Activity Introduction

people swimming Gunlom Kakadu WWFQuick summary: Students explore how nature makes them feel, the Australian places in nature that they love, and how these places might be affected by climate change. Students begin this lesson by participating in a vocabulary exercise about words such as ‘awe’, ‘astound’, ‘marvel’ and ‘inspire’. They then spend time outside in nature, and use a ‘Rake thinking tool’ to investigate how they experience nature and connect to it emotionally. Using images collected before the activity, students create a collage and supporting presentation to share the places they love in Australia with classmates. Students will then look at how these places might be affected by climate change. Finally, students will create a postcard to encourage their local community to participate in Earth Hour 2016.

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.

Essential questions:

  • Why do we need to value our environment?
  • How do people and environments influence one another?
  • How do people influence the human characteristics of places and the management of spaces within them?
  • How do people’s connections to places affect their perception of them?

21st century skills:

21st century skills earth hour 2016

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 5 HASS

  • The influence of people, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, on the environmental characteristics of Australian places (ACHASSK112)
  • The environmental and human influences on the location and characteristics of a place and the management of spaces within them (ACHASSK113)

Year 5 English

  • Understand the use of vocabulary to express greater precision of meaning, and know that words can have different meanings in different contexts (ACELA1512)
  • 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)

Year 6 HASS

  • The effects that people’s connections with, and proximity to, places throughout the world have on shaping their awareness and opinion of those places (ACHASSK142)

Year 6 English

  • Investigate how vocabulary choices, including evaluative language can express shades of meaning, feeling and opinion (ACELA1525)
  • 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)

NSW syllabus outcomes: EN4-6C, EN4-4B

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.6, OI.7, OI.9.

Relevant parts of Year 5 HASS achievement standards:

Students identify and describe the interconnections between people and the human and environmental characteristics of places, and between components of environments.

Relevant parts of Year 5 English achievement standards:

Students encounter and decode unfamiliar words using phonic, grammatical, semantic and contextual knowledge. They create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts for different purposes and audiences, and make presentations which include multimodal elements for defined purposes.

Relevant parts of Year 6 HASS achievement standards:

Students describe how people, places, communities and environments are diverse and interconnected.

Relevant parts of Year 6 English achievement standards:

Students create detailed texts elaborating on key ideas for a range of purposes and audiences, and make presentations using a variety of strategies for effect.

Topic: Earth Hour, Climate Change.

Unit of work: Earth Hour – Primary.

Time required: 60 mins x 2.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee activities and facilitate discussions.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet. Device capable of presenting a website to the class. One copy of Rake thinking tool worksheet for each student. Cameras (phones or tablets are OK). One printed postcard template for each student: Earth Hour Blank Postcard Template and postcard making materials (paper, pens, etc).

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Keywords: Earth Hour, climate change, nature, places, Australia.

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


Teacher Worksheet

mt ossa wwfTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students understand that we experience nature on a sensory level as well as on an emotional level. They recognise that there are places in nature that are special to them because of their emotional response to them, and they explore these emotional responses through a vocabulary exercise. Students understand that many of the places that we love in Australia are at risk from climate change, and recognise that we can all take action to help protect these places from the impacts of climate change.

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 o

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: How does nature make you feel?

Part A. Awesome words

Pick two of the following words and use each of them in a sentence (you will be writing two sentences, each with one of these words).


Write your sentences in the table below:







Part B. Head outside into nature

Your class is going to head outside to experience nature. You will spend about five minutes standing, sitting or lying quietly in nature, absorbing the nature around you. Then you will complete the table below.


What does nature feel like?


What did you smell?


What might things taste like?


What did you see?


What did you hear?


How did being in nature make you feel?


What does being in nature make you think about?

Part C. Creating a 'Places you love' collage

View the photos of the places you love and th

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