Earth Hour: A Lights-Out Event for our Planet Lesson Activity

Promotional image for lesson activity to go with the book Earth Hour: A Lights-Out Event for Our Planet by Nanette Heffernan. The book is in the center of the image. Surrounding the book are light bulbs and a candle.


Earth Hour is a global event that occurs on the last Saturday of March at 8:30 P.M. For one hour, people turn their lights off. Statues, monuments and famous landmarks go dark. Homes do, too. This movement brings attention to the amount of energy we use without even thinking about it. The hope is that for 60 minutes, we’ll think about the energy we consume and what this means for Earth.

Author Nanette Heffernan wrote Earth Hour: A Lights-Out Event for Our Planet after learning about the occasion. She was so inspired by the movement, that she made a pledge to tell one million people about Earth Hour.

Young readers are going to love this book. The simple text and engaging illustrations take readers around the world to learn about energy and Earth Hour.

Illustrator Bao Luu does a remarkable job taking readers around the world with his digital drawings. Readers will see nighttime scenes of diverse families looking at famous monuments, buildings and landmarks before and after the lights go out for Earth Hour.

The story ends with a gathering of people holding candles with the words “…together we have power. United, we are Earth Hour.” Detailed information about Earth Hour is included at the end of the book.

Earth Hour Lesson Activity

AASL Standards Framework for Learners: Inquire/Create I.B.3 Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes generating products that illustrate learning.

Before reading the story, invite readers to look at the cover of the book. Ask learners what they suppose the story is about. Follow up on their responses by asking learners to explain their answers.

Explain that readers will hear the word “equinox” in the story. Write the word “equinox” along with the definition on a sentence strip. Post the sentence strip where readers can see it.

Ask the following questions while reading the story:

  • On this page,  the author introduces the word “energy.” How  would you describe the word “energy” by looking at the illustrations on these pages? What do you suppose the yellow dots are in the background? What makes you say that? (pgs 1-2)
  • What do  the illustrator and the author want us to know about energy after reading these pages? (pg.3-12)
  • In the authors note, we learn why the author wrote this book. She made a pledge to tell one million people about Earth Hour. Why is it important to inform others about this event?
  • Explain that people from around the world are planning Earth Hour events. Click here to read about some of the events.
  • Invite learners to brainstorm activities they could do during Earth Hour. Ask them to think about events with with their family, their class and their community.

Click here for another lesson activity about Earth.


Find a worksheet for Earth Hour below.

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One Comment on “Earth Hour: A Lights-Out Event for our Planet Lesson Activity

  1. Pingback: Thank You, Earth: A Love Letter To Our Planet by April Pulley Sayre |

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