Activity Introduction

Earth-Hour-wheat-field heroQuick summary: In this activity students work in groups to create a short documentary or film about climate change, in particular its impacts, risks and the personal actions that can be taken to fight climate change. Students present their videos to the class. This lesson meets selected Australian Curriculum outcomes for Years 5 and 6 in the subjects of English and Geography.

earth-hour-160x160In 2017, WWF is celebrating 10 years of Earth Hour and 10 years of progress on changing climate change. Our actions on climate change will shape the future for our children. They know more about climate change than any other generation. And they have extraordinary views on what they want for their planet. You and your students 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 for Earth Hour Schools Day on Friday the 24th March and don’t forget to switch off on Earth Hour, on Saturday 25th March 8:30-9:30pm. Switch off to #JoinTheFuture.

Learning goals:

  • Students understand that there are a range of risks and impacts associated with climate change.
  • Students recognise that there are many different personal actions that we can all take to help fight climate change.
  • Students understand that video can be a useful tool for communicating positive messages about climate change.

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and creative thinking

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.1, OI.6.

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Year 5 English

  • Use interaction skills, for example paraphrasing, questioning and interpreting non-verbal cues and choose vocabulary and vocal effects appropriate for different audiences and purposes (ACELY1796)
  • Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations for defined audiences and purposes incorporating accurate and sequenced content and multimodal elements (ACELY1700)
  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive print and multimodal texts, choosing text structures, language features, images and sound appropriate to purpose and audience (ACELY1704)
  • Use a range of software including word processing programs with fluency to construct, edit and publish written text, and select, edit and place visual, print and audio elements (ACELY1707)

Year 5 Geography

  • The influence of people, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, on the environmental characteristics of Australian places (ACHASSK112)
  • Reflect on learning to propose personal and/or collective action in response to an issue or challenge, and predict the probable effects (ACHASSI104)

Year 6 English

  • Use interaction skills, varying conventions of spoken interactions such as voice volume, tone, pitch and pace, according to group size, formality of interaction and needs and expertise of the audience (ACELY1816)
  • Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations, selecting and sequencing appropriate content and multimodal elements for defined audiences and purposes, making appropriate choices for modality and emphasis (ACELY1710)
  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, choosing and experimenting with text structures, language features, images and digital resources appropriate to purpose and audience (ACELY1714)
  • Use a range of software, including word processing programs, learning new functions as required to create texts (ACELY1717)

Year 6 Science

  • Scientific knowledge is used to inform personal and community decisions (ACSHE220)
  • Communicate ideas, explanations and processes in a variety of ways, including multi-modal texts (ACSIS110)

Year 5 & 6 Design and Technology

  • Investigate how and why food and fibre are produced in managed environments (ACTDEK021)

Time needed: 2 to 3 sessions.

Resources required: Internet access, Student Worksheet.

Key words: Climate change, Earth Hour, personal actions, film, documentary.

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


Teacher Worksheet

Earth-Hour-tractor-heroTeacher preparation

Teacher content information: Earth Hour is a WWF-Australia initiative, which over the past 10 years 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 inviting kids around the country to share the news about climate change. From an early age, these kids have been taught to be active recyclers, aware of renewable power alternatives, and informed about the devastating effect of pollution on our planet. The phrases ‘carbon dioxide’ and ‘the hottest summer in Australia’ are common in their vocabulary. These kids know more about climate change th

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Student Worksheet

Earth-Hour-drought-dam-heroThought starter - How can we communicate stories and messages around climate change?

Your task is to create a short film or documentary about climate change, it's risks and impacts, and what we can all do to fight climate change. Similar to the clip shown here.

You can decide whether you want to do a short film or a documentary, and you will write your own storyline or plot. If you need some ideas, we've thought up a few scenarios to help spark your imagination.   

  • A day in the life: This documentary describes all the actions of one student over the course of one day and how these actions relate to food and climate change. For example: what you eat, where it comes from, what resources are involved in making, shipping, storing, packaging and preparing these foods. A narrator can describe these behaviours and the impacts.
  • Climate change on the farm: Students role play various animals that live in an ecosystem and describe how these animals might be affected by climate change. A
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