Activity Introduction

EH2017-girl-lighting-candles-logo-photoframeQuick summary: Students are asked to imagine themselves as the news makers of the future. They will work in groups or as a class to prepare a news piece from 10 years in the future that describes how they took action for climate change and the positive change this made after 10 years. Students are guided through the process of developing an idea, writing an article or script, creating additional materials (such as images) in support of their news piece, and sharing and receiving feedback on their news piece. This lesson may follow Earth Hour 2017 – Switch off to join the future – Years 5 & 6 – Lesson 1.

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 actions can we do now to help limit climate change?
  • How can we communicate messages about climate change action?
  • What steps are involved in creating a news piece? How can we create a news piece to share messages about climate change action?
  • What will the news of the future be? How can we be the future news makers?

21st century skills:

earth hour 2017 skills

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 5 English

  • 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)
  • Re-read and edit student’s own and others’ work using agreed criteria for text structures and language features (ACELY1705)
  • 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 6 English

  • Participate in and contribute to discussions, clarifying and interrogating ideas, developing and supporting arguments, sharing and evaluating information, experiences and opinions (ACELY1709)
  • 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, 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)
  • Re-read and edit students’ own and others’ work using agreed criteria and explaining editing choices (ACELY1715)
  • Use a range of software, including word processing programs, learning new functions as required to create texts (ACELY1717)

Syllabus outcomes: EN3-1A, EN3-2A, EN3-1A.

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. They contribute actively to class and group discussions, taking into account other perspectives. When writing, they demonstrate understanding of grammar using a variety of sentence types. They select specific vocabulary and use accurate spelling and punctuation. They edit their work for cohesive structure and meaning.

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 explain how their choices of language features and images are used. They contribute actively to class and group discussions. 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 and make and explain editorial choices based on criteria.

Topic: Earth Hour, Climate Change.

Unit of work: Earth Hour – Primary.

Time required: 60+ mins (this lesson may be extended over several sessions) 

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. How to be persuasive powerpoint presentation (PDF version here), Tips for writing a news article, Tips for creating a news report, Inverted pyramid model of journalistic writing, Assessment Rubric – Years 5 & 6, Pledge poster.

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-kid-at-earth-hour-night-logo-photoframeTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: By participating in this lesson students will understand what actions we can all do right now to help fight climate change. They will recognise that there are many ways we can communicate messages about climate change action, and that creating a news piece is one of these ways. Students will understand the steps in creating a news piece and will understand how to apply journalistic tools and methods to their own news piece. Finally students will recognise themselves as future news makers, understanding they they have to power to create real 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

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: How will you make the news?

Part A: Creating a news story or report

This year, Earth Hour is looking back over the past 10 years and celebrating all the things Australians have achieved in our fight against climate change. In addition, they are looking forward 10 years and inviting kids – especially those around the age of 10 – to imagine how they will be the news makers 10 years in the future. Your task now is to think about what actions you can do now that will positively affect climate change 10 years in the future, and how this action and the subsequent changes would be reported in the news.

You will need to:

  1. Imagine an action that will help fight climate change that you could do now (could be an individual or group action)
  2. Imagine how this action will make a positive change 10 years in the future and what this change will look like
  3. Create a news piece based around this future change. The news piece could be a news story, or a TV news segment, or news pr
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