Activity Introduction

Earth-Hour-sheep-farm-heroQuick summary: Students will create a diagram similar to the familiar ‘water cycle’ diagrams used in geographical studies. The diagram will illustrate the drought to flood to drought pattern that is exacerbated by climate change. This lesson meets selected Australian Curriculum outcomes for Years 5 and 6 in the subjects of Science and 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 become familiar with the drought and flood cycle facing many Australian food growers.
  • Students will use their pre-existing knowledge and skills to diagrammatically represent a climatic cycle.
  • Students will use their oral skills to present their own ideas to their peers.

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and creative thinking,

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

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Year 5 HASS (Geography)

  • The environmental and human influences on the location and characteristics of a place and the management of spaces within them (ACHASSK113)
  • The influence of people, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, on the environmental characteristics of Australian places (ACHASSK112) (Extension activity)
  • Organise and represent data in a range of formats including tables, graphs and large- and small-scale maps, using discipline-appropriate conventions (ACHASSI096)
  • Evaluate evidence to draw conclusions (ACHASSI101)
  • Present ideas, findings, viewpoints and conclusions in a range of texts and modes that incorporate source materials, digital and non-digital representations and discipline-specific terms and conventions (ACHASSI105)

 Year 5 Science

  • Communicate ideas, explanations and processes in a variety of ways, including multi-modal texts (ACSIS093)

Year 6 HASS (Geography)

  • Organise and represent data in a range of formats including tables, graphs and large- and small-scale maps, using discipline- appropriate conventions (ACHASSI096)
  • Evaluate evidence to draw conclusions (ACHASSI101)
  • Present ideas, findings, viewpoints and conclusions in a range of texts and modes that incorporate source materials, digital and non-digital representations and discipline-specific terms and conventions (ACHASSI133)

Year 6 Science

  • The growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment (ACSSU094)
  • Sudden geological changes or extreme weather conditions can affect Earth’s surface (ACSSU096)
  • Communicate ideas, explanations and processes in a variety of ways, including multi-modal texts (ACSIS110)

Syllabus OutcomesGE3-2, GE3-3, GE3-4ST3-4WS, ST3-11LW, ST3-9ES.

Time needed: 60 minutes.

Resources required: For this lesson teachers will need to make copies of the Student Worksheet, The Drought and Flood Cycle. A3 paper will be needed, one sheet per student. Students should come equipped with coloured pens, pencils, textas, scissors and glue to use.

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-river-heroTeacher preparation

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 have one of the most beautiful countries in the world. But the healthy, outdoors lifestyle we enjoy is under threat from rising temperatures and more extreme wea

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Student Worksheet

Earth-Hour-drought-dam-2-heroThought starter: Cucumbers are mostly made of water, so they need a lot to grow. If the weather gets drier, we may not be able to grow cucumbers in many places that they grow now. If the weather gets too hot, cucumbers make more male flowers and not enough female flowers, and this reduces the crop.

Read the following resource material before attempting to complete the activity.

Australian agriculture generates around $155 billion dollars per year from farms that cover about 60% of Australia’s surface. Fresh water for irrigation is vital in farming. Some researchers have predicted that climate change will cause less rain to fall in many regions of Australia in the coming years.

As the planet warms, higher air temperatures remove more moisture from the Earth’s surface. Our reserves of fertile topsoil begin to harden, leaving them vulnerable to weathering and erosion from wind and water. When rain falls only infrequently, the ground can become so hard on top that a sudden downpour lead

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