Beat the Heat with Blackout

Posted by on Jul 20, 2011 in Early Learning, Nature Smart, Print Motivation, Science | 0 comments

One hot summer night, a little girl looks for someone to play with her. Everyone is too busy – Dad’s cooking, Mom’s on the computer, Sister’s on the phone – when suddenly, the power goes out. In the blackout, the city changes. The family goes up the rooftop to look at the stars, and goes down to the street to join their neighbors in an impromptu block party. When the power comes back on, instead of going back to screen-filled, distracted normal, the family chooses to play a board game by candlelight, because “not everyone likes normal”.

Brainstorm with students about what uses electricity and what we can do without electricity. Talk about how people lived (and still live) without electricity. If you have large enough windows in your classroom for natural light, try “unplugging” for an hour or two. Bring in flashlights for shadow puppets and for reading – because (gasp!) paper books don’t use electricity! Encourage families to try an unplugged night at home and let students share their experiences.

With its large, comic-book-inspired layout and few words per page, young readers will find John Rocco’s Blackout approachable – by fluorescent light, flashlight, candlelight, or sunlight.

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