Tools for Teachers

Teaching the a,b,c’s of energy efficiency is easier when you’ve got a little help. When kids are educated early in life, they’re more likely to form lifelong habits. The Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) and Renewable Energy Alaska Project (REAP) have developed energy efficiency curriculum that targets Alaska’s kids. AK EnergySmart lesson plans (available on the left side of this page) teach students about the importance of energy efficiency, and show them how they can make a difference at school and at home.



From tiny tots to independent teens, everybody needs a role model to look up to.

Role models help shape future generations by demonstrating good behavior and offering advice. We need people to step up and become energy efficient role models in our schools. It’s both an easy and rewarding job.

  • Appoint an Energy Manager
  • Establish Benchmarks
  • Establish an Energy Policy
  • Develop Measureable Goals
  • Involve Everyone
  • Focus on Behavioral Changes
  • Plan for the Long Term
  • Celebrate Success



A curated list of curricula development resources, sample lesson plans, and other helpful links.

Department of Education

The U.S. Department of Education created of the Green Ribbon Schools program, which recognizes schools for effectively managing their carbon footprint. The new awards program will be run by the Education Department with the support of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The program will encourage school systems to take comprehensive approaches to becoming green by cutting expenses through energy efficiency and green building measures. The application for the program will be released later this year, and the first group of winners will be announced next year.


From the Alliance to Save Energy: PowerSave Schools

Lesson plans developed byPowerSave School participants and tips/ outside resources for implementing a school-wide energy efficiency program are offered. (Click on the “Resources” tab for a regularly updated list of lesson plans and other resources related to the PowerSave Schools program.)


From the Wisconsin K-12 Energy Education Program

Here’s a great resource to help you learn more about energy consumption in your school and how you can reduce it. This site includes lesson plans but even more importantly, a template school energy policy and education plan.




From the U.S. Department of Energy: Energy Education

Lessons range from activities for younger students, such as designing draft detectors to use at home, to more complex algebra worksheets for middle school students to school energy audits for high school students. Each lesson provides an outline of the topics to be covered and describes the time and material needs as well as the national education standards it meets. The lesson plans are, however, disjointed from a larger curriculum and the educator must work to fit each lesson into his or her own curriculum. (Materials are also offered on energy basics and renewable energy on this site.)


From the National Energy Education Development

This resource offers materials needed to implement an entire energy curriculum. A “blueprint for success” is provided, including a curriculum matrix to help educators plan an effective energy unit using the provided lesson plans. Activities, lesson plans and worksheets are offered and can be sorted by topic, age range, or title. Each document includes background for educators, time, preparation, and materials needed and a procedure for the lesson. Most include a curriculum correlation guide and a student evaluation to be completed at the end of the lesson.


From the Energy Information Administration

Although this website does not offer original lesson plans, it organizes those of NEED in a slightly more user-friendly manner than the NEED website. This would be suitable for educators who are looking for a few specific lesson plans on energy efficiency rather than those who are attempting to implement a comprehensive energy unit. The kid’s activity site includes a page on using and saving energy. The online games and activities are lacking and probably would not hold a student’s attention for too long. They also focus more on energy science and sources rather than on efficiency.


From “Energy Hog”

This curriculum is created for students grades 2-6. It introduces children to the concept of energy and sources in order to frame the concept of energy efficiency. Lessons and activities help students identify where energy is wasted in the home and how their households can be more efficient. In-class activities are provided as well as take-home worksheets that engage parents in the process. These activities include understanding a typical energy bill, home energy efficiency surveys and taking an energy hog buster pledge.


Touchstone Energy Kids

Great resource for younger students. The Take-Home checklist for students to walk through their home with a parent identifying ways to become more energy efficient and the follow-up “Super Energy Saver” certificate are particularly notable.


Energized Learning

The site includes lessons and activities that develop specific skills and knowledge students are expected to learn in science, mathematics, economics and social sciences and politics. An underlying philosophy is that energy supply, conversion, and use are central to the quality of life for all people. The site has two portals, one for students and one for teachers.