“The U.S. tried permanent daylight saving time in the 1970s — then quickly rejected it.” S. Davis, NPR March 19, 2022
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key
Excerpt: — By Susan Davis, NPR March 19, 2022
“The Senate gave itself a pat on the back earlier this week when senators voted without objection to make daylight saving time permanent… However, America tried this before — and the country hated it. In the early 1970s, America was facing an energy crisis so the government tried an experiment. Congress passed a law to make daylight saving time permanent year round, but just for two years...It didn’t work, said David Prerau, one of the nation’s foremost experts on the issue. ‘It became very unpopular very quickly,’ he told NPR.
Americans do not like changing their clocks, but they disliked even more going to work and school in the dark for months…It also didn’t reduce energy consumption as intended. In 1974, Congress repealed the law — before the two-year experiment was even up. Nearly 50 years later, Congress is back at it… Dr. Beth Malow, a neurologist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, also testified…She thinks permanent Standard Time is a better choice.
‘It’s called Standard Time because ST lines up with our natural, biological rhythms,” she said. Permanent standard time with sunnier mornings and darker evenings would be healthier, especially for front-line workers and school students with early waking hours.”
5 Deadly Reasons Why Daylight Saving Time Is Bad for You, By Richard E. Cytowic M.D., Psychology Today, March 6. 2020 “The shift disrupts circadian rhythm and raises the risk of stroke and depression.”
Why Daylight Saving Time is unhealthy. A Neurologist explains-By Beth Daley, The Conversation
The Dark Side of Daylight Saving Time, By Maham Javaid, The Boston Globe, March 19, 2022
NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.
Level: Intermediate – Advanced
Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.
Time: Approximately 60 minutes.
Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.
Objective: Students will read and discuss the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and improving oral skills. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.
I. Pre-Reading Activities
The K-W-L chart is used to activate students’ background knowledge of a topic in order to enhance their comprehension skills.
Directions: Have students use the KWL chart to list the information they already know about daylight saving time. Next, have students list the information they would like to learnLater in the Post- Reading segment of the lesson, students can fill in what they’ve learned about the topic.
II. While Reading Activities
Directions: Try to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. You use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.
- The U.S. tried permanent Daylight Saving Time (DST) in the 1970s and failed.
- In 1974, Congress repealed the law — before the two-year experiment was even up.
- Although the Senate voted for permanent DST, many Americans are against it.
- The Senate gave itself a pat on the back earlier this week.
- The senators voted without objection to make daylight saving time permanent.
- Rubio,said his legislation to end the need to annually change the clocks in March and November was a good one.
- The thinking was more sunlight in the evening would reduce the nation’s energy consumption.
- In the 1970s the idea of Permanent DST became very unpopular very quickly.
- The U.S. tried permanent DST in the 1970s — then quickly rejected it.
- Some people are hoping for a compromise between the Senate and the House.
Grammar Focus: Identifying Prepositions
Directions: The following sentences are from the news article. For each sentence choose the correct preposition from the choices listed. Note that not all prepositions listed are in the article. Some Examples of Prepositions: at, as, across, around, by, during, for, from, in, into, of, on, over, off, to, through, up, with, since,
Additional Prepositions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_prepositions
However, America tried this before — and the country hated it. In the early 1970s, America was facing an energy crisis so the government tried an experiment. Congress passed a law to make daylight saving time permanent year round, but just for two years. The thinking was more sunlight in the evening would reduce the nation’s energy consumption. The House has no immediate plans to take up the Senate-passed bill, but there is bipartisan support for it. The Biden administration hasn’t taken a position on it yet.
Reading Comprehension: Identify The Speakers
Directions: Read the following quotes from the speakers in the article. Then identify the speakers.
- “It didn’t work… It became very unpopular very quickly.”
- “Today the Senate has finally delivered on something Americans all over the country want: to never have to change their clocks again.”
- “It’s called standard time because ST lines up with our natural, biological rhythms. Permanent standard time with sunnier mornings and darker evenings would be healthier, especially for front-line workers and school students with early waking hours.”
- “I don’t have a specific position from the administration at this point in time.”
Discussion Questions for Comprehension /Writing
Directions: Have students discuss the following questions/statements. Afterwards, students share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the topics mentioned.
- Do you like the idea of making Daylight Savings Time permanent? Why or why not?
- In your opinion, should we keep Standard Time or continue turning the clocks back and forth during the year? Explain your reasons.
- According to some senators what is the good news about making daylight savings time permanent?
- When was the last time Americans attempted to make daylight saving time (DST) permanent?
- What was the thinking behind this idea at the time?
- What were some of the problems with making DST permanent?
- According to Americans who experienced DST permanently what was the worst part for them?
- Was energy consumption reduced during this time?
- When did Congress repeal the law?
- What important information did Dr. Beth Malow provide about our health need for permanent Standard Time?
- According to Prerau, what is the best solution?
- What opinion does President Joe Biden have about the change?
- Make a list of the advantages and disadvantages of permanent DST.
- List three new ideas that you’ve learned about the topic from the reading, two things that you did not understand in the reading, and one thing you would like to know that the article did not mention. Share your responses with your class.