Activity Introduction

Eearth-Hour-drought-heroQuick summary: This lesson enables teachers to guide students through a study of the effects of the El Nino and La Nina weather cycle on food production and future land productivity in Australia. The focus region is Queensland. Activities include working with climate statistics, interpreting meteorological data and making graphs and charts. This lesson meets selected Australian Curriculum outcomes for Years 9 and 10 in the subject of Geography.

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 earthhour.org.au 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 will gain an understanding of the implications of weather cycles on food production in Australia.
  • Students will consolidate their skills in working with meteorological data.
  • Students will develop skills in presenting temperature and rainfall data using a climograph.

General capabilities: Numeracy, Critical and creative thinking.

Cross curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.1, OI.2.

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Year 9 Geography:

  • The challenges to food production, including land and water degradation, shortage of fresh water, competing land uses, and climate change, for Australia and other areas of the world (ACHGK063)
  • The capacity of the world’s environments to sustainably feed the projected future population to achieve food security for Australia and the world (ACHGK064)
  • Evaluate multi-variable data and other geographical information using qualitative and quantitative methods, and digital and spatial technologies as appropriate, to make generalisations and inferences, propose explanations for patterns, trends, relationships and anomalies, and predict outcomes (ACHGS067)

Year 10 Geography:

  • The human-induced environmental changes that challenge sustainability (ACHGK070)
  • Evaluate multi-variable data and other geographical information using qualitative and quantitative methods and digital and spatial technologies as appropriate to make generalisations and inferences, propose explanations for patterns, trends, relationships and anomalies, and predict outcomes (ACHGS076)

Syllabus OutcomesGE5-2, GE5-3, GE5-5, GE5-7.

Time needed: 65 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.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Earth-Hour-storm-heroTeacher preparation

What you will need: Photocopy the Student Worksheet – one per student. For students with learning support requirements, photocopy the LS Student Activity Sheet.

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-capped mountains, coral reefs and lakes, we

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Most of Australia’s bananas grow in north Queensland in places where tropical cyclones occur. In the future, these storms may get even stronger, and cause damage to banana plantations.

Weather cycles have serious effects on food production and the productivity of agricultural land. Australian farmers are already feeling the effects of altered weather patterns in some regions of Australia, including north Queensland.

The drought is back

feb-map

 

This map shows how far-reaching the effects of climate change have been across Queensland.
And unfortunately, the drought situation seems to
be worsening. At present, two-thirds of Queensland
and much of northern NSW is officially
drought-declared. For the past few months, both
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA) of the USA and Australia's Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) have been predicting that an El Nino system  is likely to develop in the Pacific later this year.
If this El Nino develops as scient

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