Mountain Environments

The mountain environment and weather data

Key Stage 2 Geography

How does the weather compare in each of these places?

Overview

This series of lessons aims to use a cross-curricular approach to geography and mathematics, to extend children’s knowledge of mountain environments, and their skills in collecting, presenting and interpreting data.

In activity one the children use a range of secondary resources, including the internet, to collect the latest weather data for three mountain environments, using worksheet 1 to record findings.

Activity two focuses more closely on climates. Climate slides can be used to introduce the main activity which is an investigation using the internet to find climate averages for the past 30 years. Children collect and present data as bar graphs and interpret their findings in terms of similarities and differences between places using differentiated worksheets.

Objectives

Children should learn:

  • about weather patterns in different parts of the world
  • to use secondary sources
  • to use ICT to access information

Lesson plans

Activity one

Collecting weather data using the internet
Children work in groups to collect weather data for three mountain localities related to their studies earlier in this unit. They will need to use the internet to collect the data which, if possible, should be from that day’s latest weather reports.

Worksheet 1 can be used to record their findings.

Plenary
Groups can share their findings and discuss similarities and differences in weather between localities.

Note: When the latest weather data for a specific location is not available, children can use atlases to find the nearest towns and cities for which the latest weather data is available.

Lesson resources

PDF document containing photos of mountain localities being studied. PDF document containing worksheet comparing latest weather data.
You will need:
Atlases
Internet access for groups
latest UK weather forecast.

Activity two

Comparing mountain climates
Using slide 1 as a starting point, ask the children to imagine they are going to visit the places in the photographs and that they need to think about the clothes they need to pack for each of the locations. Children can work in pairs to describe types of weather they might experience at low and high altitudes and make notes.

Allow time for children to share their ideas and discuss any questions arising from the exercise.

Using slides 3 to 10 introduce the class to climates and encourage children to think about factors that affect climate in different parts of the world.

Split the class into ability groups and introduce investigation task. Ensure each group investigates a different locality. Use worksheets 2, 3 and 4 to record data and plot graphs.

Plenary
Allow each group to present their findings and discuss with the children the similarities and differences between the weather in each of the mountain environments.

Compare bar graphs of rainfall for the different mountain environments and ask the question ‘is the driest time to go on holiday the same in all these places?’

Mountain climates slideshow- PDF document containing a set of slides for use with activity 2.
You will need:
Internet access for groups.

PDF document containing worksheet on Kathmandu (Low ability)
PDF document containing worksheet on Capel Curig (Middle ability)
PDF document containing worksheet on Cusco (High ability)
PDF document containing worksheet for any location within the UK
World Weather Information Service for Cusco
Link to the World Weather Information Service for Cusco.

World Weather Information Service for Kathmandu
Link to the World Weather Information Service for Kathmandu.

Met Office forecast for Snowdonia (Capel Curig)
Link to the Met Office mountain weather forecast for Snowdonia (Capel Curig).

Web page reproduced with the kind permission of the Met Office