Unit 5: Social Studies Connection

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Daylight Saving Time

Every spring, we move our clocks forward one hour, only to move them back one hour in the fall. We call this Daylight Saving Time, and it isn't something we do just to make things confusing.

Daylight Saving Time was first suggested by Benjamin Franklin in 1784. Franklin thought that people were wasting daylight. He believed that moving the clock ahead one hour in the spring would save energy by making use of more of the sunlight in the long summer days. In 1918, the plan was officially adopted by the United States.

Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday of April, and ends at 2 a.m. on the last Sunday of October. Many people use the phrase “Spring forward, Fall back,” to remember how to set their clocks in April and October. Clocks change at 2:00 a.m. local time. So, in the spring, clocks spring forward from 1:59 a.m. to 3:00 a.m., and in the fall, clocks fall back from 1:59 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.

Not every region in the U.S. sets their clock forward and back. Daylight Saving Time is not observed in Hawaii, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, parts of Indiana, and the state of Arizona.

Daylight Saving Time Facts

Daylight Saving Time:

  • Saves energy. Studies show that less fuel is used when Daylight Saving Time is in effect.
  • Prevents injuries. People are able to get to and from work and school in the daylight, which lowers the risk of traffic injuries and other types of injury.
  • Prevents crime. Violent crimes are most often committed in the dark. When people spend most of their days in daylight, they are at less risk.

Word Wise

adopt:
To accept and use or follow: The math department adopted a new method of teaching fractions to students.

local:
Of a certain limited area: It is important to cheer on your local sports teams.

region:
A large area: Buffalo once roamed a large region of North America.

observe:
To obey: Tim got a speeding ticket when he did not observe the speed limit.

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Activity

Write a sentence using each of the Word Wise words. Leave a blank space where the Word Wise word should be. Trade your sentences with a partner. Can you complete each other's sentences with the right words?

Data Hunt

Imagine you have been hired to write an advertisement for Daylight Saving Time. You want to convince people that Daylight Saving Time is a good thing. Make a poster. Be sure to include the following:

  • information on when Daylight Saving Time begins and ends
    At what time should people set their clocks forward and ahead? Draw some pictures of clocks to help you explain.
  • ways that Daylight Saving Time could help the average person