This is a Clilstore unit. You can link all words to dictionaries.

Energy. Lesson 1. What is energy?

 Lesson designed by: Alejandro Robles García

The key to a smarter power grid

Activity 1. Speaking. Try to answer with a partner.

  1.       What was the first energy source?
  2.       Is natural gas a modern energy source or was it used in the antiquity?
  3.       When was the first city lit?

Useful phrases/structures to communicate

  •   In my opinion/ I think that….
  •   What do you think?
  •   I agree/ don´t agree because…
  •   I understand what you say but…
  •   We should take into account…
  •   What I meant was…
  •   Let me think. 

Activity 2. Check the answers to the previous questions with the activity: A brief history of energy.

What is energy?

We use energy in everything that we do. we need energy to walk to school, we need energy to play, to run a computer, or to cook our food.

In physics, energy is the ability to do work, or the ability to move or elicit change in matter. In effect, the amount of energy something has refers to its capacity to cause things to happen.

There are many types of units used in energy:

Joule (J). This is the unit used in the International System of Units (SI). It is defined in terms of the meter, kilogram and second.

Calorie (cal). Historically the calorie was defined in terms of the heating of water. Its traditional definition was the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1ºC, from 14.5 ºC to 15.5 ºC. It is also defined in terms of the joule, with the equivalence of:

1 cal =4,184 J

Kilowatt-hour (kWh). The kilowatt-hour is the standard unit of electricity production and consumption. Taking into account that 1 kW = 1000W and 1W= J/s, it can be defined in terms of Joule as:

1 kWh = 3.6 x 10 6 J (exact).

 Activity 3. Read the text "Energy units"  and answer the following questions:

  1. What does Btu mean?
  2.  Where is this unit used?
  3. Is it the same than a calorie?

Activity 4. Listen "The energy song" and answer the following questions about the characteristics of energy.

  1.       Can energy be created or destroyed?
  2.       What says the Law of Conservation of energy?
  3.       What are the two main types of energy and what is their difference?

Activity 5. Do this experiment and answer the two questions.

  1.       Put the rubber at the edge of the desk and push it off to the floor. What type of energy has the rubber while is falling? 
  2.       Now, pick up the rubber and put it back on the desk. You used your own energy move the rubber. Moving it higher than floor adds energy to it. When it rests on the desk, what type of energy does the rubber have?

Activity 6. Write sentences about the use of the energy sources that you know.

Example: The wind can be used to move boats if they have sails.

After doing activity 6, go to lesson 2.


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