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Temperature Smart

Let’s get smart about keeping warm at home and at school.

  • Grades 4-7
  • Game
  • 45 mins

Overview

This week students learn about saving electricity with our water and space heating by investigating energy-efficient items, playing bingo to test their heat skills and taking a temperature challenge.

What you'll need

  • “Temperature smart” slideshow 
  • “Temperature bingo” student template
    • print 1 per student or students can copy the template to create their own using the words provided.
  • “Temperature bingo” teacher questions
  • Pencil or pen per student
  • Bingo chips or similar (e.g. Lego pieces, small pieces of paper)

Instructions

Temperature Smart

  1. Explain to your students that this week we‘ll be learning about how to save energy for our water and space heating while still keeping warm in our homes. 
  2. Pull up the “Temperature smart” slideshow and at slides 2 and 3 share with students that we use a lot of energy heating the water and rooms in our homes. Discuss why saving energy is important. Some examples:
    • help the environment and combat climate change
    • conserve natural resources
    • help our family save on their energy bills
  3. At slide 4 ask students to share how wearing a sweater can save energy. Slide 5 reveals an answer; we can turn down the heat in our homes if we dress warmly. Continue through the slides to have students brainstorming various items and behaviours that can save energy.
  4. Hand out the “Temperature bingo” student template. Students create their own bingo cards by choosing words from the list and writing them in the bingo squares. 
    • Alternatively, have students draw their own template and add the words from the list. 
  5. Explain to students that they'll be playing temperature bingo to test their energy saving skills. Hand out the bingo chips and pull up the “Temperature bingo” teacher questions.
  6. Start by reading the first question. Students guess the answer as a class and cover the square if they have this answer on their card. Students win if they get 5 covered in a line: vertically, horizontally or diagonally and call out “temperature bingo”!

Temperature challenge

  1. Challenge students this week to get temperature smart by timing their showers. The goal is to keep their showers at 5 minutes or less but remember to get clean.

Additional Information

  • Assess students’ ability to share ideas, listen to each other and work collaboratively to investigate ways to save energy
  • Assess students’ participation and cooperation during the bingo game 
  • Assess students’ understanding of ways to save energy at home with heating and why saving energy is important
  • Students can participate in these activities in school or at home. Students at home, that do not have access to a printer, can participate in the bingo by creating their own bingo template and adding the words from the list.

Water heating

Heating water can use a lot of energy but there are some simple, inexpensive ways to conserve. Here are a few tips:  

  • Take shorter showers, ideally 5 minutes or less. A regular showerhead can use about 10 litres of water per minute so even a 5-minute shower can use about 50 litres of water. All of that water needs to be heated!
  • Switch your showerhead to a low flow showerhead. These can reduce the water flow to 6 litres per minute but it still feels like a great shower! 
  • Install aerators on your faucets. They are easy to install and similar to low flow showerheads they can reduce the water flow to 6 litres per minute.
  • Repair leaky faucets. A leaky drip can waste many litres of water per day. 
  • Wash your laundry in cold water; this saves energy and your clothes last longer.

Space heating 

Space heating can account for 50% or more of your energy bills but there are some simple ways to save energy on your heating while still keeping warm. Here are some tips:

  • Regularly clean your heating system. Dusty air ducts, baseboard heaters or filters lead to inefficient systems that use more energy.   
  • Make sure there is nothing blocking the heat being distributed to the room. Furniture, carpets, and curtains are common culprits.
  • Get a ceiling fan; they are great since hot air rises and they the fans send the hot air back down to keep us warm in winter.
  • Get a programmable thermostat and set it to 21°C during the day if you are home, and 16°C at night or during the day if you are out. 

Winterize your home

  • Check for drafts. If you can feel cold air coming in, you’re wasting heat. Sealing gaps and cracks can help and, in some cases, reduce heat loss by about 10%.
  • Sticking weather stripping around windows and doors where you feel a draft is simple and inexpensive to do.
  • A lot of heat is lost through our windows. Close curtains or blinds at night and apply window film to your window glass. This is inexpensive and simple to install using a hair dryer.  

See here for more information on saving energy with DIY videos for winterizing your home. 

Young people can take action

A greater understanding of ways to save energy when it comes to heating empowers students to practice energy conservation and care for their near environment. With your help, we can foster a culture of Power Smart youth in British Columbia together.

Energy conservation and clean energy

We use energy in our daily lives in many ways. We use it to get to school, power our lights, cook our food, heat our homes and to make and transport goods. Some of our energy comes from clean renewable sources like the sun, wind and water. Fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) are also used as energy sources. They come from ancient plants and animals, and when burned, release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and water vapour, trap heat from the sun and warm the Earth. 

Choosing renewable energy sources helps reduce the impact of our energy use on the environment. In B.C., most electricity is generated from water, a clean and renewable source. Non-renewable energy sources have a greater impact on the environment than renewable energy sources. Burning fossil fuels for energy releases greenhouse gases and carbon into the environment that had previously been trapped underground.

Our "Temperature Smart" activities provide a link to the core competencies of the curriculum. The activities engage students in learning about ways to save energy with our electronics and how we can all participate in using less energy. 

Relevant core competencies:

Communications 

  • Connecting and engaging with others

Thinking

  • Creative thinking: Generating and incubating
  • Critical thinking: Questioning and investigating 

Personal & Social

  • Personal Awareness and Responsibility: Self-regulating
  • Social Awareness & Responsibility: Contributing to community and caring for the environment

The activities also connect to a variety of grade-specific curricular competencies and content in a variety of subjects including Science, and Applied Design, Skills and Technologies.