TEACHER TOOLKIT

Piedmont Natural Gas and NTC invite you to use these e-learning resources to teach your students about the importance of natural gas conservation and safety. The digital materials below are designed to get your students excited about understanding this important natural resource.

Want to know the best way to use the related videos, games, smart speaker activity and other lessons to educate your class? Watch this short video and learn how to easily add The Clue That Burned Blue to your curriculum.


EDUCATOR VIDEO


Educational Standards  

We know your class time is extremely valuable. That’s why we ensure that all of our digital e-learning materials are aligned with state and national educational standards. It’s important that the The Clue That Burned Blue digital program adds to your existing curriculum and keeps students on track with their ongoing learning.

See below for details about how each digital activity aligns with educational standards and corresponds with your state’s curricula.

Educational Standards

PROGRAM OVERVIEW  

Debuting this year, our livestream offers classrooms a convenient, online-accessible option for experiencing educational theatre.

This 35-minute show presents a virtual lesson in energy conservation and natural gas safety for grades K-5. Through an interactive web platform, a live host will introduce entertaining sketches featuring a variety of characters in professionally filmed scenes from educational theatrical productions.

The sketches focus on the following educational points:

  • What natural gas is
  • How to conserve natural gas
  • How to be safe around natural gas
  • How to create a family communication plan

Watch in the classroom or at home. You’ll experience important lessons about natural gas along with calls to action and additional activities you can do at home and in the community.

HANDS-ON LESSONS  

Your students can enhance the learning from the program video with these fun, hands-on lessons and experiments. These lessons can be done in the classroom or easily adapted for students to do at home with their family.

The materials needed for these lessons are basic supplies that most people have at home. They’re a fun and educational way for students to learn with family members. Follow up with your students to make sure they enjoyed and learned from these activities.

Lesson 1:

Lesson 3: How Natural Gas Is Found

Introduction

Natural gas is located within the Earth. To find natural gas, geologists send shock waves downward through the surface of the planet. Once the waves have been sent, the scientists measure how long it takes the waves to bounce back. When a gas deposit is located, a derrick is constructed to support the equipment needed for accessing the natural gas. After the gas is removed from the Earth it goes to a processing plant and then to a regulator station to control the amount of gas that is pumped to our homes. At the regulator station the chemical mercaptan is added to help people detect natural gas leaks. Use this activity to show how natural gas is trapped below the Earth and the tremendous pressure on the gas deposits.

Objective

Students will learn how geologists locate and transport natural gas.

Purpose of Activity

Review, Identify Details, Read or Listen

21st Century Skills

Critical Thinking

Cognitive Level

Skills and Concepts

Class Time

15-30 minutes

Materials (for each group)
  • Aquarium or another large clear container
  • Balloon
Procedure

Fill an aquarium half full of water. Blow up a balloon and hold the opening closed as you submerge the balloon in water. Discuss what would happen if you drilled a hole to where the natural gas was trapped. Let air out of the balloon underwater.

How do you think gas is located and obtained from below the surface of the Earth?

  • By using sound waves and drills

What pipes or wires can be found underground?

  • Electric lines, natural gas lines, water lines

Lesson 2:

Energy Use Video

Objective

Students will write, direct and produce a video using persuasive communication skills to illustrate natural resource conservation.

Purpose of Activity

Apply Skills, Read or Listen, Collaborate, Create, Communicate

21st Century Skills

Critical Thinking and Creativity

Cognitive Level

Strategic Thinking, Extended Thinking

Class Time

1-2 days

Materials
  • Paper for storyboarding
  • Video recorder
  • Editing software
Procedure

Begin by showing a variety of commercials. Ask the class to create a list of the products advertised in the commercials. Then ask students to determine which commercials they liked best and why. Introduce persuasive techniques at this time. You may wish to include some or all of the following ideas:

PERSUASIVE TECHNIQUES

Authority: A famous person or someone who has authority in our society pushes a particular product. Examples include commercials featuring a doctor or a professional sports figure.

Side-tracking: Discusses a subject that seems to be related but is not. Examples include a basketball player trying to sell hamburgers.

Bandwagon: “Everyone is doing it and you should too.” This approach appeals to feelings of belonging. Example includes everybody going to see the latest movie and raving about it in a commercial.

Slanted language: Uses words packed with emotion to make people feel a certain way. Examples of positive slanted language include use of words like smooth, fresh and clear. Negative slanted words might include bumpy, overdue, crowded and noisy.

Show the commercials a second time, looking for persuasive techniques. Inform students that they are going to create a commercial on the topic of natural resource conservation. The commercial should be designed to persuade homeowners that they should use energy more efficiently. Emphasize that one or more of these persuasive techniques must be used.

Before students choose the style of their commercial, it may be advisable for them to break into smaller groups and choose energy-saving topics. Student groups may choose from a list of the following:

  • Energy-efficient showerheads
  • Using the clothesline to dry laundry
  • Insulating electrical outlets
  • Efficient use of the dishwasher
  • Faucet aerators
  • Sealing up leaks in doors
  • Sealing up leaks in windows and outlets
  • Turning down the water heater temperature
  • Adjusting programmable thermostats to save on heating or cooling

The commercial should contain explanations of procedures involved in making specific changes. Creativity is encouraged, including the use of music, props, etc.

The important steps in commercial production are summarized below.

  1. What’s your idea?
    • Audience: Who is your audience?
    • Length: How long will your video be? The commercial should be no more than two minutes long.
    • Style What do you want your video to look like? (Example: humorous, musical, informative)
  2. Write a script
    • Who are the characters?
    • What are they doing?
    • What are they saying?
  3. Construct a storyboard
    • Roughly draw a series of “shots” that will communicate your ideas.
    • Who is in the shot?
    • Is it a long shot (far away), medium shot or close up?
    • What action is happening in the shot?
    • What dialogue is being spoken?
  4. Assign all jobs
    • Costume design
    • Prop assembly
    • Make-up artist
    • Graphic artist
    • Location scout
    • Lighting director
    • Camera person
    • Director
    • Actors
    • Others
  5. Rehearse
    • How many times have you rehearsed?
    • Have you had a dress rehearsal?
  6. Shoot
    • Lighting: Did you use as much light as possible indoors? Did you avoid windows? Was the sun behind you outdoors?
    • Audio: Did you eliminate all background noise?

Was your commercial successful? Why or why not?

  • Answers will vary

Name some persuasion techniques in other forms of advertisements like radio or print ads.

  • Authoritative and bombastic voices, images of beauty and popularity, images of fun, etc.

EDUCATOR ASSESSMENTS  

Follow-up, formative assessments for you to gauge the learning of your students are especially important with e-learning. Below are some suggestions for how you can assess your students’ performance quickly and effectively.

These assessments are easy for you and your students to complete and help ensure your class is getting the maximum educational value, retention and engagement from the related digital activities.

STUDENT ACTIVITIES  

The Clue That Burned Blue student activities page features games, videos, e-books, educational lessons, downloadable PDFs, a smart speaker app and more. Access in the classroom or at home to learn more about natural gas and have fun exploring The Clue That Burned Blue!

Access Student Activities

Student Playbook

This downloadable PDF features colorful artwork, entertaining games and activities, and expanded information to complete your understanding of energy conservation and natural gas safety. Read on your own, with your class, or with friends and family and get to know the characters of The Clue That Burned Blue.

Explore the Student Playbook

E-book

Dive into this colorful, illustrated e-book in the classroom or at home with friends and family. Students can read to themselves or with others, and younger students can use the read-along option.

Access the E-book

Graphic Novel

Flip through this colorful graphic novel for a new and engaging story. With fun artwork, entertaining characters and expanded information, The Blue Flame graphic novel offers a page-turning experience.

Access the Graphic Novel

EVALUATION

We take your feedback and suggestions very seriously. Hearing from educators with firsthand experience with our programs ensures that we continue to improve our digital resources, making them as beneficial as possible for you and your students.

Please complete this brief, two-minute evaluation to let us know what you thought. Enter the code you received on the Teacher Instruction Card or call us for your access code.

Thank you for your time and valuable input.

EXPANDED INFORMATION & ADDITIONAL RESOURCES  

You’ve covered the basics of natural gas conservation and safety. If you really want to dig deep with your class, explore the expanded information and additional resources below.

These materials provide even more insight into the history, science, usage and importance of natural gas. There are also helpful links and tips for conservation and safety in your community.

Expanded Information 1:

Have you ever noticed that natural gas smells like rotten eggs? The rotten egg smell that you sense is actually added to the natural gas. Normally, natural gas is odorless and colorless; you can’t see it and you can’t smell it. The added smell is a compound called mercaptan and it smells like rotten eggs!

If too much natural gas leaks, it can build up and eventually catch fire or cause an explosion. Scientists and utility companies add the rotten egg smell so you know when it is leaking. If you smell that rotten egg smell in your house, GET OUT right away. Don’t call anyone or turn on or off any lights or appliances. Any spark from an electrical appliance or smartphone could cause the natural gas to explode. The best thing to do is to GET OUT, then tell an adult or call the fire department. They can clear the area and make sure everyone is safe as the problem is dealt with.

Expanded Information 2:

The United States uses and produces many different types and sources of energy, which can be grouped into general categories such as primary and secondary, renewable and nonrenewable, and fossil fuels.

Primary energy sources include fossil fuels (petroleum, natural gas, and coal), nuclear energy, and renewable sources of energy. Electricity is a secondary energy source that is generated (produced) from primary energy sources.

Energy sources are measured in different physical units: liquid fuels in barrels or gallons, natural gas in cubic feet, coal in short tons, and electricity in kilowatts and kilowatthours. In the United States, British thermal units (Btu), a measure of heat energy, is commonly used for comparing different types of energy to each other. In 2019, total U.S. primary energy consumption was equal to about 100,165,395,000,000,000 Btu, or about 100.2 quadrillion Btu.

Source: https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/us-energy-facts/

Natural gas,
make it last!