Key Stage 3

Resources for 11-14 Year Old Students

Lesson Starters, Introductions and Revision

Homework activity for start of weather topic - assess how the weather affects you through a week.

Weather Taboo - some sample Taboo cards looking at air mass and depression words. Please share any further ones you develop with us!

A starter activity which looks at the duration, frequency and impacts of various global weather phenomena.

Weather questions starter activity.

Starter activity - Weather Words Quiz

Global Atmospheric Circulation

Our short introductory video on YouTube the Global Atmospheric Circulation,

We have also built this into a complete lesson plan:

  • How does the weather affect me – ask the students to record the effect of the weather on their lives in the week before starting the topic.
  • On this map of the world , ask the students to write on the following country names in green: UK, New Zealand, North Carolina (USA) and Uruguay; the following countries in yellow Arizona (USA), Namibia, Mali, Saudi Arabia and Western Australia; and the following countries in red Indonesia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Colombia and Hawaii– what pattern can they see?
    [according to the standard Köppen classification, the green countries have a temperate or cold climate without a dry season, the yellow countries a Dry (desert or semi-arid climate) and the red countries a Tropical climate]
  • Show video
  • Use this Global Atmospheric Circulation practice exercise.
  • Look at the current circulation on nullschool. Where is the ITCZ now?
  • Air Masses

    Air Masses revision - a Human Board Game

    Using weather data to investigate air masses with worksheets for students.


    A case study of orographic rainfall in Scotland with images for students Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 5.

    General weather, weather fieldwork and weather data

    Using weather data to investigate whether sports events can go ahead (Developed by Martin Sutton and previously published in Teaching Geography).

    Extreme temperatures around the world GIS exercise for maths/ geography developed by Joseph Kerski at ESRI.

    KS3 data analysis (geography or maths)

    Using Weather Station Data to examine links between weather variables (adapted from LGfL)

    Microclimates and Urban Heat Islands

    A simple and effective lesson plan which uses WOW Automatic Weather Station data to identify Urban Heat Islands. The supporting PowerPoint presentations can be found here

    Urban heat island isotherm drawing exercise:notes for teachers, idealised weather station data for isotherm drawing, satellite image of Birmingham and solution for teachers.

    Urban Heat Island Fieldwork

    Using Weather Station Data to look at London's Urban Heat Island (adapted from LGfL)

    Anticyclones, Depressions, Fronts and Weather Maps

    Cold and warm fronts - some activities for differentiation and revision and fronts in a lab.

    A simple exercise where students find weather features such as fronts, depressions, wind directions and the possible locations of clouds on a weather map.

    Using weather data to investigate depressions with worksheets for students.

    Mid-latitude weather systems

    Isotherm and Isobar drawing exercise based on a depression: student worksheet. A simpler version of the T/ isotherm map can be found here or the full version including solutions may be found on the A level page.

    Climate and Climate Zones

    Climate zones starter activity.

    Weather, climate and climate change

    Climate Change

    Resources to teach the climate of the last 2.6 million years.

    Climate Change Resources from the Climate Change Schools Project including a new look at the climate sceptics debate.

    Climate change scheme of work for year 8 geography.

    Tropical Weather

    Some useful links about Super typhoon Haiyan/ Yolanda

    Using GIS for hurricane tracks and tropical storm risk (Developed by Bob Lang, teacher and GA consultant)

    Lots of recommended links

    Ideas for weather clubs

    Experiments and demonstrations

    A wonderful introduction to Air Masses from the BBC's The Battle Of The Weather Fronts - The Great British Weather using some very loud rugby players!

    A depression based activity using Living Graphs.

    Have a look at the Barometer - a regular podcast featuring weather and climate issues from the University of Manchester.

    An excellent GA resource investigating weather conditions needed for the various Olympic sporting events using weather station or WOW data.

    Resources looking at change of state, latent heat, data handling and the Electromagnetic Spectrum from the NCAS/ DIAMET project.

    A science upd8 resource looking at rain and cloud seeding.

    A link to Radical Geography's activities and resources tried and tested in the classroom weather and climate and weather hazards.

    Four lesson plans from the BBC weather centre.

    Weather Bingo a fun plenary.

    Texas Instruments' 'Using Real World data' booklet contains two projects for KS3 maths - 'Compare the Weather' and 'Hurricane Force'. Although the instructions assume access to their software, the projects could easily be adapted.

    An online, interactive lesson going from weather data collection through to forecasting from NGfL Cymru.

    An interactive introduction to weather systems and fronts from NGfL Cymru.

    BBC bitesize explanations of weather systems, symbols, charts and processes.

    Digital Geography weather forecasting and weather forecasting using Google Earth.

    Teachers TV looks at the effects of weather on people

    Teachers TV looks at KS3 Geography Teachers in the Freezer

    Teachers TV looks at the weather in Sounds, Pictures, Blogs and Poetry

    Teachers TV looks at making houses hurricane proof

    Teachers TV looks at severe weather conditions

    Teachers TV looks at Hurricane Katrina

    Teachers TV looks at The Great Storm of 1987

    Your climate, your life

    Online, interactive lessons on climate change from NGfL Cymru here and here

    A short video from on Degrees of Change.

    Teachers TV looks at climate change timeline

    An Inconvenient Truth the climate change film pack (look under essential reading and DCSF lesson resources)

    Met Office climate introduction

    Operation Climate Control game

    Climate change and information from Ice Cores from WAIS divide.

    A NASA introduction to the Earth's Energy Budget - scroll down to "Balancing our Planet's Energy Budget".

    Key Stage 4