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Weather and climate

Key Questions Knowledge, Understanding, Skills, Content Activities Resources
·         What is ‘weather’?

·         What is ‘climate’?

·         to introduce the unit Weather and Climate – students to understand the big picture of what will be covered and why it is relevant; link trip to Kew Gardens visit

·         to be able to define ‘weather’ and ‘climate’ and be able to differentiate between the two


·         in pairs, students to look at newspaper headlines and sort into two groups – at this stage, do not tell them that the categories are ‘weather’ and ‘climate’; ask students to feed back and explain their groupings

·         brainstorm ‘weather’; then ‘climate’ – ask students to come up with a definition; then put definition on OHT, students to copy

·         go back to newspaper headlines and ask students to sort them into weather and climate – students to choose two of each and write an explanation as to why it is either ‘weather’ or ‘climate’

·         prep: ‘Describing the Weather’ sheet (Foundations Teachers Pack p.43) – students to describe the weather in two photos. Lower ability worksheet has word box to help.

·         newspaper headlines

·         weather and climate definition OHT

·         differentiated ‘Describing the weather’ worksheet for prep

·         How can we observe and record the weather?

·         How can we map the weather?

·         to understand how we can observe and record the weather


·         brainstorm the equipment we use to measure the weather – lower ability to have pictures and definition boxes to link up and stick onto the blank sheet ‘Equipment for measuring the weather’

·         as a class, work through ‘How Do We Record the Weather’ worksheet. Words are stuck around the classroom. Go through answers on OHT.

·         optional prep: weather diary  p.31 old Foundations Teacher’s Pack

·         pictures and descriptions for lower ability

·         ‘How Do We Record The Weather’  worksheet and labels

·         optional prep sheet

·         How can we map the weather?

·         What is a Synoptic Chart and how can we read it?

·         to begin to understand how to read a synoptic chart ·         Starter: put a synoptic weather chart from a newspaper onto the OHT and ask if anyone understands it

·         explain what synoptic charts are – students to copy key points from OHT

·         work through Synoptic Charts worksheet

·         each student should imagine he/she is on holiday. Instead of writing a conventional postcard home students should draw a synoptic chart to describe the weather on holiday. On the back, students can either draw a picture to represent their weather, or write a message home.

·         Synoptic chart ‘postcards’
·         How do clouds form?

·         What types of rainfall exist?

·         to appreciate how clouds form

·         to understand that there are three types of rainfall

·         read through p.26-7 Geog.2

·         higher ability complete Q.1-5; extension Q.6

·         higher ability prep ‘Cloud Spotting’ p.47 New Foundations Teacher’s Pack

·         lower ability question sheet

·         lower ability (prep?) p.34 Old Foundations Teacher’s Pack

·         possible display/group work: students to divide into three groups, each group is assigned a rainfall type and has to produce an annotated poster to describe what it is

·         p.26-7 Geog.2

·         ‘Cloud Spotting’ worksheet

·         Foundations questions & worksheet

·         poster backing paper, colouring pencils, scissors, glue

·         What is air pressure? What types of weather can we expect from high/low pressure? ·         to understand that air pressure changes the type of weather that we experience ·         define ‘air pressure’ – read through OHT and students to copy

·         look at low pressure diagram from p.28 Geog.2 – ensure students understand what happens during a period of low pressure and the types of weather that can be expected

·         look at high pressure diagram from p.28 Geog.2 – ensure students understand what happens during a period of high pressure and the types of weather that can be expected

·         higher ability to complete Q.1-6 p.29 Geog.2

·         lower ability to cut out boxes and assign them to summer/winter high pressure and the rest of the worksheet

·         read through ‘Introducing Isobars’ worksheet to introduce the concept of isobars

·         plenary: picture reveals exercise with different types of low/high pressure weather

·         definition of ‘air pressure’ OHT

·         2 x diagrams with explanations on OHT

·         Questions

·         picture reveals PowerPoint

·         What is a hurricane? ·         to understand that hurricanes are the most intense form of low pressure

·         they can cause great damage and endanger people’s lives

·         mapwork: using a map of hurricanes’ occurrences in the world on OHT, students to create their own – extension: write a description of where they are found

·         work through worksheet

·         video?

·         hurricanes worksheet
Higher ability only

·         What are air masses?

·         What influence do they have on our weather in the UK?

·         to appreciate that the weather in the UK is volatile and that this is due to five different air masses that have influence over the country ·         read through p.30-31 Geog.2

·         answer Questions 1-4 p.31

·         Pop-up depressions worksheet (New Foundations Teacher’s Pack p.50-1)

·         Labelling a weather satellite image (New Foundations Teacher’s Pack p.52-3)

·         p.30-31 Geog.2

·         Pop-up depressions worksheet (New Foundations Teacher’s Pack p.50-1)

·         Labelling a weather satellite image (New Foundations Teacher’s Pack p.52-3)


·         What are microclimates? ·         to appreciate how local features can affect temperature and wind ·         Starter: weather blockbusters – divide the class into two groups; the idea is to move across the board as quickly as possible, making a path using the hexagons; one team moves East-West, the other North-South; ask each team in turn to choose the letter they want to start with and then ask a question that will give the answer beginning with that letter; if they get the correct answer, colour in that hexagon in the team’s chosen colour; if they get it incorrect, the other team is allowed to answer the question; the winning team is the team which moves across the board first

·         define ‘microclimate’ on OHT

·         higher ability: students are given a blank table to complete looking at pictures of the five main causes of microclimates put up around the room

·         lower ability can work in pairs, competing just two photos; labels available if needed

·         feedback to rest of class, correct any mistakes and complete any missing information

·         extension/prep: ‘the microclimate of a house’ worksheet, p. 32 Old Foundations Teacher’s Handbook

·         blockbusters OHT with questions

·         microclimate definition OHT

·         blank table on worksheet, sketches around room

·         ‘the microclimate of a house’ worksheet


·         How is it possible to read satellite pictures? ·         to understand how satellite pictures are made

·         to be able to interpret satellite images

·         recap the five main causes of microclimates

·         read through p.32-33 Geog.2

·         ‘Clouds in the Sky’ activity

·         complete Q. 1-5 p.33

·         higher ability extension: Q.6-10 p. 33

·         photocopies of Geog.2 p.32-33

·         Clouds in the Sky activity sheet; scissors, glue

·         What is the climate?

·         What is the climate of Britain like?

·         to recap definitions of ‘weather’ and ‘climate’

·         to appreciate Britain’s climate

·         recap ‘weather’ vs. ‘climate’ – use newspaper headlines from first lesson as a group activity

·         (higher ability only?) ‘weather and climate maps’: make enough copies of the two graphs and two maps so that each student gets two maps or two graphs. In pairs, without showing the maps or graphs to each other, they must work out five differences between them; then tell them that one map and graph shows climate and the other map and graph shows weather; ask them to decide which is which; take feedback on how difficult it was to describe the graphs and maps and work out the differences without seeing them together; students must justify their reasons for choosing weather or climate

·         brainstorm experiences of Britain’s climate and see if generalisations can be made

·         on OHT, show a simplified map of Britain’s climatic regions; students to copy onto their own map

·         higher ability: in pairs, come up with five statements about Britain’s weather

·         lower ability: answer true/false to ten statements about Britain’s weather

·         discuss reasons for the differences in Britain’s weather and write on worksheet

·         ‘weather and climate maps’ sheet

·         Britain’s climatic regions OHT &


·         What are climate graphs?

·         How can they be drawn?

·         to be able to draw and read a climate graph accurately ·         explain what climate graphs are and how they are drawn – copy key points from OHT

·         higher ability: draw graph for Oxford

·         lower ability: use ‘idiot’s guide to drawing climate graphs’ to draw Oxford’s graph

·         Living Graph exercise: work through worksheet; go through answers together, correct any mistakes

·         climate graphs project: in groups of five (lower ability; less for higher ability) students to each choose one of the five places in Europe and complete an annotated graph for it; on a map of Europe, all five places should be identified; stick all graphs and map onto backing paper and with a title produce an excellent display!

·         extension for project: students could bring in photos of the areas by doing a Google Images search

·         ‘What are climate graphs’ OHT

·         Oxford climate data/lower ability sheet

·         graph paper, glue, pencils, rubbers, rulers

·         living graph exercise

·         data for climate graphs project; backing paper, scissors, glue, colouring pencils

·         What factors affect the climate of a place? ·         to understand what 7 factors affect climate ·         read through p.36-7 in Geog.2

·         answer Q.1-5

·         extension for higher ability: complete Q.6-7

·         (higher ability only?) ‘Concept mapping climates’ sheet

·         Geog.2 p.36-7 photocopies

·         ‘Concept mapping climate’ worksheet

·         How does climate vary across Europe? ·         to appreciate that there are five types of climate across Europe

·         to draw a map to represent these climate zones

·         read through the information on the handout(p.38-9 Geog.2 colour)

·         work through the questions

·         higher ability only? Europe’s climate extended writing

·         Geog.2 p.38-9 handout
·         How does the climate affect our lives? ·         to understand that the climate affects us and the way we live ·         brainstorm how the climate affects us and the way we live

·         work through questions

·         question sheet
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