ENERGY, Eco-Icons that Electrify!
By Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, April 5, 2010
- Middle School
- Graphic Design
- Language Arts
Common Core State Standards
English Language Arts Standards: Speaking and Listening
Comprehension and Collaboration:
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6-8.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6-8.1.A Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6-8.2 Analyze the purpose of information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and evaluate the motives (e.g., social, commercial, political) behind its presentation.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.3 Delineate a speaker's argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and relevance and sufficiency of the evidence and identifying when irrelevant evidence is introduced.
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas:
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6-8.4 Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6-8.5 Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6-8.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (See grade 8 Language standards 1 and 3 here for specific expectations.)
English Language Arts Standards: Reading Informational Text
Key Ideas and Details:
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6-8.1 Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6-8.2 Determine two or more central ideas in a text and analyze their development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6-8.3 Analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text (e.g., how ideas influence individuals or events, or how individuals influence ideas or events).
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6-8.5 Analyze the structure an author uses to organize a text, including how the major sections contribute to the whole and to the development of the ideas.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6-8.6 Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author distinguishes his or her position from that of others.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6-8.7 Compare and contrast a text to an audio, video, or multimedia version of the text, analyzing each medium's portrayal of the subject (e.g., how the delivery of a speech affects the impact of the words).
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6-8.8 Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6-7.9 Analyze how two or more authors writing about the same topic shape their presentations of key information by emphasizing different evidence or advancing different interpretations of facts.
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity:
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6-8.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 6-8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
English Language Arts Standards Writing
Research to Build and Present Knowledge:
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.7 Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.9 Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
- Students will design a sign and icon to help their school community reduce energy use and connect energy consumption to issues of climate change.
- Students will make signs in other languages.
- Students will learn about graphic design, arts and communication.
- Students will understand the value of communication and easy to understand design in achieving effective communication.
- Students will understand the role of designer as a communicator and shaper of ideas.
- Energy conservation is any behavior that results in the use of less energy. Turning the lights off when you leave the room and recycling aluminum cans are both ways of conserving energy.
- Energy efficiency is the use of technology that requires less energy to perform the same function. A compact fluorescent light bulb that uses less energy than an incandescent bulb to produce the same amount of light is an example of energy efficiency. However, the decision to replace an incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent is an act of energy conservation. (Department of Energy)
- Cost of Energy – the cost of energy has skyrocketed in the past few decades because of limited resource availability.
- Environmental Impacts – many environmental impacts stem from energy use, production and consumption including: air quality, water quality, land-use and climate change issues.
- The globe
- Recycling symbol
- A tree or leaf
- No littering signs
- No fishing/dumping
- Energy Star
- A plug or outlet
- Electric bolt
- High voltage
- Ambient Devices - Energy Joule: Helps you save money by showing the current price of energy and level of consumption in the home. The data is updated continuously from your energy company. You just plug it into an outlet.
- DIY Kyoto – Holmes and Wattson: The Holmes and Wattson devices help homeowners keep an eye on their energy use through real-time measurements that connect to a simple program on your computer and a real-time display that looks like a clock.
- Power Aware Cord: The Power Aware cord helps make the invisible visible. Designed by Anton Gustafsson and Magnus Gyllensward at the Interactive Institute in Sweden, it signals the amount of energy that flows to an appliance through glowing pulses and intensity of light. The design is based on our intuitive notion that light symbolizes energy use, and gives people direct feedback and the feeling of both seeing and interacting with electricity.
- Energy Aware Clock (pictured below): Electricity is invisible, and for many of us, it is something we take for granted. The Energy Aware Clock, designed by Loove Broms and Karin Ehrnberger, in collaboration with Sara Ilstedt Hjelm, Erika Lundell, and Jin Moen for the Interactive Institute in Sweden, shows electricity use in real time: if the dishwasher is turned on, the energy surge appears immediately on the clock’s display.
- Garbage/Recycling Bins
- Lunch Room/Auditorium/Gym
- Office/Teacher Lounge
- Over the past week, have you seen any inspiring “go green” logos? Will you pay more attention to green design in the future because of today’s class?
- Would having a way to monitor your energy consumption make you more likely to reduce the amount you use? Why or why not?
- If you had never seen your own design, would it encourage you to become more energy conscious?
Enrichment Extension Activities
- To facilitate the design process, give younger students stencils of commonly used energy and conservation icons, as well as stencils of people and animals. Ask students to pick from the icons and modify them, put two together in a unique way, or manipulate them in some creative way to relay their message about energy conservation. Some samples you might use are here and here.
- Invite a graphic designer to the class to speak about his or her design process. The designer can show an example of his or her work, and the steps taken from the initial consultation with the client, to concept, to final design.
- Students can interview the school's principal or facilities manager about the building's energy use and where they would like to see more energy conservation and energy efficiency. The interview should also address the challenges the school faces in energy use and conservation. Students should use this interview with their "client" to focus their design of eco-icons. The "client" can also help the class identify which final icons should be used in the school.