And here is the news ..

14th December 2007 at 00:00

Birmingham is the capital, food riots escalate and the world's last polar bear has died. Ask your class to consider climate change and write the headlines for 2050, says Ellen Clarkson. While studying climate change and global warming, ask pupils to create their own news report based on what they have learnt.

Rather than setting each group a complete news report, share sections out among the class. The activity is great for pupils aged 11-14. One group could do a weather forecast, another could deal with the political issues and another with the environmental effects. But all reports must be set in the year 2050.

This gives pupils an opportunity to reflect on what they have learnt and identify the future consequences of abusing the environment.

The weather team has to consider what the UK's climate will be like if change continues at its current rate. The groups focus on extreme weather and conduct reports from the site of torrential storms and tornadoes.

Political groups may report riots occurring due to food and water shortages, changing government policy or the impacts upon the economy. One of my groups discussed making Birmingham the capital city because of extreme flooding in London.

Environmental groups are able to consider the impact of climate change on plant and animal species, the melting of ice sheets or desertification across the world.

One idea a group had was to focus on the death of the last remaining polar bear, Jim, due to the melting of the Arctic.

Once each group has created their script the groups come together, creating a joint role-play. I was able to film the sections individually with one pupil acting as a host in the studio and linking items together.

Using the computer we were able to create opening credits with a theme tune and add special effects to create heavy rainfall on a newsreader caught in a storm.

This movie can then be used in assemblies to raise awareness across the school of the effects of climate change. What is great about this lesson is that you are able to allocate topics depending on a group's ability.

High achievers in your classes can be given political ideas to consider and low ability pupils may report on the weather.

Ellen Clarkson is a geography teacher at George Salter Collegiate Academy in West Bromwich.

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