Lesson Plans
 •Lesson One
 •Lesson Two
 •Lesson Three
In Your Community

Lesson Plan One


GRADES: Four to nine

TIME: 80 minutes

PURPOSE: To increase student knowledge of how home heating has evolved in the past 100 years.

OBJECTIVE: To research how homes were heated in the past 100 years by interviewing parents, grandparents and/or senior citizens. To explore how changes in heating technology has affected our lifestyles.


  • chart
  • markers
  • Natural Gas Story from SaskEnergy
  • Internet


  1. Begin with a discussion about how homes are heated today. Many students may not realize that most homes are heated by natural gas. Questions you can ask are: Where does the natural gas come from? (Producers, transmission pipeline, distribution pipeline; refer to the Natural Gas Story from SaskEnergy.)

  2. Break students up into groups of four for about 10 minutes and have them brainstorm ideas about how homes may have been heated in the past.

  3. List their ideas on chart paper (keep this for later). Have them vote as to which fuel was most likely used 50 years ago.

  4. Students are to go and interview members of the community to determine how homes were heated in the past. They could possibly interview their parents, their grandparents and/or senior citizens in the community. They should focus their research on the following:

    • Type of fuels used and the kind of equipment used to heat homes
    • Differences (if any) between urban and rural homes
    • Find out how much time was spent gathering, for example, wood to burn throughout the winter
    • The role family members had when it came to heating the house through the long winter nights
    • What were some creative ways that pioneers used to keep warm through the winter
    • The changes in home heating technology throughout the years
    • Compare Canada's centralized heating as a standardized practice to those in other countries, such as Britain, Australia, Peru, Russia

  5. Have students write a one or two page report summarizing their findings. Any data should be presented in a table. Have students report their findings to their classmates. Make a list of the types of fuel used in homes in the past to determine the most common for both rural and urban homes. You could even do this by decade to see if a trend develops (some like firewood would decline, whereas other like natural gas would increase in use). Compare these results to the original list at the beginning of this assignment.

  6. Optional activity: Advanced students can look at how lifestyle has changed as a result of modern day heating methods.

  7. Optional activity: Advanced students could explore lifestyle changes as a result of improvements to other appliances, such as ovens, refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, etc. This could include a study of how the efficiency of appliances has improved. Current efficiencies of appliances can be found at:


energuide.nrcan.gc.ca(click on appliances)