Energy Related Lesson Plans
Following are a series of lessons, Energy in New Mexico, about sources of energy and electrical power generation in New Mexico. The lessons accompany the Dreaming New Mexico: A Map to the Age of Renewables resources (map and booklet) that provide information about electrical power generation and distribution in New Mexico. The Dreaming New Mexico materials present a data-driven vision to make New Mexico a major energy provider using our naturally abundant renewable energy.
A summary of each Energy in New Mexico lesson is provided in the Teacher’s Guide. The lessons can be implemented together as a unit or separately. The lessons are designed to address three different levels: introductory (appropriate for upper elementary or students who need more basic skills development); intermediate (primarily middle school level or lower high school grades); and upper (high school or early college). This approach allows the teacher to pick the level that is most appropriate for the students, and the lessons can even be mixed to develop skills as needed. Some lessons use the same handout for all three levels, but there are different implementation instructions for the levels in the Teacher’s Guide.
LESSON 1: Introduction: Sources of Energy – This lesson provides a brief introduction to renewable and nonrenewable sources of energy. If students already have this background knowledge the introduction can be skipped.
LESSON 2: Tracing Your Energy Sources – Students investigate where their electricity is produced, how much electricity is used in their household, and the potential for renewable energy generation near where they live.
MATH EXTENSION: What is a Watt? – Students are introduced to different units used for power and practice the important skill of unit conversions using their own household data and New Mexico data.
LESSON 3: New Mexico’s Unique Energy Environment – Students work in groups to investigate how New Mexico’s weather, geography and/or geology impact the availability/prevalence of the energy forms of solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, biofuels, uranium, natural gas, and coal. Each group is assigned a type of energy (coal can have more than one group) and presents their information to the class. This lesson introduces students to different types of energy (e.g. kinetic, electromagnetic) and the idea that energy can be converted from one form to another.
SUBJECTS: Math, Social Studies, Science
SKILLS: reading comprehension, computation, unit conversions, critical thinking, making connections, map reading, Internet research.
Food Related Lesson Plans
Following are a series of lessons, The Value of New Mexico Foods. There are three lessons on similar topics targeting different age groups. The lessons accompany the Dreaming New Mexico: An Age of Local Foodsheds and a Fair Trade State (map and booklet). The introductory level lesson targets upper elementary students, the intermediate lesson targets middle school students, and the upper level lesson targets high school students. The topics covered in each lesson are similar, but are more complex with each higher level. The reading level also increases with each level. The lesson you select for your class should be determined by the student level, which can vary. This is why they are labeled introductory, intermediate and upper, rather than by grade.
The lesson introduces students to the “dream” of locally grown food and how that can support the economy and New Mexico citizens. Students explore the concept of biocultural foods, which refers to the connection between people, culture and food, and do a hands-on activity attempting to trace the origin of food they eat. The lesson concludes with an introduction to foods grown in New Mexico and has students tie it all together with a reflective essay.
SUBJECTS: Social Studies, New Mexico History, Economics, Science (intermediate and upper levels)
SKILLS: reading, map reading, writing (elementary level)