Lesson 1:
Book Launch

(1 1/2 hours)

Summary
The class reads The Energy Detectives, and students engage in corresponding literacy activities.

  • Relevant Frameworks: RI.2.1, RI.2.2, RI.2.3,RI.2.4, RI.2.5, RI.2.6,RI.2.7, RI.2.8, SL.2.1, SL.2.2, L.2.1, L.2.3, L.2.4, L.2.4, L.2.6, ELA practices
  • Lesson Type: Standalone
  • Prep Time: Under 10 min
  • Storage Space: Tote bag

Lesson 2:
Energy Efficiency

(1 1/2 hours)

Summary
Students learn about ‘dirty’ and ‘clean’ energies and create models to illustrate the impact of each on plants and animals.

  • Relevant Frameworks: 2-LS2-3(MA), 2.T5.4, SL.2.1, SL.2.2, L.2.1,L.2.3, L.2.4, L.2.4, SS & STE practices
  • Lesson Type: Standalone
  • Prep Time: Over 10 min
  • Storage Space: Tote bag

Lesson 3:
Guest Speaker

(1 hour)

Summary
The teacher invites a community member to speak about energy efficiency.

  • Relevant Frameworks: W.2.2, W.2.4, SL.2.3, L.2.1, L.2.3, ELA, SS & STE practices
  • Lesson Type: Builds on previous lesson
  • Prep Time: Over 10 min
  • Storage Space: None

Lesson 4:
Opinion Letter Writing

(1 1/2 hours)

Summary
Students learn about opinion writing and author an opinion letter with a focus on energy conservation.

  • Relevant Frameworks: W.2.1, W.2.2, W.2.4,W.2.5, W.2.8, L.2.1, L.2.2, L.2.3, L.2.6, ELA, SS & STE practices
  • Lesson Type: Builds on previous lesson
  • Prep Time: None
  • Storage Space: None

Lesson 5:
Publishing Party and Reflections

(1 hour)

Summary
Students present their energy-efficient opinion letters to a live audience. They then reflect on the curriculum and what they learned.

  • Relevant Frameworks: SL.2.1, SL.2.2, SL.2.6, L.2.1, L.2.2, L.2.3, L.2.6, ELA, SS & STE practices
  • Lesson Type: Builds on previous lesson
  • Prep Time: Under 10 min
  • Storage Space:. None

Lesson 6:
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Energy Detectives - Build energy-efficient model homes

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Lesson 7:
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Lesson 8:
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Rationale

Heating and cooling of buildings is one of the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions in U.S. cities and towns. Burning of fossil fuels for energy results in high costs to residents as well as pollution that leads to environmental and health concerns.

Illnesses associated with fossil fuel pollution include chronic cough, asthma, lung cancer, bronchitis, and other respiratory ailments. Energy efficiency measures can support good physical and mental health by creating healthier indoor living environments, which include improved air temperatures, noise levels, humidity levels and air quality.

The book Energy Detectives was written by Madelyn Rosenberg, illustrated by Paul Meisel, and funded by Cooler Communities to help children better understand how to conserve energy at home. Our hope is that educators will read the book with students in the classroom and incorporate some or all of our accompanying solutions-based curriculum into their instruction.

Additionally, we hope children will learn to understand and advocate for changes to energy consumption in their communities. This starts with encouraging their adult family members to make changes to more efficiently insulate and power their homes.