Energy Use, Your Carbon Footprint, & Solutions

Thank you for registering to participate in Clean Ocean Action’s 2nd Annual Virtual Teach-In!  Please feel free to use the following pages listed as classroom resources.  To show your participation in teaching about Superstorm Sandy during the week of October 27th, please take photos of your class and send them to, or post them to Clean Ocean Action’s facebook, or Twitter!  (#cleanocean #virtualteachin).  Don’t forget to send us your feedback on the program and the materials below (email or call 732-872-0111).

 The resources below have been compiled as references to use in your classrooms.  While Clean Ocean Action did not create any of these lessons, we have tried to provide the most accurate and informative sources as possible.  Please keep in mind some sources may be from before Superstorm Sandy, but still give valuable information about the science behind the storm.  Some links may lead to additional sites that may not necessarily be suggested by Clean Ocean Action as a resource.
 National Wildlife Foundation

  •  Grades K-12
  • Throughout this interactive website, you will find activities and useful information that will help you as you work to green your school and make your community more sustainable.

Source: National Wildlife Foundation

The Environment

  •  Multiple Age Groups
  •  This page gives a number of additional links and resources for teachers to find information carbon footprints.

Source: Teaching Ideas

Ecological and Carbon Footprints

  •  This lesson plan distinguishes ecological footprints from carbon footprints by utilizing an Ecological Footprint calculator on the Environment Protection Authority Victoria website.  An activity sheet is included as well as a Carbon Footprint animation.

Source: Environmental Protection Authority

Kids: Be an Energy Star!

  •  Grades K-12
  •  This interactive webpage includes links to lesson plans and downloads for use in the classroom to teach students about energy and energy efficiency.

Source: Energy Star; United States Environmental Protection Agency

What kind of Footprint? Carbon Footprint

  •  Grades 5-8
  •  In this 30 minute lesson plan, students determine their carbon footprints by answering questions about their everyday lifestyle choices. Then they engineer plans to reduce them. Students learn about their personal impacts on global climate change and how they can help the environment.

Source: TeachEngineering

Intro to energy & energy resources

  •  Grades 6-8
  •  This 5 minute video reviews the science behind energy and differentiating it from energy resources.

Source: Green Ninja a collaborative San Jose State University and supported by the National Science Foundation and NASA

Carbon Footprint Lesson Plan

  •  Grades 6-8
  •  In this two 45 minute session activity, students will investigate how much greenhouse gas their family releases into the atmosphere each year and relate it to climate change. To address this, students use the Environmental Protection Agency’s Personal Emissions Calculator to estimate their family’s greenhouse gas emissions and to think about how their family could reduce those emissions.

Source: Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN)

Carbon Footprint Toolkit

  •  Grades 6-10
  •  The toolkit utilizes animations and slideshows to teach the concept of one’s carbon footprint.

Source: BP Educational Service

How Big is your carbon footprint?

  •  Grades 6-12
  •  In this 100 minute lesson plan (two 50 minute class periods), students will increase their awareness of the impact of their choices on the Earth. This awareness is to result in a goal to reduce their personal impact (footprint). Students will also learn the mean, median, mode, and standard deviation of a set of data.

Source: Alliance to Save Energy

Earth’s carbon cycle

  •  Grades 9-12
  •  This 12 minute video reviews the science behind the carbon cycle by delving into topics such as photosynthesis, respiration, and combustion. The video utilizes equations and graphs to describe the carbon cycle.

Source: Green Ninja a collaborative San Jose State University and supported by the National Science Foundation and NASA

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