Are you missing the hour of sleep you lost on Sunday? Most everyone in the United States “sprang forward” over the weekend in honor of Daylight Savings Time. The tradition of Daylight Savings Time officially began in the United States in 1918, although its roots run all the way to Benjamin Franklin. It’s main purpose is to make better use of daylight. We change our clocks during the summer months to move an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening.
There are two sides to most things, as is the case with Daylight Savings Time. Some people love it, and others hate it. There are numerous arguments for both cases. These can be easily found simply by searching “DST” on the Internet.
As an educator, I have a strong opinion about observing DST, as I’m sure you do as well. However, would this not make an interesting research and writing assignment for students of all ages? As a class you could brainstorm the different arguments “for” and “against” observing DST. Then, see what the research says. Have students write an argumentative/opinion essay about whether or not to observe DST. You could even take it as far as having students write letters to their Congressional Representatives to try and persuade them to “keep” or “chunk” DST.
One interesting tidbit of information: The federal government allows states to opt out of, and not observe Daylight Savings Time. However, states are NOT allowed to continuously STAY on DST. This is what a state legislator in Alabama recently discovered when trying to propose a law to remain on DST all year long. Needless to say, that bill never made it through.