Activity Introduction

EH2017-kid-at-earth-hour-night-logo-photoframeQuick summary: Working in pairs students are asked to investigate how news stories about climate change were reported 10 years ago compared to the present day. They then imagine the news about climate change 10 years in the future based upon the actions they can take for climate change today. Students begin by investigating articles about climate change from the past and the present day, comparing and analysing the language and techniques used to attract the attention of readers. Students then determine an action they could do now to fight climate change, and what news this might create 10 years in the future. They then create a news piece around this story, presented to audiences from the future.

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This lesson has been created in partnership with WWF-Australia. Earth Hour is the world’s largest community-driven climate change campaign. At the centre of Earth Hour is switching off lights to show a commitment to taking action. Thousands of teachers use Earth Hour’s education program to enrich their curriculum and provide pathways for young people to create change in their world.

Join the program and take part in Earth Hour Schools Day on Friday the 23rd March 2018. You can also involve family and friends in Earth Hour on Saturday 24th March 2018 8:30-9:30pm.

Learning goals:

  • Students recognise actions we can all take to limit climate change.
  • Students identify some of the ways that messages about climate change have been communicated through the news, both in the past and in the present.
  • Students recognise some of the techniques and language strategies used to portray information in news articles.
  • Students understand some of the steps involved in creating a news piece, including the purpose of headlines and leading paragraphs.
  • Students recognise that their own actions for climate change now may become the news stories of the future.
  • Students understand the role of Earth Hour in communicating messages about climate change and climate change action.

21st century skills:

earth hour 2017 skills

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 9 English

  • Analyse how the construction and interpretation of texts, including media texts, can be influenced by cultural perspectives and other texts (ACELY1739)
  • Interpret, analyse and evaluate how different perspectives of issue, event, situation, individuals or groups are constructed to serve specific purposes in texts (ACELY1742)
  • Create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that present a point of view and advance or illustrate arguments, including texts that integrate visual, print and/or audio features (ACELY1746)
  • Review and edit students’ own and others’ texts to improve clarity and control over content, organisation, paragraphing, sentence structure, vocabulary and audio/visual features (ACELY1747)

Year 10 English

  • Use comprehension strategies to compare and contrast information within and between texts, identifying and analysing embedded perspectives, and evaluating supporting evidence (ACELY1754)
  • Create sustained texts, including texts that combine specific digital or media content, for imaginative, informative, or persuasive purposes that reflect upon challenging and complex issues (ACELY1756)
  • Review, edit and refine students’ own and others’ texts for control of content, organisation, sentence structure, vocabulary, and/or visual features to achieve particular purposes and effects (ACELY1757)

Syllabus outcomes: EN5-8D, EN5-2A, EN5-1A, SC5-12ES.

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

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

Relevant parts of Year 9 English achievement standards: Students understand how to use a variety of language features to create different levels of meaning. In creating texts, students demonstrate how manipulating language features and images can create innovative texts. Students create texts that respond to issues, interpreting and integrating ideas from other texts. They edit for effect, selecting vocabulary and grammar that contribute to the precision and persuasiveness of texts and using accurate spelling and punctuation.

Relevant parts of Year 10 English achievement standards: Students show how the selection of language features can achieve precision and stylistic effect, and create a wide range of texts to articulate complex ideas. They demonstrate understanding of grammar, vary vocabulary choices for impact, and accurately use spelling and punctuation when creating and editing texts.

Topic: Earth Hour, Climate Change.

Unit of work: Earth Hour – Secondary.

Time required: 120+ minutes

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – lead students in discussion, guide students through creating a news piece.

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. How to be persuasive presentation (PDF version here), Inverted pyramid model of journalistic writing, Tips for writing a news article – Secondary, Tips for creating a news report – Secondary, Assessment Rubric – Years 9 & 10, Pledge poster.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Keywords: Earth Hour, climate change, past, present, 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.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

EH2017-Andrew-Pauley-family-logo-photoframeTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: By participating in this lesson students will recognise some of the actions we can all take to fight climate change. They will understand some of the ways that messages about climate change have been communicated through the news, both in the past and in the present, and will recognise some of the techniques and language strategies used to portray information in news articles. Students will understand some of the steps involved in creating a news piece, including the purpose of headlines and leading paragraphs. They also will recognise that their own actions for climate change now may become the news stories of the future. Finally, they will understand the role of Earth Hour in communicating messages about climate change and climate change action.

Teacher content information: Earth Hour is a WWF-Australia initiative, and is the world’s largest community-driven climate change campaign. At the centre of Earth Hour is switching off lights t

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: How will you switch off to join the future?

Part A: About Climate Change

The theme for this year’s Earth Hour is “Switch off to join the future.”

What does this make you think about?

What does this make you wonder?

Part B: Looking Back

Working in pairs, your task is to find three news articles about climate change from 10 years ago and three from the present day, and using the table below, analyse the perspectives, attitudes and persuasive techniques presented in these texts. Once complete, answer the questions below the tables to compare the news presented and techniques used between the articles from the past and the present day.

For more information about headlines, leading paragraphs and journalistic writing, view the Inverted pyramid model of journalistic writing. For more information about persuasive techniques, use this How to be persuasive presentation (PDF version here).

Table 1: Questions for analysing articles and headlines from 2007- answer in pair

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