Using TV to teach the Weather

four rows of flowers and trees as they change in the different seasons.

Are you studying the Weather with your Primary pupils this term? Have you thought of using real-life Weather forecasts in your lessons?

Angie Downes teaches at Lincoln Minster School and is always on the lookout for ways to stimulate and engage her class. TV broadcasts of all kinds can provide a rich repository of material, even those which are not specifically aimed at children’s education.

“I was about to begin a Weather topic with my Year 2 class, and I was sitting watching the weather forecast on the television,” Angie writes.

“It suddenly occurred to me that I could create a weather map using ACTIVstudio 2 that would allow my six and seven year olds to become ‘real’ weather people.”

Angie’s class watched TV weather reports at home and recordings of them at school as a refresher so that they could compare different versions and see how forecasts were presented. The children spent about six weeks on the topic and visited an RAF meteorological station as well as setting up their own weather station in the school grounds.

Angie found that “their performances as weather people became increasingly more competent and confident as they watched and listened to weather forecasts and then presented their own versions to their peers. Their fluency improved greatly, as did the content of the forecasts. By the end of a three-week period, the children were able to talk about the weather map without the cities and countries being labelled. Used daily over a longer period, the names and locations of other cities, counties, rivers and places of interest were identified and learned.”