Lesson Plans

Decipher My Data – Energy is an educational project that helps students understand graphs using electricity consumption data from your school. It also helps with a better understanding of electricity consumption and ways to reduce it. An important component of the project is about reporting findings and collaborating with other schools and experts.

There are three lesson plans of varying length and detail from which teachers can pick and choose to best suit their classes. The project can be run over a short period or it can be used over the course of a school year (or more) and returned to occasionally. The project is aimed at Y5 & Y6, but can be used as a whole school exercise or with an eco-council.

Lesson Plans:

ONE: Electricity Consumption TWO: Graphs THREE: Reporting
1. How and where does electricity get generated and distributed?
2. How does electricity get consumed?
3. What is a kWh?
ACTIVITY: What uses most electricity? Card sorting exercise.
1. What data is graphed?
2. How is it collected?
3. What does the graph mean?
ACTIVITY: Data Journeys – explore and explain the concepts within the lesson plan
1. Reporting findings
2. Asking experts
3. Collaborating with other schools
4. Research findings
ACTIVITY: Write a LabLog

Lesson 1: Electricity Consumption

pylons lesson one

How is electricity generated? What consumes electricity in school? How much and when?

Lesson 1 Material: Card Sorting Exercise


What uses the most electricity? In a minute? Over a whole day? Use this set of 24 cards to explore how different school machines consume electricity.

Lesson 1 Material: Data Usage Answers


The answers to the card sorting exercise. By maximum wattage. By consumption for a day.

The Electric Journey

substationwpd copy

How does electricity get from the power station to the school. Use this information sheet to recap on the electricity distribution system. 400,000 volts to 230 volts in 4 (easy) steps.

Lesson 2: Graphs

Jan14 graph

Find patterns. Relate patterns to actual consumption. Investigate anomalies. Bar charts or line graphs?

Data Journey: Exploring the Graphs

Jan14 graph

Chart titles, axis labels, data labels, time periods, compare to, chart type and Redraw. This journey will help you see what you can do with the graphs on Decipher My Data.

Data Journey: Finding Peak Consumption

Graph saved on 16/10/2014 at 16:16:01

When does your school use most electricity? Does it vary month to month? Why?

SmartMeter – Delivering the data


A single slide explaining how we deliver your electricity data to your classroom.


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