Mrs Humanities

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Resource – UK Climate Inquiry

Teaching about weather and climate is probably one of my favourite topics to teach in Geography. I love the relevance, I love the theory and I love exploring the data surrounding it. To help my students understand the climate of the UK, the differences and the influences I created this UK Climate Inquiry.

Students are provided with a task sheet individually and a resource pack in groups.

The resource pack contains
– Climate data for 6 locations in the UK from the Met Office
– Precipitation and temperature maps for the UK from the Met Office
– Air mass diagram
– Factors affecting climate cheat sheet

Students are also provided with 4 climate graph templates to reduce the time spent creating climate graphs so they can focus on developing their understanding of the theory.

The task requires students to explore a range of resources to help them to understand how the climate of the UK varies and the factors that influence our climate.

Stage 1

Students start off by making predictions on the following using their prior knowledge

  • Which areas of the UK do you think get the most rainfall? Why do you think this?
  • Which areas of the UK do you think have the highest temperatures? Why do you think this?
  • What do you think affects an areas rainfall and temperature?

They then use the resources provided in the group pack to fill in the two tables.

Stage 2

Next they select 4 out of the 6 locations provided. Using an atlas students have to work out where the named locations can be found. Choosing one location to represent each section of the UK (North East, North West, South East, South West). To stretch and challenge students there is also a central location to encourage comparison between coastal and inland areas.

Stage 3

Next students create climate graphs for each of their chosen locations using the Met Office data found here.

I provide the students with climate graph templates so they spend less time deciphering how to set up their climate graph and more time analysing them. To stretch and challenge I do encourage students to create a climate graph of their own for the central location.

Stage 4

The next stage involves data analysis and interpretation. Students are required to describe the patterns they see for each section of the UK and offer reasons using the resources provided.

Stage 5

Finally students write a conclusion in their book to bring together their findings on how and why the climate of the UK varies.

Stretch and Challenge

For students that excel in the task, they are encouraged to compare central and coastal areas by creating their own climate graph for Sutton Bonnington. After doing so, they then compare the characteristics with the other locations, using the factors affecting climate cheat sheet to explain the differences.

If you’d like the resources, download it here.

Hope you can make use of the resource.
Best wishes,


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Humanities in the News – Edition 3

Humanities in the News1// 2014, the warmest year on record

Towards the end of 2014 the BBC published this article suggesting that 2014 was set to be the warmest year on record.

It initiated the article identifying that the global average air temperatures for the first 10 months of the year had been 0.57 degrees Celsius above the average, whilst up until November in the UK we had produced an average temperature  of 1.6 degrees Celsius above the long-term average.  There was certainly a noticeable difference in the temperature throughout the Autumn months of 2014.

Then by the end of the year, NOAA published their annual global climate analysis which confirmed that “the year 2014 was the warmest year across global land and ocean surfaces since records began in 1880”.  This meant it broke the previous records  of 2005 and 2010. It’s scary to see that the top 10 warmest years have been since 1998.  The NOAA report makes for interesting reading, I recommend taking a look at it.

News Articles

1. Global warming made 2014 a record hot year – in animated graphics  –  A concise video at the end of the article on the #HottestYearEver

2. 2014 officially the hottest year on record –

3. 2014 warmest year on record, say US researchers –

4. Why has the year 2014 been so hot? –

5. What makes different years warmer or colder? –

6.  2014: a warm year for the US and the warmest yet worldwide –

7. 15 of the hottest spots around the world in 2014 –

8. 2014 was UK’s hottest year on record, says Met Office –

9. Climate deniers lost for words: 2014 set for hottest year on record –

10. Time is running out on climate denial –

Teaching Resources

Visit the National Geographic Education Blog for ideas on discussion activities on the topic.

The NOAA education site from NOAA has resources on teaching about climate with a variety of resources and links on climate measurements and the global temperature record.

2// Brazil’s Drought

At uni my passion was water resources; for my dissertation I investigated the sustainability of water resources for Ashford in Kent following the development of 32,000 new homes in an area that already had to seek alternatives due to water shortages.

This story is really useful for GCSE Geography, particularly Edexcel B. My year 10’s have just finished Battle for the Biosphere and are now moving onto Water World. This story leads on to the next topic perfectly.

In 2014, rainfall in São Paulo and the surrounding south-eastern area had been extremely low, with CEMADEN recording the lowest rainfall on record. The South Eastern region is the most populated area of Brazil, with over 20 million people living in São Paulo alone. The drought has been ongoing for some time but conditions are worsening and the impacts are being felt throughout the city and country. Brazil are looking to experts from overseas to help deal with the consequences of this drought but the issues are rapidly growing.

Lots of interesting articles both on the cause and response to the issue.

1. Reservoir hogs –

2. Brazil drought: Sao Paulo sleepwalking into water crisis –

3. Brazil’s most populous region facing worst drought in 80 years –

4. Sao Paulo’s water supply in ‘critical’ condition as drought bites –

5. ‘Brazil drought is linked to Amazon deforestation’ –

6. Drought hits Brazil’s coffee industry –

7. Brazil drought stokes worries over energy shortages –

8. Drought sees Rio’s main hydro plant turned off –

9. Brazil’s worst drought in history prompts protests and blackouts –

Teaching Resources

Drought in Brazil from Teachit Geography –  A great fact sheet on the drought in Brazil published in march 2014. This could easily be given as background information for a decision making exercise on what the government should do to deal with the issue.

Tutor2U has provided two videos explaining the drought in São Paulo.

Here on the TES are a whole load of resources from my NQT that make up a SOW on Investigating Brazil, why not incorporate this issue in this topic.


Sorry there are only two stories this term, time constraints and all that.

Hope they are of use though.

Mrs Humanities








Resources – Weather and Climate- The Rainfall Spinner

Rainfall Spinner

One of my favourite topics has to be Weather and Climate. I find it fascinating and really want the pupils to see how much there is to discover about our weather and climate. I’ve become rather stuck at writing the Scheme of Work for this topic however, there’s too much I want to cover. Do I keep it to the processes and daily influence of weather? Do we look at global climates? Do we delve into the impacts of extreme weather? Should we approach climate change? Ahhh so many ideas, but only 7 weeks to cover the topic. I’ve tried to throw in a bit of everything. Once complete I will share the SOW with you, until then I will leave you with my Rainfall Spinner.

The idea of the Rainfall Spinner is to understand the 3 types of rainfall; relief, convectional and frontal. Firstly give an overview of the 3 rainfall types, in order to this I will be sharing this video with my HA students and this video with my LA. I will expect them to take notes as they watch the video, the LA pupils will be given a table with the 3 types and they  will then be expected to write down the appropriate details. Below you will find the  PowerPoint I will use to bring the tasks together but I have removed images so you may want to add some of your own.

The main part of the lesson will involve  the pupils creating a Rainfall Spinner  like the one below (hopefully theirs will be prettier than mine).step 12

To differentiate HA will be writing their own descriptions based on their understanding, MA will be completing the descriptions by inserting the missing words whilst the LA will be matching the descriptions to the diagram.

As the pupils then spin the top wheel it will display information about each type of rainfall alongside a diagram (if they complete it correctly).

I’m really excited about this idea and really  hope the pupils are engaged by it, I will post pictures of the pupils work once we enjoy the lesson next term.

To make your own click on the image below to download the instructions, descriptions in full and the descriptions for fill in the blanks. Since I do not own the copyright of the images I used, I’m afraid these have not been included but you can find them here.

Rainfall SpinnerDescriptionsFill in the blanksPowerpoint



I am happy for you to use and enjoy my resources, but please leave feedback. I like to know how they go so I can improve them further.

Here’s an example in action: 

Thanks and enjoy!

Mrs Humanities



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Resources – Weather and Climate

DepressionWhilst I am a Humanities teacher, my passion lies in Physical Geography. One topic I get enthused by is Weather and Climate.

In the UK we regularly experience the passage of a depression. Those pesky low pressure systems can often create havoc such as the Winter storms of 2013/2014. The first storm arrived on December 5th 2013 and with it came strong winds and a storm surge. The consequences included 100,000 homes without power, flooding, grounded flights, traffic accidents and even a few fatalities and they were far spread from North Wales to Norfolk, Scotland to Kent. The impacts were felt across the country. Despite the disasters it creates some fantastic teaching opportunities when the pupils see it happening there and then.  

One of my favourite resources is a Passage of a Depression thinking task. It encourages pupils to think logically and to recognise patterns in order to arrange the cards correctly. The task can be differentiated by adding information or removing information from the diagram, cards or table. I’ve used it numerous times with both Key Stage 3 and 4 and both as part of a lesson on depressions and as a revision tool at the end of a topic. 

passage of a depression – cards
passage of a depression – diagram and table

To use the activity pupils will need a copy of the diagram and table sheet as well as a set of cards. Pupils can work independently, in pairs or small groups to complete the challenge of this task. After having taught pupils about the passage of a depression, pupils interpret the diagram to sort the cards into the table to outline the weather, temperature and cloud types associated with each part of the depression as it moves over a location. It can be followed up with a living graph such as this one to assess pupils understanding. 

How do you approach teaching weather fronts and depressions? Share your ideas in the comments below. 

Mrs Humanities