TEFL Resources
Daylight Saving Time

Here are some TEFL resources - an advanced and proficiency level listening lesson plan for teachers of EFL/ESL, based on a video by CGP Grey about Daylight Saving Time. You will find a button to print out the lesson at the bottom of the page.

TEFL Resources

Get the students to discuss the following questions (if the students don't know the answers to some of the questions, get them to guess):

  1. What is daylight saving time?
  2. Does the country that you come from have daylight saving time?
  3. Which two States in America do not have daylight saving time, and why?
  4. Which was the first country in the world to use daylight saving time, and why?
  5. Does daylight saving time currently reduce electricity bills?
  6. What are the disadvantages of daylight saving time?
  7. Which countries are not consistent in having daylight saving time across the whole country?
  8. Do you think daylight saving time is a good idea, and should remain as it is?

Get feedback from the students.

Listening for Gist

The students are going to watch the following video (Daylight Saving Time Explained, by CGP Grey, 6:40 minutes) through once (or twice if necessary), and then they need to answer the previous questions again, but this time according to the answers provided in the video.


Listening for Detail

After the students have answered the gist questions, and given feedback, get them to watch the first 2 minutes of the video again, and this time they need to fill the missing words into the text (you will find the answer key at the bottom of this page):


Every year some countries move their clocks forward in the spring only to move them back in the autumn. To the vast majority of the world who doesn’t participate in this odd clock (1)_______________ – it seems a (2)_____________ thing to do. So what’s the reason behind it? The original idea, proposed by George Hudson, was to give people more sunlight in the summer. Of course, it’s important to note that changing a clock doesn’t actually make more sunlight – that’s not how physics works.

But, by moving the clocks forward an hour, compared to all other human activity, the sun will seem to both rise and set later. The time when the clocks are moved forward is called Daylight Saving Time and the rest of the year is called (3)________________ Time. This switch effectively gives people more time to enjoy the sunshine and nice summer weather after work. Hudson, in particular, wanted more sunlight so he could spend more time adding to his (4)_____________ collection.

When winter is coming the clocks move back, presumably because people won’t want to go outside anymore. But, winter doesn’t have this affect on everyone. If you live in a tropical place like Hawaii, you don’t really have to worry about seasons because they pretty much don’t happen. Every day, all year is sunny and beautiful so christmas is just as good of a day to (5)_________ the beach as any other. As so, Hawaii is one of two states in the Union that ignore daylight saving time.

But, the further you travel from the equator in either direction the more the seasons (6) ___________ themselves and you get colder and darker winters, making summer time much more valuable to the locals. So it’s no surprise that the further a country is from the (7) ___________ the more likely it uses daylight saving time.

Hudson proposed his idea in Wellington in 1895 – but it wasn’t well received and it took until 1916 for Germany to be the first country to put it into practice. Though, the (8)_________________ Germans were less concerned with catching butterflies on a fine summer evening than they were with saving coal to feed the war machine. The Germans thought daylight saving time would conserve energy. The reasoning goes that it encourages people to stay out later in the summer and thus use less artificial lighting.

This sounds logical, and it may have worked back in the more (9)_______________ society of a hundred years ago, but does it still work in the modern world?

That turns out to be a surprisingly difficult question to answer.

For example, take mankind’s greatest invention: AIR CONDITIONING. The magic box of cool that makes otherwise (10)__________________ sections of the world quite (11)______________ places to live. But, pumping heat out of your house isn’t cheap and turning on one air conditioner is the same as running dozens of tungsten light bulbs.

TEFL Resources

Get the students to give you the answers (in written form on a whiteboard is the best, so you can also check their spelling), and then discuss any of the words that may be new for them.


Here are some idioms about light, but the words are scrambled up. Get the students to unscramble them:

  1. away years light
  2. first at light
  3. to the day see light of
  4. tunnel end the the light of at
  5. new light in a see
  6. make something to light of
  7. like a light out
  8. relief light

Once the students have worked out the idioms, get them to match the idiom with the definitions below:

  1. to be made available, published
  2. an extremely long time from now
  3. at daybreak
  4. in a deep sleep
  5. when it seems an unpleasant situation will end
  6. to understand someone or something in a different way
  7. doing something entertaining or boring after hard or serious work
  8. to treat something as though it were unimportant or humorous

Idioms Practice

Get each student to draw a picture of all 8 idioms on a piece of paper in random order. They then need to pass their drawing to another student who needs to match each drawing with the correct idiom. Get them to check with each other that they got the answers right. They can keep the drawings for future reference.

Get the students to ask each other questions using the idioms eg. When you've been working hard, what do you like to do for some light relief?


Get the students to write a report about the pros and cons of having daylight saving time, concluding with their opinion on the subject.

Answer Key
TEFL Resources

Listening for Gist

  1. Daylight saving time is when the clock is moved forward by one hour over summer, so that there is more time to enjoy the sunshine.
  2. N/A
  3. Hawai and Arizona. It is warm all year round, so they don'r feel they need to get more sunlight.
  4. Germany, in order to reduce energy costs
  5. It's arguable both ways, that it may or may not reduce electricity bills, but the variations either way is very small, about $4 per household per year.
  6. Sleep deprivation, heart attacks, suicides, scheduling meetings across time zones
  7. Brazil, Canada, Australia, United States
  8. N/A

Listening for Detail
TEFL Resources

  1. fiddling
  2. baffling
  3. standard
  4. insect
  5. hit (the beach)
  6. assert
  7. equator
  8. uber-industrious
  9. regimented
  10. uninhabitable


  1. light years away - an extremely long time from now
  2. at first light - at daybreak
  3. to see the light of day - to be made available, published (eg. We agreed that the information about how he made his money would never see the light of day)
  4. light at the end of the tunnel - when it seems an unpleasant situation will end
  5. see in a new light - to understand someone or something in a different way
  6. to make light of something - to treat something as though it were unimportant or humorous
  7. out like a light - in a deep sleep
  8. light relief - doing something entertaining or boring after hard or serious work

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