The Atlantic Ocean and climate with Prof Penny Holliday

Lesson overview

Students will investigate the relationship between latitude and climate, describing the major climate zones. Students will then investigate the impact of the ocean on climate with a specific reference to the Gulf Stream and its warming influence on the United Kingdom and northwest Europe. The lesson ends with students evaluating model answers and coming up with their own explanations.

Students do not find out the key question and the outcomes until halfway through the lesson. This allows them to develop their own ideas before having to change these in the light of new evidence.

Learning outcomes

  • Describe weather and climate
  • Show major climate zones on a map
  • Describe the impact of latitude on climate
  • Describe what is meant by the Gulf Stream and its influence on climate
  • Explain the differences in climate between specific places in Europe and North America

Lesson steps

  1. Mission statement from Prof Penny Holliday (5 mins)
    Students are introduced to their lesson’s mission by Prof Penny Holliday.
    Opportunities for literacy practice, using Prof Penny Holliday’s opening statement.
  2. Weather words (5 mins)
    Present students with two different locations, one in the United Kingdom and one in sunnier climes. Students demonstrate and develop their weather vocabulary.
  3. Climate and latitude (20 mins)
    Students will examine the relationship between climate and latitude, learning about the major climate zones and the equator, Arctic and Antarctic Circles as well as the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.
  4. Climate and the ocean (10 mins)
    Students are asked to predict how cities on different and similar latitudes rank in terms of average temperature. Students are then introduced to the influence of ocean currents on climate.
  5. Explaining influences on climate (20 mins)
    Students evaluate descriptions of the impact of latitude and the ocean climate and develop their own explanations.
  6. Summative assessment (20 mins)
    Students demonstrate their learning by completing a map and through extended writing.