Earth Matters
The water cycle and coasts

Study the water cycle and the physical geography of coasts and coastal features. Learn about coastal erosion and the impact of the sea on human activity.

Session 1 What is the water cycle?

Objectives

Science

  • Build a systematic understanding of materials by exploring reversible changes, including evaporation and condensation.

Geography

  • Describe and understand key aspects of physical geography, including the water cycle.

Teaching and Activities

Learn about the water cycle processes and create a water cycle in a bottle.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To understand the concept of evaporation.
  • To relate the water cycle to features in the local area.

Children will

  • Produce an annotated water-cycle diagram.
  • Create models of the water cycle.
  • Write concise explanations of what is happening in the models.

Provided Resources

  • The water cycle
  • Evaporation concept cartoon
  • Water cycle model examples
  • Record sheet

You Will Need

  • Large transparent plastic bottles (e.g. 2l drinks bottles)
  • Clingfilm
  • Elastic bands
  • Sticky tape
  • Ice cubes
  • Digital camera
  • Printer

Session 2 What is the coast?

Objectives

Geography

  • Name and locate geographical regions and their identifying physical characteristics: coasts.
  • Use maps, atlases, globes and digital mapping.

Computing

  • Use search technologies effectively.

English

  • Retrieve, record and present information from non-fiction.

Teaching and Activities

Research the main types of coast found in the UK and create a class display.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To create a shared definition for the term ‘coast’.
  • To research the different types of coast to be found in the UK.
  • To create informative picture captions for a map-based class display

Children will:

  • Gain a wider understanding of what the term ‘coast’ means.
  • Understand that there are many different types of coastline around the UK.
  • Create a concise piece of informative writing for display.

Provided Resources

  • United Kingdom outline map
  • Writing frame
  • Coastline pictures (7 pages)

You Will Need

  • Mini dry-wipe boards
  • Dry-wipe board pens
  • Writing materials
  • Maps/ atlases/ globes

Session 3 How does the sea shape the coastline?

Objectives

Computing

  • Use search technologies effectively.

English

  • Retrieve, record and present information from non-fiction.

Geography

  • Name and locate key topographical features.
  • Use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate features studied.

Teaching and Activities

Research the processes involved in coastal erosion and create a class glossary of the key physical coastal features.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To research the processes involved in coastal erosion.
  • To make notes and then create written information text to add to the shared class display.
  • To create a glossary of key physical coastal features and processes.

Children will:

  • Compile a glossary of key terms used to describe coastal physical features and processes.
  • Produce definition of key terms for the class display.

You Will Need

You do not need any particular resources for this session.

Session 4 What impact does the sea have on human activity?

Objectives

Geography

  • Name and locate counties and cities of the United Kingdom, and their identifying human and physical characteristics.
  • Understand how some of these aspects have changed over time.

Computing

  • Select, use and combine a variety of software on a range of digital devices to create content, including evaluating and presenting information.

Teaching and Activities

Learn about the impact of the sea on people living on the coast and then film a news report from a coastal erosion scene.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To research the effects of the winter 2013–14 storms on England’s east coast.
  • To write and film a short news report script about coastal erosion’s impact on humans.

Children will:

  • Gain understanding of the potential impacts of the sea on humans.
  • Write and film a short news report script about coastal erosion’s impact on humans .

Provided Resources

This session does not need any provided resources.

You Will Need

  • Writing materials
  • A digital camera / iPad for filming
  • Editing software (optional)

Session 5 How do we try to prevent coastal erosion?

Objectives

Geography

  • Describe and understand key aspects of physical geography, including the water cycle.
  • Identify human and physical characteristics of coasts and understand how some of these aspects change over time.

Teaching and Activities

Investigate coastal defences and then create a storm surge dice-rolling game.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To investigate coastal defences and then create a storm surge dice-rolling game.

Children will:

  • Gain an increased understanding of a range of coastal defence strategies.
  • Create and play games to model the changing human and physical nature of a coastline.

You Will Need

  • Play Money
  • Scissors
  • 6-sided dice (1 per group of 2 or 3)
  • Graph paper and coloured pencils (optional)

Session 6 What impacts do humans have on the coast?

Objectives

Geography

  • Describe and understand key aspects of human geography, including types of settlement and land use.

English

  • Extend confidence, enjoyment and mastery of language through public speaking: debate.

Teaching and Activities

Identify the human uses of the coast and take part in a debate to evaluate coastal tourism.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To discuss human uses of the coast, identifying key themes such as tourism, industry, trade and transport.
  • To debate the statement ‘By going to the coast, tourists spoil the very thing they go to see’.

Children will:

  • Create a mind map for ‘Human Uses of the Coast’.
  • Write, deliver and evaluate a persuasive debate speech.

Provided Resources

  • Persuasion text success criteria
  • Suggested paragraph starters for persuasion texts

You Will Need

  • A4 and A3 paper
  • Coloured pens or pencils

Session 7 Modelling human and physical coastal features

Objectives

Design and Technology

  • Design innovative, functional and appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at particular individuals or groups.
  • Select tools, equipment and materials to perform practical tasks accurately and aesthetically.

Geography

  • Describe and understand key aspects of physical and human geography.

Teaching and Activities

Build a model to represent a range of human and physical coastal features and annotate with ‘higher order’ geography questions.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To design, build and finish a model to represent a range of human and physical coastal features.
  • To annotate models with ‘higher order’ Geography questions to engage the viewer.

Children will:

  • Collaborate to synthesise learning and create a Modroc model.
  • Formulate and answer higher-order questions that demonstrate understanding of block objectives.

You Will Need

  • Base-boards of stiff card, hardboard or thin plywood
  • Junk modelling materials
  • PVA glue
  • Masking tape
  • Modrock (available online and from craft shops)
  • Scissors
  • Shallow trays of water
  • Small stones
  • Lolly sticks
  • Sand
  • Modelling clay

Session 8 Explaining coastal processes and features

Objectives

English

  • Plan, draft, edit and write a concise explanation text.
  • Be clear about an appropriate standard of handwriting, e.g. an unjoined style for labelling a diagram.

Teaching and Activities

Add a high quality coastal process explanation to the model and then present the finished work to an audience of children or parents and carers.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To write a high-quality explanation for 1 of the coastal processes represented in the model.

Children will:

  • Write a high-quality explanation of 1 of the coastal processes represented in their model.

Provided Resources

  • Explanation text success criteria
  • Suggested paragraph starters for explanation texts

You Will Need

  • Plain paper
  • Line guides
  • Card for mounting
  • Sticky notes