1. As students enter the classroom, have these questions
posted for them to respond to:
a. In what ways does your family try to conserve energy and water?
b. What other, practical ways, can you think of that you could be doing?
c. How much trash do you think your household generates in a week? (As in the
number of bags?
d. How much of this is recyclable or biodegradable?
Discuss the answers to these questions with the class.
Try to see what understanding of this subject your students
have, and what technologies they’re aware of. Does
anyone use a compost box? Does anyone sort recyclables?
Discuss what materials are recyclable in your community,
and how to recycle them. What about simple methods of
opening and closing the doors and windows during certain
times of the day?
3. Watch the clip from Bob Vila showing a tour of a
house being constructed using a lot of recycled materials.
Does this house still consume energy? What problems are
there still with it?
4. The next
website listed, titled wood vs. steel, compares the
energy consumption associated with different building
materials. It also mentions the comparison of renewable
vs. non-renewable resources. Does this contradict what
the video from Bob Vila had to say about using recycled
steel? If that steel hadn’t been recycled, what
would have happened to it?
5. The rest
of the websites are all pretty comparable. They all
depict slightly different aspects of environmentally
friendly design. Allow students some time to view them
independently, either on computers or as handouts. Ask
them to look for common themes as well as discrepancies.
What are some ideas they’ve never heard of before?
If you don’t have time to view them all try to
view the New Orleans website which discusses a house
on a low budget, and the geothermal site because of it’s
students to summarize what they learned today in a short
response. They should include information
about new technologies, and ideas for conservation that
they could take home with them and try that day. What
questions did today’s lesson raise for them that
they would like answered?
None required, but here are some suggestions, if desired.
You could ask students to research one of the technologies
that they learned about from the class. Another suggestion
is to have students monitor a certain resource, such
as electricity or water, or to monitor the production
of garbage. After a test period, have them enact some
programs to reduce water or electricity consumption,
or to reduce garbage production. Have them continue to
monitor their consumption, and see if there is an improvement.
class discussions should be graded in some way to ensure participation.
The warm-up questions could be marked as well.