Earth Hour: A Collaboration Lesson

Earth Hour is a global event that takes place every year at 8:30 p.m. on the last Saturday of March. For one hour, people turn off their lights. Famous monuments, statues, and landmarks go dark. This grassroots movement began in 2007 to raise awareness about climate change. Today, millions of people participate. 

Author Nanette Heffernan first learned about Earth Hour while driving one night on the Golden Gate Bridge. The lights went out as she travelled across the famous landmark. At first, Heffernan thought there was a power outage. She later discovered that the bridge was part of the Earth Hour event.  

After that experience, Heffernan wanted to get involved in the cause. She made a pledge to tell one million people about the event. She wrote the book Earth Hour: A Lights Out Event for Our Planet to inspire readers to protect nature.

Learners are going to love reading Earth Hour. Illustrator Bao Luu takes readers on a nighttime journey around the world. First we see famous landmarks and homes all aglow. Then, the lights go out at 8:30 p.m. Lou does a beautiful job illustrating the event. The images have a cinematic feel to them that readers will enjoy. 

Invite learners to collaborate and develop activities to protect Earth. The lesson below supports the AASL Standards Framework for Learners.

Lesson for Earth Hour

AASL Standards Framework for Learners: Collaborate/Think III.A.3: Learners identify collaborative opportunities by deciding to solve problems informed by group interaction.

Before Reading

  • Introduce the word “equinox.” Point to the word and practice pronouncing “equinox” with Google’s pronunciation tool. Give a quick description with a visual image.
  • Read the objective for the lesson: By the end of this lesson, I will be able to share ideas about how I can work with others to protect nature. Display the objective, vocabulary words, and to-do list while you read.

Click here to access the slides.


During the Reading

  • Ask learners the following questions:
    • What do you suppose you will learn by reading this book? How do you know this? (Cover)
    • How would you describe the word energy by looking at the illustrations on these pages? What do you think the yellow dots are in the background? What makes you say that? (Pages 1-2)
    • What do the illustrator and the author want us to know about energy after reading these pages? (Pages 3-12)
    • How would you describe Earth Hour to a member of your family or to a friend? (Pages 14-21)
    • What does the author mean when she writes, “Alone we are one…But together we have power. United, we are Earth Hour?” (Pages 25-28)

After Reading

  • Visit the Earth Hour website. Show the promotional video. Read about the different Earth Hour activities developed by groups of people around the world.
  • Invite learners to think about how they can work with others to protect Earth.


Click here to access the worksheet for this lesson.

Click here for another Earth loving lesson inspired by the picture book Thank You, Earth by April Pulley Sayre.

What are your favorite conservation lessons? Please share in the comment box below! 


Author: Maureen Schlosser

Author: Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades and Social and Emotional Learning for Picture Book Readers published by ALA Editions
Skillshare Teacher:

Categories: Blog Topics, Collection Development, Student Engagement/ Teaching Models

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