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Geography - Blow their minds

What it's all about

There is no better saboteur of a primary lesson than wild weather. Thunder cracks, snowstorms and hail create a palpable sense of excitement that distracts and inspires at the same time, writes Chris Fenton.

But incorporating it into a geography lesson, called "Extremes", where pupils had to consider how they would survive water-related disasters provided an opportunity for intense learning.

Hurricanes, floods and droughts - they had to consider that the first 72 hours are critical for survival, before being split into three groups, each given a different terrain and weather extreme.

They used geographical understanding of climate and territory to build survival plans, consider where they would find water, food and shelter and whether it would have been possible to prepare for these disasters.

We used seedlings to simulate some weather conditions, starving them of water, drenching them or blasting them with fans. Finally, we imagined what it would be like if such extremes hit our country.

I then introduced the weather report in which Michael Fish failed to forecast the 1987 hurricane, and reports about its devastating effect. Using three fans, we tried to experience the wind, then discussed how hurricanes are formed.

Outside, we looked at buildings and trees in our neighbourhood and tried to imagine what impact a hurricane would have on us.

The class planned, wrote and filmed a news report about a hurricane hitting our town. They called it "Hurricane Harold" and downloaded videos and graphics to build the report.

What else?

Become weather explorers with BrainPOP UK's wind activities. bit.lyworldwind

Explore natural disasters with resources from hopeful6. bit.lynaturaltrouble.

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