Unit Plan 1

Middle School Science Unit Plan

Unit Name: Energy Conservation

Standards and Benchmarks:

Standard I: Understand how scientific discoveries, inventions, practices, and knowledge influence, and are influenced by, individuals and societies.
Strand III: Science and Society
5-8 Benchmark I: Explain how scientific discoveries and inventions have changed individuals and societies.
5. Performance Standards-
1. Examine the role of scientific knowledge in decisions (e.g., space exploration, what to eat, preventive medicine and medical treatment).
2. Describe the technologies responsible for revolutionizing information processing and communications (e.g., computers, cellular phones, Internet).

Essential Questions:

1) What is the importance of energy conservation?

2) What can we do to conserve energy at home?

Concepts and Generalizations:

  • Heating and cooling are the biggest part of an energy bill
  • Insulation and high performance windows save energy and money
  • Air leaks waste energy
  • Overhangs are effective shading devices
  • Choose high efficiency appliances
  • Venting the attic saves cooling energy


As a result of this unit, students will KNOW

  • Names of common energy sources.
  • Energy-related vocabulary, including caulk, conductor, duct, heat, insulation, radiant barrier, radiation, R-value, U-value.

As a result of this unit, students will UNDERSTAND

  • Understanding cause-and-effect relationships helps us to make more responsible consumer choices.
  • Even though we may understand cause-and-effect relationships, we cannot always control them.
  • We can control to some degree how our energy use impacts us as individuals and as societies.

As a result of this unit, students will BE ABLE TO

  • Make observations.
  • Make predictions based on observations.
  • Demonstrate appreciation for conservation.
  • Read for information.
  • Draw conclusions after synthesizing information read or discussed.
  • Plan and carry out small-group research.
  • Work cooperatively with partners and in groups to achieve common goals.
  • Apply the scientific method.

Instructional Strategies:

  • Lecture
  • Pre-assessment
  • Group discussion
  • Small-group research
  • Small-group experiment
  • Data collecting and analyzing
  • Tiered assignments
  • Tiered assessment

Supporting Materials:

  • Assessment of Current Student Knowledge
  • Reading Passage
  • Energy Terms
  • Energy Concept Maps
  • Impacts of Energy Sources
  • Student Data Sheets
  • Lab Report Forms
  • Assessment Questions
  • Group Project Evaluation Form

Unit Overview: This four- to five-week unit focuses on the consequences of energy usage and consumer choices on energy conservation.In this unit, students will learn about the importance of conserving energy. Students will conduct an experiment to test the differences in heat conduction among several materials.

Lesson Whole Class Components Differentiated Components
Lesson 1
1 class period
Energy conservation introduction (10 minutes)Assessment of Current Student Knowledge (30 minutes) Students will self-select small groups for research project (5 minutes)
Lesson 2
1 class period
Reading Passage and vocabulary, sentences with vocabulary (45 minutes) Homework assignment, self-selected according to learning profile (15-30 minutes)
Lesson 3
Energy Concept Maps
1 class period
Students will point out things that use energy (15 minutes), Energy Terms video clip (15 minutes), Energy Concept Maps (15 minutes) Ongoing small-group research project (15-30 minutes per day)
Lesson 4
Energy Sources
1 class periods
Students will investigate different ways that energy can be conserved, students will list the main energy use and the main source(s) of the energy for that activity (45 minutes) Ongoing small-group research project (15-30 minutes per day)
Lesson 5
Energy Conservation
2 class periods
Students will calculate their personal and household energy audits (45 minutes), students will look at their energy audit and generate a list of ways they can conserve energy (45 minutes) Ongoing small-group research project (15-30 minutes per day)
Lesson 6
Impacts of Energy Sources
1 class period
Class discussion on advantages and disadvantages of energy sources (15 minutes), students will explore resources and complete Impacts of Energy Sources (15 minutes), students will analyze data (15 min) Ongoing small-group research project (15-30 minutes per day)
Lesson 7
1 class period
Explain purpose of Lab Activity, review safety guidelines, demonstrate proper use and care of lab equipment, discuss how to graph and label axes (30 minutes) Divide class into small groups, students will read and summarize steps in a chart and assign who will be responsible for each step (15 minutes)
Lesson 8
1 class period
Hook and lab safety review due (5 minutes), small-group experiments based on readiness and interest (30-40 minutes) Independent reading anchor activity (up to 10 minutes)
Lesson 9
1 class period
Students complete Lab Report Forms, class discusses results (30 minutes) Each group summarizes their results to the class (15 minutes)
Lesson 10
Lab Assessment
1 class period
Students work individually on Assessment Questions (30-45 minutes) Independent reading anchor activity (up to 15 minutes)
Lesson 11
Unit Review
3 class periods
Independent/group work time (15 minutes each day, 45 minutes total), review games (45 minutes total), and study guides (45 minutes total) Homework assignment, Group Project Evaluation Form (15-30 minutes)
Lesson 12
Final Assessment
2 class periods
Presentations (45 minutes) and unit test (30-45 minutes) Independent reading anchor activity (up to 15 minutes)

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