Activity Introduction

EH2017-kid-at-earth-hour-night-logo-photoframeQuick summary: Students begin by sharing what they already know about climate change and the actions we can all take for climate change. They then work as a class to investigate how news article headlines and leading paragraphs are written to draw in the reader. Students will then work in groups to rewrite a range of stories about climate change action in Australia over the past 10 years. Students will then write their own news story and headline to describe an action they are already doing to help fight climate change. This lesson may be followed by Earth Hour 2017 – Switch off to join the future – Years 5 & 6 – Lesson 2.

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:

  • What is climate change? What do I already know about climate change?
  • How can we limit climate change? What actions can we take? What actions have I already taken?
  • What are the roles of the headline and a leading paragraph in a news story? What are the other key components of a news headline?
  • What is Earth Hour? How does Earth Hour share messages about climate change and taking action for climate change?

21st century skills:

earth hour 2017 skills

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 5 English

  • Show how ideas and points of view in texts are conveyed through the use of vocabulary, including idiomatic expressions, objective and subjective language, and that these can change according to context (ACELY1698)
  • Identify and explain characteristic text structures and language features used in imaginative, informative and persuasive texts to meet the purpose of the text (ACELY1701)
  • 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 English

  • Compare texts including media texts that represent ideas and events in different ways, explaining the effects of the different approaches (ACELY1708)
  • Select, navigate and read texts for a range of purposes, applying appropriate text processing strategies and interpreting structural features, for example table of contents, glossary, chapters, headings and subheadings (ACELY1712)
  • 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)

Syllabus outcomes: EN3-6B, EN3-5B, EN3-2A, EN3-3A.

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and creative thinking, Personal and social capability.

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

Relevant parts of Year 5 English achievement standards: Students create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts for different purposes and audiences. When writing, they demonstrate understanding of grammar using a variety of sentence types. They select specific vocabulary and use accurate spelling and punctuation.

Relevant parts of Year 6 English achievement standards: Students understand how language features and language patterns can be used for emphasis, and they create detailed texts elaborating on key ideas for a range of purposes and audiences. They demonstrate an understanding of grammar, and make considered vocabulary choices to enhance cohesion and structure in their writing. Students use accurate spelling and punctuation for clarity.

Topic: Earth Hour, Climate Change.

Unit of work: Earth Hour – Primary.

Time required: 60 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – oversee activity, lead students in creating news pieces.

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. Workbooks, pens/pencils. Earth Hour – Stories from the past 10 years – Years 5 & 6, Inverted pyramid model of journalistic writing, Australia’s kelp forests under threat, robots could be only hope by Margot Kelly.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Keywords: Earth Hour, climate change, future, news makers, action.

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


Teacher Worksheet

EH2017-kids-carrying-lanterns-photoframeTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: By participating in this lesson students will have a basic understanding of climate change and the actions we can take to fight climate change, including identifying the actions they are already taking. They will also recognise the key features of news articles and how these are used to attract the attention of the reader. Finally, students will recognise the role of Earth Hour in communicating messages about climate change action.

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 fo

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What do you already know about climate change?

Part A: What is climate change? What is Earth Hour?

Step 1. Working independently, think about what you know about climate change and answer the following questions:

a. What key words come to mind when you hear 'climate change'?

b. What questions do you have about climate change?

Once complete, team up with a classmate and share your ideas. Following your discussion you can make any changes to what you have written down if you wish.

You will then be asked to discuss the ideas with the class.

Step 2. As a class you will be thinking of ways that we can all help prevent climate change. Record the ideas that interest or appeal to you the most here:

Part B: Looking back

Step 1. Working in groups you will be asked to rewrite one of the Earth Hour - Stories from the past 10 years - Years 5 & 6 (your teacher will assign you one) using the Inverted pyramid model of journalistic writing.

Your story will need to include:

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