1. Discussion after video

The questions that can be used to further discuss on the topic of energy conservation are the following:

  • What did you learn on this video that you want to share with someone else?
  • Who will you share it with?
  • What is energy conservation about?
  • Are you familiar with it?
  • Why is it important?
  • How do you feel about energy conservation?
  • How could you save energy in your home or classroom?
  • Are you used in saving energy?
  • Is there anything you would like to learn more about this topic?

Energy Conservation Activities

  • Target group: all students
  • Aim -learning goal of the activity: By the end of this activity, students will be able to:
  • identify common items at home and in the classroom that use electricity
  • explain how they can conserve electricity in their homes and at school; and
  • brainstorm ideas and actions for saving electricity.
  • Required material: A to Z electronic devices list, whiteboard
  • Detailed description of the activity:

Before starting the activity, share with your students the following information:

Each year there are more and more electrical devices introduced into mainstream society requiring electricity even when they are turned off. Even though many appliances today are more efficient than those in the past, increasing the sheer number of appliances you use may cancel out any potential savings.

When you walk around your house at night, you will probably observe several obvious appliances using energy (e.g., refrigerator running, night light glowing, radio playing), but how many digital clocks and green, red, or blue charger lights do you see? All of these itty-bitty lights are drawing electricity even when the appliance is off. There are several names for this phenomenon, including leaking watts, phantom load, and appliance vampires. It is important to try to minimize these leaking watts to help conserve energy and save money. It may not cost a whole lot to keep one projector always plugged in, but if hundreds of small appliances, like projectors, are left plugged in, constantly drawing power, it can be noticeable on a school’s electric bill.

Taking inventory of the electrical devices, including phantom loads, in your home and school can help bring attention to the appropriate use and overuse of electricity.

After having talked about the phantom load ask students if they have ever walked into a dark room and seen little green, red, or blue lights on the appliances? Why are they glowing? How do they turn them off?

The start the activity as follows:

  1. Introduce the concept of electricity, what it is, where it comes from, and how you know if something uses it.
  2. Hand out a A to Z Electrical Devices to each student, or pair of students, and ask them to list items that use electricity next to the appropriate letter.
  3. Have students list things that are found in their home, their classroom, then items located in other classrooms they’ve been in, and then things they might find in other parts of the school.
  4. For each letter of the alphabet, have a different student (or group of students) read their lists. Correct any mistakes and ask others if they can add anything to the list. Identify which items listed are found in their classroom. Write these items on a whiteboard or flip chart paper.
  5. Once the list of possible classroom appliances has been generated, add any major items that may have been overlooked (e.g., computer, TV, DVD player, LCD projector, desk lamp, refrigerator, aquarium, radio).
  6. Ask the students the following questions:
  • What senses can you use to tell if these devices and appliances are on or off?
  • Do any of these appliances need to be left on all the time, or can some of them be turned off when they are not being used?
  • Do you think it is important to turn off appliances when they are not needed? Why or why not?
  • Do any of these appliances look like they are still on even when they are turned off? How can you tell? (Stand by lights might be on even if appliance is turned off.)
  1. Ask students, in groups, to search and estimate the electricity usage of some of the big items identified at home or in the classroom.  Compare the average electricity usage and the phantom load.

Search term ideas: Phantom Power, Phantom load, electricity usage of appliances…

  • Questions for reflection:

Why is it important to turn off or unplug electrical appliances that weren’t being used?

Do the little red or green likes look different now that you know what they mean?

  • Now that all the appliances in your classroom that use electricity have been identified and the electricity use estimated, what steps can the class take to reduce electricity consumption in the classroom? And at home?
  • Personal plan: Write down what kind of activities you are going to implement in the next 7 days referring to energy saving. Do you think that you are going to face any difficulties? If yes, what kind and how are you going to address them?

Useful resources: 

Repsol. “What is Phantom Power? The silent expense in the household”:

Endesa. “How can you calculate the electricity a house consumes?”:

Myth busting on electrical consumption:

Additional activities ideas

Have one student leave the classroom temporarily while you and the other students turn off and/or unplug all the electrical appliances except for one.

Then have the student come into the room and try to identify which appliance is still on.


  • Target group: 10-14 y.o
  • Aim -learning goal of the activity: Students will learn about photovoltaic solar energy, which is a system of technology that serves to take advantage of solar radiation and convert it into electricity, through devices called solar cells, grouped in solar panels.
  • Required material: 40 balls and a Basket
  • Detailed description of the activity:

We will play a game: our mission is to convert solar radiation into electricity to run the school.

We will have the help of photovoltaic panels and conductors, but beware! The clouds will try to prevent it.

  1. Game preparation. Divide the roles and place yourself in the starting position:
  • SUN (1 person): he will take the balls he can load from the starting basket. It moves along a trajectory, always in the same direction. Along his route, he will have to throw the balls into the PLATES at the cry of “radiation!” When it reaches the end of its trajectory, it becomes SHADOW.
  • SHADOWS (at the beginning of the game, there is no one): they are held by the waist and only move in the space between the sun and the PANELS. They must prevent the balls from reaching the PLATES with their body.
  • PLATES (10-15 people): they sit and only move their arms to catch the balls thrown at them the sun. When a PANEL gets a ball, it must shout “electricity!” and put yourself in the first place of the row of the CONDUCTORS.
  • CONDUCTORS (10-15 people): They are in a straight perpendicular line from the PLATES to the basket that is the LIGHT BULB, which hands on each other’s waist. When a ball comes to them, they must shout and they must pass it forward over their heads without turning, until the last person who must deposit it in the identified basket as “LIGHT BULB”. The latter runs to replace the SUN.
  1. Start the game! Everyone will play their role to achieve his particular mission.
  2. End of the game: the game ends when all the balls are in the basket “Light bulb”.
  • Questions for reflection: Reflect on each character’s role in the game and compare them with the elements of a photovoltaic installation.
  • What difficulties you did you find on the way?
  • What characters have helped you achieve your mission? Who have prevented it?
  • How could we do the whole process more efficient?
  • Personal plan: Write down what kind of activities you are going to implement in the next 7 days referring to energy saving? Do you think that you are going to face any difficulties? If yes, what kind and how are you going to address them?