Friday, March 30, 2012

Schools : Talking about Earth Hour with students ! Resources

At 8:30 PM (local time) on Saturday, March 31, 2012, lights will switch off around the globe for Earth Hour and people will commit to actions that go beyond the hour.

The simple idea of switching off lights for an hour to drive action on climate change began in Australia in 2007.

In 2011 more than 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries worldwide switched off their lights for Earth Hour 2011 making it the largest climate campaign ever! 

Hundreds of millions of people are expected to switch of the lights as part of the 'Earth Hour' action organised by WWF this Saturday night.

A record 5411 cities and towns across a record 147 countries and territories will participate in Earth Hour 2012 tomorrow, Saturday March 31 at 8:30PM.

UN will take part at Earth Hour. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, has pledged his support for Earth Hour. He promised that the UN would be switching off their lights. 

He called on people, organizations and businesses to do the same, in solidarity with the 20% of men, women and children who don’t have access to electricity. “Turning off our lights is a symbol of our commitment to sustainable energy for all,” Ki-moon said. “We need to fuel our future with clean, efficient and affordable energy. By acting together, we can power a brighter tomorrow.”

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova has urged all World Heritage sites to switch off for Earth Hour, to show leadership and commitment for a sustainable planet. Watch here

The European Parliament will once again participate in the global WWF initiative Earth Hour in order to raise awareness of the need to combat climate change.

Portugal participated on Earth Hour since March 2009. It started with 11 cities and now there are more than 80 that turn off the lights as a sign of support for the planet. 

This year, Portugal 81 cities will switch off the lights of some emblematic monuments ! Families, friends, will stay together to switch off the lights at home. Some go on the street and illuminate the cities with candle lights. 


Students are more and more motivated for environmental causes. The young green generation is there!

Since 2008, my students participated on Earth Hour. We worked on some activities in the classroom in Languages and Civics curriculum. 

  • Three blogs have several posts about our participation: 

BlogdosCaloiros (Portuguese language), BlogSkidz  (French Language) and Geração Verde (Environmental education in Civics). 

This year, this blog shares Earth Hour 2012: Talking about Earth Hour with students proposing some school activities and involve Portuguese young people on Earth Hour.

  • Level: all levels (as an educator, it's up to you adapt the activities to the level you are teaching)

  • Curricula: Languages; Geography, Sciences, Civics, Arts

Earth Hour network has new ways to share your "Earth Hour". Challenge your students:

Challenge Earth Hour on YouTube

Make your Dare! "I will If You Will" Earth Hour channel already features challenges from hundreds of supporters and quite a few famous faces! 

Make sure you’re with your students among them.

  • Curricula: cross-curricular project : Arts, Languages, Geography (elementary education and secondary education)

Join Earth Hour Group on Flickr

Earth Hour needs people help again to make sure it get the best shots as the lights go out around the world. 

What to do ?

All we need to do is join Earth Hour 2012 Flickr Group, ask students to take some photos of their Earth Hour celebrations (at home or on street), upload the best shots to the school own Flickr account and add them to Earth Hour Group

The best shots will be featuring on Earth Hour 2012 homepage. So on the night of March 31st, invite your students to go on to see if their shot is there. 

Cool isn't it? They will love to see their photos!

  • Curricula: Arts, Languages, Geography, Civics (elementary education and secondary education)

Engage students with Earth Hour on Twitter 

Ask your students to write inspirational tweets (140 characters), sharing photos, videos and updates with Earth Hour on Twitter by using the  #EarthHour hashtag in their tweets.

Earth Hour can retweet the best content to the rest of the world. 

Follow Earth Hour on Twitter to get the most up-to-date images, news and action from the lights out events as Earth Hour makes its way across the globe. 

Ask students to choose some news, images, events from Earth Hour hashtag and discuss some of them on next Monday in the classroom.

  • Curricula: Languages, Arts (secondary education)

Other ways to challenge Earth Hour : Instagram or Pinterest 

There is a map that can be explored here. And you have other tools and downloads here

Primary education:

For the youngest you have some fun staff here (games and applications that help spread the message of climate change action through Earth Hour):

Earth Hour

To celebrate Earth Hour, Dr. Seuss’ legendary character The Lorax has promised to turn his moustache green for a whole day on 31 March.

According to The Lorax, "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not," so now is your chance to do something. If 500 children promise to switch their lights off for Earth Hour, The Lorax will turn his moustache green for a whole day on 31 March.
Kids click on the link to “Accept” the challenge. Then ask them to tell parents to turn out the lights at 8:30pm on Saturday 31 March. 
  • To see The Lorax change his moustache, they must visit on 31 March with Mom or Dad.
  • Of course, they can watch the trailer of The Lorax and have fun before going to the theatres with family.
  • They can also see what Green Tips The Lorax has for "Earth Hour". Whether it’s recycling at home or planting some trees at school, we can all do our bit to save the planet.

"This Earth Hour we want you to go beyond the hour, so after the lights go back on think about what else you can do to make a difference. Together our actions add up."

Visit Earth Hour on Facebook.  Earth Hour Portugal is on Facebook too.

Turning off your computer, your TV and all those other power-hungry devices is an important part of the process. Your Geeklet ritually disconnecting from their game and shutting down the computer is really making a sacrifice. 

So, we are all on it! Tomorrow, 8:30 PM (local time) switch our lights, disconnect our geeklet ritual, light on our candles!

I will if You will !



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