A good way to learn a subject is to write about it, and students need practice in writing. These materials help them write and make calculations about saving energy at home, a topic that is relevant to them and can be researched at their level.
The full-color, 16-page booklet establishes a premise: the Chief Editor of a newspaper asks her Feature Editor to prepare a series of articles on saving energy at home. The feature Editor's background reading introduces such concepts as energy efficiency and an appliance's "invisible price tag," the cost of energy it will consume during its lifetime. A teacher can use these readings to reinforce understanding of the use of topic sentences, subheads, graphics, and other devices of expository text.
Working as a team of three or four reporters, students research and write a feature article on how energy can be conserved in one particular major use of electricity in the home, such as keeping food cold, heating and cooling space, heating water, lighting, and so on. To get students started, the booklet introduces each major use in a two-page spread, providing facts, suggestions for research and article topics. All students are exposed to all of these spreads. Following prewriting, writing, and revisions, the unit culminates in the publication of the articles or for their presentation as TV special reports.
A companion web site facilitates students' research on the Internet by providing appropriate current links (including appropriate sponsor pages) for each of the major home energy uses. To view these links, please go to the Resources section of our website.