UKS2 Topic: Earth Matters
This topic is an excellent introduction to the key aspects of physical Geography that children need to
understand and describe in KS2. The children gain a thorough knowledge of the water cycle, coasts and
rivers, mountains, volcanoes, earthquakes, climate zones and biomes through applying the knowledge
gained from their research in practical tasks such as model making, drama, artwork and dance.
Block
Block A
The Water
Cycle and
Coasts
Key N.C. Objectives
Geography, English and D&T
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(9 sessions)
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Form an understanding of the water cycle, creating simple
models of it.
Explore and discuss coastal features and processes and the
impacts of coastal erosion.
Present and record their knowledge in a variety of
instructive media including debates, informative picture
captions and short news reports.
Use research and develop design criteria to inform the
design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are
fit for purpose.
Geography, Science, D&T and Art
Block B
The Water
Cycle and
Rivers
(5 sessions)
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Describe and understand key aspects of physical geography,
including rivers and the water cycle.
Demonstrate that changes of state are reversible changes.
Use research and develop design criteria to inform the
design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are
fit for purpose.
Produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording
their experience.
Geography, D&T and English

Block C
Mountains
(8 sessions)
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To describe and understand key aspects of physical
geography including the geology and climates of mountain
ranges.
Use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to
locate countries and describe features studied.
Produce models of the five types of mountain (dome,
volcanic, plateau, fault-block, fold).
Select from and use materials, including
construction materials and textiles, according to
their functional properties and aesthetic qualities.
Retrieve, record and present information from non-fiction
sources on mountains, mountain formation and famous
mountain expeditions.
Explain and discuss their understanding of what they have
read, to create a storyboard and freeze-frame drama of a
famous mountain expedition (Sir Edmund Hilary, Bear Grylls
etc.).
Perform their own compositions, using appropriate
intonation, volume, and movement so that meaning is clear.
Creative Block Outcome
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.
In these model-making sessions, children
will learn about the water cycle, rivers
and the effect they have on the
landscape. They will look at how rain
finds its way into rivers and how rivers
develop from the source to entering the
sea.
Study the physical geography of
mountains and mountain ranges, their
formation, some famous expeditions and
also mountain biodiversity. They will
create a range of artefacts including
mountain models, a class world map and
a freeze-frame drama that will culminate
in a ‘Mountain Exhibition’ for other
children.
© Original resource copyright Hamilton Trust, who give permission for it to be adapted as wished by individual users. We refer you to our warning, at the
foot of the block overview, about links to other websites.
UKS2 Topic: Earth Matters
Geography, English and Dance
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Block D
Volcanoes
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(4 sessions)
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Describe and understand key aspects of physical geography
including volcanoes.
Use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to
locate countries and describe features studied.
Improve mastery of art and design techniques.
Produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording
their experiences.
Appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live
and recorded music.
Be able to improvise and compose music for a range of
purposes.
Identify the audience for and purpose of the writing,
selecting the appropriate form and using similar writing as
models for their own.
Perform their own compositions, using appropriate
intonation, volume, and movement so that meaning is clear.
Geography and D&T
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Block E
Earthquakes
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(4 sessions)
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Block F
Climate
zones and
biomes
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Describe and understand key aspects of physical geography
including earthquakes.
Use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to
locate countries and describe features studied.
Use research and develop design criteria to inform the
design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are
fit for purpose.
Geography, D&T, Science and English


(6 sessions)
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Describe and understand key aspects of climate zones,
biomes and vegetation belts.
Use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to
locate countries and describe features studied.
Select from and use materials, including construction
materials and textiles, according to their functional
properties and aesthetic qualities.
Identify the audience for and purpose of their writing,
selecting the appropriate form, noting and developing
ideas.
Identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their
environment in different ways.
Learn about the features of volcanoes,
their formation and discover how they are
distributed around the world. Along the
way they create models, artwork, volcano
dances, music and ‘David Attenborough’
style commentaries.
Learn about the features and key aspects
of earthquakes. Find out about the
movement of tectonic plates and about
seismic waves. Learn about life in an
earthquake zone; compile and practise a
class earthquake drill; find out how
buildings are built to withstand
earthquakes and then design your own
earthquake-proof structure.
Create a Biome in a Bag and a DIY ‘Eden
Project’ with its own mini guide or poster,
based on their research using maps,
globes, atlases, digital mapping, websites
and a visit to a manmade biome. This
block teaches the children about the key
aspects of climate zones, biomes and
vegetation belts.
© Original resource copyright Hamilton Trust, who give permission for it to be adapted as wished by individual users. We refer you to our warning, at the
foot of the block overview, about links to other websites.
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Topic Overview - Hamilton Trust