Activity 1.1
It’s hotting up – looking at the evidence

This is a setting the scene activity, providing a concrete example of the evidence for climate change, in a more local context.

It should also reinforce the fact that the Earth’s climate has changed over billions of years, revealed in Britain’s geology and rocks. There is concern about the most recent rise in temperature because of its speed, and it could have serious consequences for all living species on the planet, including humans.

Learners will have/be able to:

  • Select and construct both point and line graphs, develop a best fit line, and interpret the data
  • Interpret the graph, by using numeracy and literacy skills to explain that there is evidence that temperatures are rising; average temperatures do not rise smoothly; the change in temperature over 100 years is not huge, but it is significant
  • Demonstrate geographical and historical understanding, by setting the data, in a time and place frame
  • Contributed to a team effort, and expressed their own ideas and feelings


  • Outdoor/indoor space
    Tarmac or grass (can be done in an indoor hall, but better outdoors!)
  • Chunky chalk, or 2 white/yellow washing lines/rope
    One marked every metre for 10 years, second with ties or laminated card flags representing temperatures. You may wish to start at 0 ºC, but suggest 6 ºC and explain/demonstrate why (flags are then 6.0, 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, 8.0ºC) every 2 metres along line
  • Another length of washing line/rope
    (different colour) at least 15 –20 m long
  • Laminated cards each with a decade
    In large numbers e.g. 1900, 1910, 1920 etc.(11 total)
  • Laminated cards with the decade on one side and the temperature on the reverse
    With a large class you may like to add an additional set with the Scottish temperatures, using a different colour pen (11 total)

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