservation and how rising temperatures affect us locally

Day 2: Its Getting Hot In Here! – The Science of Global Warming

      Students learn about greenhouse gases and the power of language

Day 3: The Consequences of Global Warming

      Students learn about the potential consequences of global warming

Day 4: If the shoe fits… Learning about Ecological Footprints

      Students examine their own energy consumption and conservation

Day 5: How Green Is Your School

      Students learn how schools can participate in energy conservation

Day 6: Energy Hog – Who’s using up all the energy? (See the lesson below)

      Students compare U.S. energy use to that of other countries

Day 7: Renewable Energy Sources

      Students explore different types of renewable energy sources

Day 8: Renewable Energy – How Do You See It?

      Students discuss the pros/cons of renewable energy

Day 9: The Politics of Energy Conservation

      Students debate the pros/cons of government involvement in energy conservation

Day 10: Presentation Day

    Students present their energy conservation projects

Lesson 6: Energy Hog – Who’s using up all the energy?

Goal:

  • To learn about energy use across America compared to other countries

Standards:

  • Geography Standard 14: Understands how human actions modify the physical environment
  • Geography Standard 18: Understands global development and environmental issues

Procedure:

      1. Heat up:

        Ask students the night before to count the number of SUV’s or large vehicles that they see on their way to school. How many people were in those vehicles? What do they notice?

      2. Provide Background:

        Explain to students that although Americans make up only about 5 percent of the world’s population, they consume 26% of the world’s energy. Each day the average American uses approximatly seven gallons of gasoline. Over a course of year this is about 2,500 gallons (

The Need Project

        ). Most energy savings in the last few years have come from improved efficiency for various technologies (

U.S. Department of Energy

        ).

      3. Have students look at the predicted energy use for each country:

http://timeforchange.org/prediction-of-energy-consumption
http://www.worldwatch.org/node/808

        - read about global energy trends
      • Which countries show the greatest increase in energy use?
      • How can students account for this increase
      • Why is energy a global issue?
      • What should developing nations do to ensure that they maximize their energy use? How can we encourage this help?

      4. Use the following website to have students look at energy use in their state:

http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/state/

      5. Synthesize:

        Have students create an energy brochure/or website for their state that details the state’s main energy use. The brochure should discuss the following:
        1. How does their state’s energy use compare to the national average?
          Why do they think this is?
        2. What types of alternative fuels are used in their state?
        3. What types of emissions are listed?
        4. What percentage of the total national emissions does this make up? How does this compare with the population that lives in their state?

    6. Take Action:

      Have students meet in their action groups and continue to develop their project.

Additional Activities:

  • Social Studies/ Geography/Math: Have students create a map that illustrates both actual and predicted energy use over time for various areas.

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