Activity Introduction

Earth-Hour-apples-heroQuick summary: Teachers implementing this lesson can engage students in thinking about the practical implications of climate change on food production specific to a familiar lunchbox staple, the humble banana. Students will work through a series of linked literacy and numeracy activities to explore the impacts of climate change on Australia’s banana plantation farmers in recent years. This lesson meets selected Australian Curriculum outcomes for Years 3 and 4 in the subjects of Geography and Mathematics.

earth-hour-160x160In 2016, Earth Hour will celebrate the places we love that make our outdoor lifestyle and the Aussie way of life so great. Our beaches, rivers, reefs, snow-capped mountains, farmland and national parks uniquely distinguish Australia as the “lucky country”. You can become a part of the movement and start to take action on climate change by visiting to register for Lights Out or find your local event. Take part and register in Earth Hour Schools Day on Friday the 18th March and don’t forget to switch off on Earth Hour, on Saturday 19th March 8:30-9:30pm.

Learning goals:

  • Students grasp the significance of climate change impacts upon food production in Australia.
  • Students conceptualise the global climate change issue affecting life in their home country.
  • Students work with maps to obtain and interpret data.

General capabilities: Numeracy, literacy, Critical and creative thinking, Personal and social capability, Ethical understanding

Australian Curriculum content descriptions

Year 3 HASS (Geography)

  • The representation of Australia as states and territories and as Countries/Places of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples; and major places in Australia, both natural and human (ACHASSK066)
  • Reflect on learning to propose actions in response to an issue or challenge and consider possible effects of proposed actions (ACHASSI060)

Year 3 Mathematics

  • Recall multiplication facts of two, three, five and ten and related division facts (ACMNA056)
  • Represent money values in multiple ways and count the change required for simple transactions to the nearest five cents (ACMNA059)

Year 4 Mathematics

  • Develop efficient mental and written strategies and use appropriate digital technologies for multiplication and for division where there is no remainder (ACMNA076)

 Year 4 HASS (Geography)

  • The importance of environments, including natural vegetation, to animals and people (ACHASSK088)
  • Reflect on learning to propose actions in response to an issue or challenge and consider possible effects of proposed actions (ACHASSI081)

Syllabus OutcomesGE2-1, GE2-4MA2‑1WM, MA2‑2WM, MA2‑3WM, MA2‑5NA, MA2‑6NA.

Time needed: 60 minutes.

Resources required: Internet, Student Worksheet.

Key words: Climate change, Earth Hour, impacts, future.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

bananas-heroTeacher preparation

Teacher preparation: Photocopy the two Student Worksheets, Banana Dramas, and distribute copies to students. Have a banana and a dark coloured permanent marker ready to use in the lesson’s introduction.

Teacher content information: Earth Hour is a WWF-Australia initiative which has grown into the world’s largest community-driven campaign for the planet. At the centre of the campaign is the symbolic collective action of switching off the lights. Through this action, individuals, businesses, schools and communities join a visible statement of commitment to act on climate change. Participation remains a powerful reminder to our political leaders that there is ongoing concern and demand for the government to act on climate change.

This year Earth Hour is shining the spotlight on the impact of climate change on the Places We Love. One of the things that makes Australia so great is the beautiful outdoor lifestyle we live. From beaches, rainforests and rivers, to snow-c

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Where do your bananas come from?

Complete these activities on the worksheets, writing your answers in the spaces provided.

You – the banana farmer.

Imagine you are the owner of a banana plantation in Far North Queensland.                                                                                     

1 Here are four natural disasters that could affect your harvest of bananas this year. Unscramble the letters and write them on the lines provided.

c  y  c  l  e  o n  
t h e a v a w e s     
d  o  o  f  l     
g  h  o  d  u  r  t 

2 If you lost three quarters of your crop of bananas this year, what do you think would happen to your income? Write your answer below. Use proper sentence structure for all your answers.

3 Imagine all the banana plantation farmers in Innisfail lose most of their harvest this year. What do you think will happen to the price of bananas in stores?

4 Why might this happen to prices?

This scena

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