Activity Introduction

Earth-Hour-drought-dam-2-heroQuick summary: Students investigate how floods and droughts affect both the natural environment and farming. Students begin by identifying key features of floods and droughts, and then write a short story about how a native plant or animal experiences floods and droughts. This lesson meets selected Australian Curriculum outcomes for Years 3 and 4 in the subjects of English, Science 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 will be able to identify floods and droughts.
  • Students will recognise how floods and droughts affect our environment and the people living in these places.
  • Students will use their creative writing skills to write a short story.

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and creative thinking

Cross curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.1.

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Year 3 English

  • Create imaginative texts based on characters, settings and events from students’ own and other cultures using visual features, for example perspective, distance and angle (ACELT1601)
  • Create texts that adapt language features and patterns encountered in literary texts, for example characterisation, rhyme, rhythm, mood, music, sound effects and dialogue (ACELT1791)

Year 3 Geography

  • The main climate types of the world and the similarities and differences between the climates of different places (ACHASSK068)

Year 4 English

  • Create literary texts that explore students’ own experiences and imagining (ACELT1607)
  • Create literary texts by developing storylines, characters and settings (ACELT1794)

Year 4 Science

  • Living things, including plants and animals, depend on each other and the environment to survive (ACSSU073)
  • Earth’s surface changes over time as a result of natural processes and human activity (ACSSU075)

Syllabus Outcomes: EN2-10C, EN2-2AGE2-1ST2-10LW, ST2-8ES.

Time needed: 60 minutes.

Resources required: Internet access, Student Worksheet.

Key words: Climate change, Earth Hour, impacts, floods, droughts, environment, future.

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


Teacher Worksheet

Eearth-Hour-drought-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

Thought starter: Many sugar cane plantations are located very close to the sea in northern Australia and will be in danger of flooding as sea levels keep rising.

Warm-up activity – floods and droughts

What do you know about floods and droughts? Answer the following questions (try to keep your answers to less than 10 words):

What is a flood? 

How do floods happen? 

What is a drought? 

How do droughts happen? 


Part 1. Photo task

Look at the two pictures below and answer the questions below:

Photo 1.


Is this a drought or a flood?

Describe what you can see in this picture:

How do you think this is affecting the environment in this place?

How do you think this is affecting farming in this place?


Photo 2.


Is this a drought or a flood?

Describe what you can see in this picture:

How do you think this is affecting the environment in this place?

How do you think this is affec

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