4 Simple Yet Compelling Earth Hour Activities

Posted by Sophia Anania on

Did you know that the very first Earth Hour was organised and took place in Sydney, Australia on the 25th of March 2007? 

What is Earth Hour?

The global phenomenon of Earth Hour is an Aussie innovation started to highlight simple ways we can all be more environmentally conscious – now celebrated right around the World everywhere from major cities to tiny towns and villages.

Why Should We Care?

Over the last decade, Earth Hour has become about so much more than simply the amount of power and electricity that can be saved by an individual, company or city by turning off lights for an hour... the concept has become a powerful symbol for how a simple change can make a dramatic difference if enough people participate. 

For example, every hour, humanity spends 2.68 BILLION dollars on energy....

With that money you could either plant a forest the size of the UK, build over 24,000 average homes for the homeless or give a free flu shot to everyone in Germany France, the UK and Portugal!

Click here for a fantastic infographic that presents some similarly powerful snippets on what could be possible with the resources saved if the whole World participated in Earth Hour 2017.

Click here to register your class or school as participating in Earth Hour 2017.

We know it might be tricky to organise celebrating the actual Earth Hour (8:30pm to 9:30pm on Saturday the 25th of March) with your students, but why not set aside an hour this week, turn off all the technology and embrace some low tech yet high impact learning opportunities to integrate the concepts of Earth Hour into your classroom?

4 Simple Yet Compelling Earth Hour Activities

At Elizabeth Richards, we have picked 4 great products with 4 activities to help you expand upon the themes and ideas raised by Earth Hour within the classroom - engaging your students in thinking about the environment and the significance of Earth Hour in an uniquely Australian context.

1. Our Marine Book Box tells a story of the land and sea as related by the traditional Indigenous caretakers of the land.

What better way to embrace and celebrate an Australian concept like Earth Hour than by celebrating and teaching students more about the traditional care and respect of Australia's Indigenous peoples for the unique environment of Australia?

Much more than simply a book storage box - this Marine Book Box is a engaging resource in its own right. Use this beautiful book box to initiate a discussion with students about the diversity of the Australian environment as you travel around the artwork and discover each "spirit animal"...

* Tip: Use to store Australian resources like our Australian Animal Puzzles discussed next... 

2. Due to being girt by sea, Australia is home to some of the most unique animals in the World that have evolved in our special environment over thousands of years of isolation.

Following on from our Marine Book Box, our Big Australian Animals Puzzles are three separate beautiful hand-painted jigsaw puzzles that provide an interactive opportunity to learn more about unique Australian animals such as the Frill Necked Lizard, Platypus and Echidna.

Perhaps you could explore the following question with your class while completing the puzzles: Have you seen an Echidna/PLatypus/Frill Neck Lizard outside of a zoo? How can we protect these animals and their natural habitats by being more environmentally conscious?

Click here for information to teach your class about the Frill Necked Lizard. A fun worksheet and some simple teachable facts about Frill Neck Lizards available here.

Click here for information to teach your class about the Platypus. Teachers Pay Teachers also have some excellent downloadable Platypus worksheets available here.

Click here for information to teach your class about the Echidna. A great Echidna worksheet is available for download here.

3. One of the wonderful aspects of Earth Hour is it enables individuals, businesses, organisations and cities to take part in something global to effect positive change in the World. 

In 2016 over 134 Countries participated in Earth Hour - this year it is predicted that number will swell to over 172 countries.

We came up with a great idea for engaging your class in learning about the scale of such an event and putting it in context for students in a fun and interactive way with this large Inflatable Globe

Divide your students into groups with each group having their own globe. First, have them locate Australia on their Globe as their starting point. Work through a list of top 10 countries participating in Earth Hour 2017 and help the groups locate the countries on their globes. Once everyone has located the country, discuss aspects of that country relevant to your class: Is it near to Australia or far away? Do you have any students from that country? What language do they speak there? You make the questions as simple or complicated as you like dependent on the age and aptitude of your students.

No doubt your school or class would have just explored similar topics of different nations and global awareness  during Harmony Day, so this activity is a wonderful way of connecting the celebrations and learning opportunities of Harmony Day with the learning activities of Earth Hour.

4. How long is an hour? What does 60 minutes actually feel like? What can we achieve in the classroom in the same time that Earth Hour asks us to turn off our lights?

Lats but not least....Operated by a wind-up mechanism like a watch, this Big Magnetic Timer is a fantastic electricity-free visual aid we feel can and should form the backdrop to any Earth Hour Lesson Plan.

Set the timer and start your activities. Challenge your students and yourself to see just how much you can achieve within 60 minutes!

Looking for easy lesson plans to delve deeper into Earth Hour Concepts?

We love the resources for environmentally focused lesson plans over at coolaustralia.org. You can find lesson plans for Early Learning here, Primary age students here and Secondary age students here.

Even More Bright Ideas...

Do you want your whole classroom, library or office space to be more environmentally friendly?

We've put together a great selection here of even MORE of our favourite eco-friendly products in a wide range of prices to suit any budget!


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