Five ways to prepare your class for the Energy Diet Challenge

The Classroom Energy Diet Challenge is now entering its sixth year. Each year, more and more teachers participate in the Challenge, determined to help their students learn about how we use energy, and how we can conserve it.

The CEDC is a program built for all grade levels and all styles of teaching. There are many ways to introduce the Challenge and make it your own. This year, we decided to ask teachers who have participated in past years how they prepare their students for the CEDC. Here is what they had to say:


About two weeks before the Classroom Energy Diet Challenge begins, I get the students working on the Logo so it is ready to go on day one. I also plan in my schedule a dedicated time for Energy Diet challenges. — Ms. Van den Eynden, Alta.


Before the challenge begins, I look through my schedule for the upcoming months and schedule time each week for students to complete different challenges. Because the challenges are clearly written, it is easy for me to fit it into my curriculum. When the contest opens, I go through each theme and match challenges with subjects and topics we are studying. I can connect challenges to science, math, art, and language (especially media literacy). — Ms. Newlands, Ont.


Strange as it may sound, I do not do a lot of pre-teaching for the CEDC. Students know there will be 25 challenges and that they are energy-related, but I wait until the actual start day before we get into it. I want it to be new for them. Once we get going, we do check out some of the past challenges to make sure we are on the right track, but all calculations are to be done fresh. — Ms. Boucher, B.C.

I look over and review themes from past challenges and determine which challenges took me the longest to complete in previous years. When the CEDC launches, I always begin by reviewing these challenges and working towards completing the challenges that require more time. — Ms. Ruiz, Alta.

My biggest tip for teachers starting the CEDC would be to start filling their classrooms with a lot of good literature dealing with all things “green.” I also try to think of one big issue close to home that I want my students to work closely with and try to make as many connections to that as I can as we work through the challenges; last year, for example, it was food sustainability. — Ms. Barker, Nfld.