Earth Hour - Switching off for the Environment

Earth Hour - Switching off for the Environment

Lesson 5 of 27 in this unit

  • Primary
  • Foundation
  • Year 1 - 2
  • English
  • Science
  • Environmental
  • Climate Change
  • Energy
  • Sustainability
  • Social
  • Social Action
  • ...

Lesson summary

Students explore the living and non-living things that make up our environment, and investigate how they can keep our environment healthy. They begin by creating a class definition of ‘our environment’ and then look at a range of different places in our environment, thinking about why it’s important that these places are healthy and how we can all help to keep these places healthy. Students then create a drawing of something they have done to help our environment stay healthy, with older students writing a short description to accompany their drawing. They are then asked to create a class video to share the ways they are already helping our environment.

Essential questions:

  • What is our environment?
  • Who needs our environment?
  • How can we help look after our environment?
  • How am I already helping our environment?
  • How can what I do now help our environment in the future?

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Teacher Content Info

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Foundation English:

  • Retell familiar literary texts through performance, use of illustrations and images (ACELT1580)
  • Create short texts to explore, record and report ideas and events using familiar words and beginning writing knowledge (ACELY1651)

Foundation Science:

  • Living things have basic needs, including food and water (ACSSU002)
  • Share observations and ideas (ACSIS012)

Year 1 English:

  • Recreate texts imaginatively using drawing, writing, performance and digital forms of communication (ACELT1586)
  • Create short imaginative and informative texts that show emerging use of appropriate text structure, sentence-level grammar, word choice, spelling, punctuation and appropriate multimodal elements, for example illustrations and diagrams (ACELY1661)

Year 1 Science:

  • Living things live in different places where their needs are met (ACSSU211)
  • Represent and communicate observations and ideas in a variety of ways (ACSIS029)

Year 2 English:

  • Create short imaginative, informative and persuasive texts using growing knowledge of text structures and language features for familiar and some less familiar audiences, selecting print and multimodal elements appropriate to the audience and purpose (ACELY1671)
  • Construct texts featuring print, visual and audio elements using software, including word processing programs (ACELY1674)

Year 2 Science:

  • Earth’s resources are used in a variety of ways (ACSSU032)
  • Represent and communicate observations and ideas in a variety of ways (ACSIS042)

Syllabus outcomes: ENe-10C, ENe-2A, EN1-10C, EN1-2A, EN1-3A, STe-8NE, ACSIS012, ST1-11LW, ACSIS029, ST1-9ES, ACSIS042.

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

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

Relevant parts of Year Foundation English achievement standards: Students understand that their texts can reflect their own experiences. They identify and describe likes and dislikes about familiar texts, objects, characters and events. When writing, students use familiar words and phrases and images to convey ideas.

Relevant parts of Year Foundation Science achievement standards: Students suggest how the environment affects them and other living things.

Relevant parts of Year 1 English achievement standards: Students create texts that show understanding of the connection between writing, speech and images and create short texts for a small range of purposes. When writing, students provide details about ideas or events, and details about the participants in those events.

Relevant parts of Year 1 Science achievement standards: Students describe how different places meet the needs of living things.

Relevant parts of Year 2 English achievement standards: Students create texts, drawing on their own experiences, their imagination and information they have learnt, and create texts that show how images support the meaning of the text.

Relevant parts of Year 2 Science achievement standards: Students identify that certain materials and resources have different uses.

Unit of work: Earth Hour – Primary.

Time required: 80-100 minutes (this lesson may be extended over several sessions)

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – oversee lesson, lead students in discussion, guide students in drawing and video making activities.

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 Our Environment Flashcards (print, cut each flashcard along the dotted line and glue questions to the back of the corresponding image)
  • Pledge poster


This lesson is designed to build students’ competencies in the following skills:

  • Communication
  • Community engagement
  • Creativity
  • Digital literacy
  • Leadership
  • Problem solving
  • Social skills

Additional info

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.

For the most up to date Earth Hour dates, times, and events, check here.

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