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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Resource – The ‘insert topic’ Spinner

After using this this resource The Rainfall Spinner , I’ve decided I need to find other uses for the ‘insert topic’ spinner.

I used the rainfall spinner as part of an observed lesson; it went down well,  meeting the desired ‘active learning’ requirements deemed essential in our school. Very positive feedback 🙂 from both the observer and the kids.

Here are  just 2 examples of the fantastic work produced by year 8 that went on display in the classroom (sorry for the poor photography, it’s not a strong point of mine).

topic spinner rainfall spinner

Recently I was really pleased to find that my spinner idea had inspired others, creative learning tweetCheck out these fantastic Energy Spinners from @misstait_85. Brilliant idea.

I can definitely see the potential for using spinners in other topics within Humanities and across the other subjects.

Now I’m plotting where to use them next…. perhaps year 7 for comparing natural hazards next term.

Suggestions welcomed!

Mrs Humanities


Topical Rewards – Weather and Climate

This term year 8 studied Weather and Climate. My expectations of a number of my students were exceeded in the study of this topic, they loved it. It was a pleasure to be able to give out these topical rewards to the unexpecting achievers. There were 6 in total and I had planned to give out two clouds to each year 8 class but progress was so good in Set 2 and Set 3 that I decided to give 3 to each of these classes, they truly deserved them.


They were really easy to make, here’s how.

All you need is

  • cotton wool balls
  • googly eyes
  • super glue
  • small packaging bags
  • paper
  • a printer
  1. Start by creating the packaging, I used to create the packaging labels.
  2. I then inserted the images into word and laid them out so they could be folded after printing. cloud packaging
  3. Print the labels, cut them out and fold carefully.
  4. Next shape your cotton wool balls to look like clouds, I tried to make each one individual.
  5. Using the super glue attach the googly eyes to give the cloud some character. Allow the glue to dry.before clouds
  6. Once the clouds are ready, pop them into your plastic packaging bags, fold the label over the top of the bag and staple in place.
  7. And you’re done! Now you just need to hand them out to deserving pupils.

Do you ever give out topical rewards? I’m trying to think of some for next term, year 7 are studying Natural Hazards in our Dangerous World topic and year 8 are studying Exploration and Adventure… oooo what about mini survival kits? hrm?

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