Are you looking for a middle school daylight saving lesson plan?
Daylight Saving Time
Whether your students live in an area that uses Daylight Saving Time or not, helping students build background knowledge and understanding of world cultures and traditions is an important goal. I use the Article of the Week format to help my students build their background knowledge.
What is Daylight Saving?
While not a holiday in the religious sense, Daylight Saving Time (DST) is a part of the culture of many areas – predominantly in North America and Europe as well as some areas of South America and New Zealand.
Originally thought to have been started for the sake of the farmers, the idea of aligning waking hours to daylight hours was proposed in 1784 by Benjamin Franklin as an effort to conserve candle usage. Daylight Saving did not start at this point, but the idea of changing the waking hours to conserve energy stuck.
In 1895, New Zealand entomologist George Hudson first proposed what we know now as Daylight Saving. In 1908, Port Arthur, Ontario, was the first Canadian city – and the first city in the world – to start using Daylight Saving Time.
While Daylight Saving isn’t recognized everywhere, this annual occurrence affects life for the many people who do implement it, and it can be difficult to find a good middle school Daylight Saving lesson.
Middle School Daylight Saving Lesson
To help with this knowledge building, you can use this middle school Daylight Savings Time lesson plan that is focused on a nonfiction article. In it, students will learn about the background, history, and use of Daylight Saving Time as well as look at a few arguments for and against this biannual clock change.
This resource contains one nonfiction article and three post-reading activities to assist with reading comprehension, standardized test prep (EQAO), and cross-curricular learning. It comes in both PDF and digital formats to help teachers who are teaching both in the physical and digital classroom. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD.
- Teacher lesson plan
- Pre-reading K-W-L chart
- Non-fiction article (modified and regular text)
- Mp3 audio file of each text
- 3 Post-reading activities: comprehension questions, grammar questions (2 options: paper and self-grading Google Forms), long answer writing response
- Individual PDFs of student pages to assist with online learning i.e. Google Classroom
- Google Slides formatted lessons for 1:1 school
While there aren’t many books specifically about Daylight Saving, there are some that can give students an overview of time in general, as well as some that look at places where the idea of daylight isn’t as defined as others. Here are a few to get you started:
- About Time: A First Look at Time and Clocks by Bruce Koscielniak
- The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice by Wendy Pfeffer
- Arctic Lights, Arctic Nights by Debbie S. Miller
Daylight Saving Videos
When Daylight Saving time occurs, it can greatly affect the amount of sleep we get. Getting too little sleep can lead to poor eating habits. My sub-plan lesson on the Effects of Sugar is a great way to provide insight to students on what happens to the body when it consumes sugar.
Let Your Students Debate
Have your students read this article CBC Kids: Your Say – Should Canadians Stop Changing Their Clocks?, then have students come up with their own opinions, write these opinions out on cue cards or using technology like Google Jamboard. If your students write their opinions out on cue cards create a bulletin board to share their thoughts.
Other Lesson Plans
Note: These two months are the start and stop months for the USA and Canada. Europe’s ends in October, and in the Southern Hemisphere DST begins between September and November and ends between March and April.
I hope you can use these middle school daylight saving lesson plan ideas to help your students understand this yearly occurrence.