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Bright sparks help Earth Hour flick the switch on climate change

Tamsin Rose, March 23, 2017 6:00PM Herald Sun

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ON Saturday night 7000 cites across 170 countries will be plunged* into darkness for one hour, for the 10th year in a row.

One in four Australians are expected to take part in the 2017 Earth Hour on Saturday from 8:30-9:30pm local time.

Earth Hour encourages people to turn off their lights for an hour each year and to think and talk about what they can do to protect the environment.

The concept* was created 10 years ago as a small Australian movement and has since become a worldwide phenomenon*.

Huge cities like Paris, Hong Kong and New York are taking part.

Sydney Opera House before and during Earth Hour. Picture: AFP media_cameraSydney Opera House before and during Earth Hour. Picture: AFP

Even Sydney icons the Harbour Bridge and Opera House will switch off in the name of a clean energy future.

Earth Hour is a World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) project that aims to focus attention on climate change.

The WWF-Australia chief executive Dermot O’Gorman said the campaign had been a great Australian success story.

“Australians should feel proud of the role they’ve played in starting a decade-long, global conversation about climate change,” Mr O’Gorman said.

“We have seen a huge number of positive steps towards a brighter future in the decade since Earth Hour started, proof that one person can make a difference.”

This year’s event has a focus on kids and the future.

Getting the candles ready for Earth Hour. Photo: Emma Murray media_cameraGetting the candles ready for Earth Hour. Photo: Emma Murray

Research by WWF has revealed Aussie kids are concerned about the environment and climate change. The study of 500 Australian children between seven and 12 years of age showed six out of 10 kids worry about one or more environmental issues.

The research also revealed that almost seven in 10 kids think it is very important for people to do what they could to protect the environment.

Schools and kids are encouraged to get involved by running events, researching, discussing the environment or even by constructing a solar-powered LED light for someone in need.

Australian charity SolarBuddy have teamed up with Earth Hour to get kids thinking about those who don’t have the luxury of consistent power.

Earth Hour has also created The Tommorrow Show. The mock* breakfast-news program, featured on Kids News, is run by 10-year-olds who have been around as long as Earth Hour.

Please enable Javascript to watch this video

For more information about Earth Hour visit the website: https://earthhour.org.au/tomorrowshow/

GLOSSARY

plunged: pushed

concept: idea

phenomenon: happening

mock: fake

revealed: showed

LISTEN TO TODAY’S STORY

Activity 1. Earth Hour – Spread the word!

Create a poster to put up at your school reminding everyone that Earth Hour is happening.

Read the article carefully to find the information you need.

Make sure you include what it is all about and when it is on.

Include who is organising the event, who will be participating and why it is important.

Think of a catchy heading for your poster.

Extension: An hour without Power!

Earth Hour asks us to switch our lights off for one hour.

Imagine there was no power at all for that hour. What could you do?

Write the alphabet down the side of your page.

Think of something you could do in that hour for each letter of the alphabet.

A – Art

B – Board game

C – Complete a crossword

D – Dance

Time: allow 60 minutes to complete this task

Curriculum links: English, Science

Activity 2. Report

Watch The Tomorrow Show. In a small group of three or four create your own television news report highlighting at least one reason why we need to reduce climate change.

Make sure you encourage everyone to switch off for Earth Hour.

Perform your news report to your class.

https://earthhour.org.au/content/images/Factsheet/Placeswelove_sreen.pdf

This fact sheet, available on the Earth Hour website, outlines some of the things that may happen if climate change continues.

If you have access to devices that can record your news report, you could present your report via video.

Extension: Lasting Change

Earth Hour is a fantastic way to highlight the issue of climate change but to make a lasting impact we need to practice it in our everyday lives.

Think of all the ways you can have a positive effect on climate change.

Draw a chart with two columns labelled ’home’ and ‘school’.

Use one colour to list all the things you already do that helps the environment in each place. Choose another colour to list all the things that you could start doing.

Time: allow 60 minutes to complete this task

Curriculum links: English, Science, Performing Arts – Drama

(Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers, Punctuation)

Write a paragraph without ‘e’

The first letter of Earth Hour is the letter ‘e’.

Can you write a paragraph about the article that contains words that do not have the letter e in it?

You may choose a topic of your choice if it is too challenging and you may want to work with a partner. Good luck!

Time: allow 20 minutes for this activity

Curriculum links: English, Big Write, VCOP

EXTRA RESOURCES

KEEPING A LID ON LITTER

TOWNS BATTLE FLOOR CRISIS

BEWARE BLUE-RINGED OCTOPUS

WHEN WILL AUSTRALIA’S HEATWAVE END?

GREAT WHITE SHARK FUTURE IN BALANCE

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