Top 10 ideas for teaching the weather

  • Make a cloud in a bottle – use it to remind students about the water cycle, the fact that pressure is related to temperature, that the air has to cool for water droplets to form and that the energy released by water droplets forming is the energy source for developing storms. You can find some instructions here.Clea Cloud in a bottle
  • Demonstrate a teabag rocket to remind students that warm air rises. You can find the instructions here.teabag_rocket
  • Do some weather fieldwork. Have a look at our top 10 ideas or the fieldwork page.bubblechase_thumb
  • From when you start teaching the weather topic, to the end of the year, ask one member of the class each week to prepare a local weather forecast for the class. At the start, these might just be a summary of the weather forecast from the TV/ radio/ internet. By the end, they should show some understanding of air masses and depressions and why we are getting the weather we are.13102800_UKMet_Analyse
  • Use WOW (the Met Office’s Weather Observations Website) to find weather data for somewhere close to you and from around the world.
  • Find recent or current examples e.g. – satellite images from the Dundee satellite receiving station, archived Met Office charts, current lightning from Blitzortung (turn the sound on!), current global surface winds from Nullschool.nullschool
  • In the winter, particularly before Christmas, investigate the factors which determine Will it snow?.snow_small
  • Use weather data to draw contour maps, for example isotherms of urban heat islands or isobars and isotherms of a depressions. (Further resources for these exercises can be found on the KS3 and A level pages of this site).
  • Investigate family and community memories of past extreme weather – especially if these are from around the world.
  • Have a climate change debate which focusses on whether we should adapt or mitigate to climate change – (further resources at this webpage).