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We talk about the weather a lot but what do you actually know about it?

What causes.........


Children play in the rain in Bangladesh

....and Snow?

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Hot sunny days?

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......Cold sunny days?

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windy days, cloudy days and foggy days?

In this unit we will be learning about the weather that we experience every day. We will also be looking at the earth's climate. Any idea what the difference is?

At the end of this unit you will be able to;

  • define ‘weather’; identify at least five components of weather;

  • describe the structure of the earth's atmosphere

  • explain how the sun heats the atmosphere

  • understand the Greenhouse affect and how life could not exist without it

  • be able to describe the impact that humans are having on the Greenhouse Effect

  • define ‘climate’ and say how it is worked out; read, and draw, a climate graph

  • give seven factors that affect climate

  • describe how we measure and record the weather, say what instruments are used to measure them, and give the units of measurement

  • read a simple weather map

  • explain what clouds are; name and identify three basic cloud types

  • describe the different climate zones present in Switzerland and name locations in each zone.

  • describe the main physical features of Europe; name and describe the five climate zones in Europe, and say roughly where in Europe they are

  • give at least five examples of how climate affects our lives

  • describe the key steps in the formation of rain

  • name the three types of rainfall (convectional, relief and frontal) and say how each is formed

  • explain in simple terms what air pressure is; describe high and low pressure weather in summer and winter

  • explain what a front it; give an example of how the arrival of a front leads to a change in the weather

  • explain what satellite images are; draw conclusions about the weather in a place, from a satellite image

1) Our Atmosphere:

In 1960 Joe Kittinger set a world record for the highest skydive, jumping from a height greater than 31 kilometres.

What layer of the atmosphere was he jumping from?


Part 1:

1) Complete the blank diagram in your worksheet and then create an acronym that will help you remember the different layers of the atmosphere.

2) Beneath your diagram, write a short paragraph describing each layer and its main characteristics. You should mention the altitude at which each layer begins and ends, whether temperature increases or decrease and any other interesting features each layer has.

Part 2:How the Sun Heats the Atmosphere:

Why is it colder at the top of a mountain?

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3) Look at the diagrams above. They help explain the "Greenhouse effect." Can you explain how the sun heats the earth and why we rely on the greenhouse effect.


4) Today we are often told that the greenhouse effect is a bad thing. Why do you think this is? Use the information from the two websites to explain your answer.

This video introduces the Greenhouse Effect, why it is essential to life on earth and how humans are affecting it.

This video is great for ESL students.

5) Explain how clouds affect the temperature on earth.


6) See if you can find a diagram that shows what happens to suns energy as it enters the atmosphere and is then radiated out into space? Insert the diagram into your notes and then write a short description beneath it. Can you find a video that illustrates this?

2) What is the difference between weather and climate?

This video from NASA is a good introduction to the differences between weather and climate. Can you answer the questions in the video?



After watching these videos, you should understand the difference between weather and climate

Task 3) Switzerland's Climate

1) Write a Tweet (no more than 140 characters) explaining the difference between the weather and climate.

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The Climate Zones of Europe

2) Look at the map above, insert a copy of it into your word document. Locate Switzerland on the map.

3) Write a short description of the climate of Switzerland.

4) Use the link below to find photographs showing the Central Mixed Forest Climate Zone, the Mountain Forest and Alpine Meadow Zone and the Mediterranean Forest . Make sure you label the photographs with their location.

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5) Try to explain why we have the different climate zones in Switzerland. We will cover this in more detail later but see if you can work it out. Look carefully at where the different climate zones are and think about the geography of Switzerland.

What's the weather like today?


Homework Task:

1) Look out of the class room window. Describe the weather in as much detail as you can.

2) What else would you need to do if you wanted to make a more accurate description of the current weather? What equipment would you need?

3) Use the internet to find the seven day weather forecast for Basel and make a note of it in the weather forecast table. Each day I would like you to check the weather forecast for the day from the same site and make note of it. Once you do this I would like you to record the actual weather you observe and record this in the table. Do they all agree?

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Task 4 : How Do We Measure the Weather?

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Re-installing a Stevenson Screen, Cape Evans, Antarctica © AHT/Gord

1) Use the power point below to complete the measuring the weather worksheet.

Weather Maps and the Weather Forecast:

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Task 5: How does the weather affect us?

This image is from a school in Scotland. Click on it to find out more about what they do in bad weather.

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Weather effects travel


How the Weather Affects

Storms hit Europe: January 2012. Here is an example of how the weather effects our lives.

Task 4: How does the weather affect you.

Tell a story about how the weather has affected you. It could be in a good way or a bad way, a hot sunny day on the beach, a thunder storm, a windy day. You do not even have to be on land, maybe you are on a boat or an aircraft. The story should be about an actual event that you were involved in.

The important thing is that your story describes how the weather affected you and everything around you. What could you see, hear, feel. What was going on around you, what were other people doing?

Task 5:

Pick any place in the world from this list, preferably a place you have never been to or even heard of. Click on the country and then one of the cities.
Copy and paste the weather forecast into a word document and then write a plan for your week based on the weather forecast. Write it in first person (I) and talk about all the ways that your week is affected by the weather.

More amazing weather: