Teaching Climate change in KS2

Do you want to cover climate change in KS2 but don’t know where to start?

Climate change is not specifically mentioned in the National Curriculum, but we all know it’s an important topic that we need to teach. However, it is quite a complex subject and can be hard to explain to primary-age children.

We have dedicated a whole magazine to explaining this topic in a child-friendly way, without making it feel scary.


How to explain greenhouse gases to Year 3 and 4, to help them understand how our planet is getting warmer.

In our library of downloadable science teaching resources, you’ll find a new lesson pack that explains what climate change is, using simple terms so children can easily understand it. The lesson plan includes a simple experiment that uses chocolate, an upturned glass and a sunny spot to demonstrate the greenhouse effect.

Year 3 and 4 Climate change lesson pack

Climate change can be a scary subject, so we’ve tried to make the messaging as positive as possible so that children understand that if we act now, it’s not too late. Even though they might not be old enough to vote or make rules about the way we live, they are never too young to speak up and influence those in power. We have included a flow chart to help them identify ways in which they are able to make positive changes towards helping to stop global heating. We have also included a climate pledge for children to fill in. Maybe your whole class could make a climate pledge together to display in class so that you can keep checking in and making sure you are all sticking to it.

How can I create a climate change debate in my classroom?

Debates are a great way to get children inspired and motivated. In our Year 5 and 6 pack, we have written a fictitious letter from a made-up sustainable energy department, stating that it would like to offer a few schools in the area some renewable energy resources. Your pupils can debate where might be a good place to install wind turbines or solar panels on your school premises and how the scheme might impact school life. The discussion pack also includes two explanation texts, one on solar panels and the other on wind turbines.

Year 5 and 6 Save our planet lesson pack

Guided reading

To help consolidate pupils’ learning, why not introduce some climate-themed reading into your English sessions from our downloadable reading resources?

We have an inspirational information text for Year 5 readers, showcasing the achievements of ten amazing young climate activists.

Inspire your Year 4 class by reading about the life of sensational scientist David Attenborough.

There’s a fascinating explanation text on wind turbines for Year 3.

For Year 6, we have an interview with plant biologist Professor Joanne Chory, who realised that she could use her knowledge of biology to help solve the problem of climate change.

Great resources! Using as a whole class reading text – my year 4 class will love it! Lovely, visual text in the format of an interview and a good range of questions, (including ‘test style’) which all fit nicely into the VIPERS strands! Thank you!

Year 4 teacher


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How to see the Perseid meteor shower

Image: Shutterstock

The Perseid meteor shower is a spectacle not to be missed as, if conditions are right, it’s a great opportunity to spot lots of bright meteors – 60 or more per hour!

In 2021, the Perseids are visible between 16 July – 23 August, but in 2021 the meteor shower reaches it peak on 11th/12th and 12th/13th August.

Here are some top tips for how to spot meteors:

☄️ Research the best time to spot the meteor shower – for the Perseids in 2021 in the UK, this is in the early hours of 12th and 13th August. The days leading up to these dates could also be good opportunities to see a good show.
☄️ Ideally, the sky should be dark. You’ll get a better view away from streetlights and when the Moon is not full. The Moon sets by 10pm in mid-August in the UK, so the sky will be darkest after that time.
☄️ Fill your view with the sky and wait! Lying on the ground is a great way to see as much as possible, or get comfy in a deckchair.
☄️ Give your eyes 15 minutes to get used to the dark
☄️ Check the weather forecast – a clear sky will give a better view.
☄️ Look low in the north-eastern sky to spot the Perseids, although they can appear anywhere in the sky.

Find out everything and more you need to know about the Perseid meteor shower in this brilliant blog post on the Royal Observatory’s website.

There’s lots more information about the Perseids on Astronomy Now, too.


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Teaching insects

Are you teaching the topic ‘Living things and habitats’ in Year 2?

As part of the sequence of lessons in your medium-term plan, you’ve probably arranged for your class to go on a hunt for some minibeasts. This is a really fun and engaging activity, but once the children find the bugs, can they tell you what they are? Do they know which minibeasts are insects?

Learning to identify insects

We have an excellent lesson plan that you can use before the children go on their bug hunt. It will help children learn how to identify insects from other creepy-crawlies, which is an important skill to learn in preparation for classifying animals in Year 4. The downloadable lesson pack includes a lesson plan that links to the National Curriculum and gives ideas for previous and future learning.

Insect lesson plan Year 2

The PowerPoint presentation explains how to identify an insect.

One slide from the PowerPoint presentation included in the lesson pack

Make sock insects!

Your class can then apply their newly acquired knowledge by making fun sock insects! This project requires no sewing, upcycles old socks and it’s perfect for both visual and kinesthetic learners. They each just need to make sure that their cuddly insect has three body parts (a head, thorax and abdomen), as well as six legs. They could also add wings and antennae if they like.

To help with the lesson, we have included detailed images of some insects. These clearly show the body parts to help children to identify the things they must include on their sock insect. To support your less able learners, we’ve included a visual set of instructions that can be followed with help from your teaching assistant.

To stretch your top scientists, there’s a spot-the-odd-one-out activity. A rogue creepy-crawly has found its way onto the page with the other insects. The challenge is to find the minibeast that isn’t an insect, and then use one of the insects as a model for their sock toy. It’s important that throughout the lesson you talk about how to identify whether a bug is an insect. By the end of the lesson, the children should be able to identify that an earwig is an insect, but a woodlouse or a spider is not.

Create an insect display

Once the children have made their sock insects, you could create a fabulous display of them in your classroom. If you would like pupils to revisit their learning, ask them to create labels for each part of the insect and then add those to the display, or alternatively take photographs and pop them in their science books for evidence of the lesson. Make sure you share your photos with us too! Use the hashtag @whizzpopbangmag or post them to our Teacher Facebook Group – join here

For your next lesson, the children can go out and find minibeasts, but unlike when they did this activity in Reception or Year 1, this time they will have the knowledge to identify the insects.

Make insect collectors

Here are some instructions on how to make pooters. You can use these to collect insects safely and humanely, observe them, and then release the insects back into their habitats. Download these instructions for FREE

Find out how to make pooters with your class

Guided reading

To help consolidate pupils’ learning, why not introduce some insect-themed reading into your English sessions? Download our fascinating reading comprehension about ants. Since it’s for Year 2, the text and questions have been differentiated for different abilities.

Year 2 Non-chronological report on ants

Whizz Pop Bang magazine and teaching resources are brilliant ways to enhance your school’s science teaching:

  • We provide downloadable science lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations, hands-on investigations and science reading comprehensions written by primary school teachers.
  • Whizz Pop Bang teaching resources link to the National Curriculum, ensuring correct coverage.
  • All of our resources are year group specific, ensuring progression between the years.
  • We make cross-curricular links to other subjects, such as English, Maths, History, Geography, Art, Design and Technology and PSHE.

Prices from as little as £190 per year for a copy of Whizz Pop Bang magazine through the post each month and whole-school access to our ever-growing library of downloadable teaching resources, with unlimited teacher logins.

We’ve also just launched a new individual membership option so teachers and home educators can access all of our amazing downloadable resources for just £20 for the whole yearhttps://www.whizzpopbang.com/schools/#subscribe

“Using Whizz Pop Bang school resources has enabled investigations to be an integral part of my science planning. I now have investigations and experiments throughout my planning rather than just at the end. The lessons are easy to resource and the pack has everything I need to teach the lesson so it saves me time as well!” Louise Hampson, Year 3 teacher 


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Beetle expert Darren Mann hunting for dung beetles

Meet a scientist who digs in poo to find dung beetles!

Darren Mann, Senior Collections Manager at Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Darren Mann is a dung beetle expert who looks after a huge collection of insects at Oxford University Museum of Natural History. You can read a full interview with him in Whizz Pop Bag: INCREDIBLE INSECTS!

Darren had so many brilliant stories to share that we couldn’t fit them all in the issue, so here’s some more from the man who digs in poo to find dung beetles…

“I’ve been obsessed with insects since I was at junior school.”

In my early teens, I joined the Amateur Entomologist’s Society and through their magazine I learnt lots of new things and that there were even more books on insects! Remember, this is before the internet existed. Through this group I bought a secondhand copy of A Coleopterists’ Handbook’ – an entire book on beetles, including how to find them, and this became my instruction manual for the next few years and what got me interested in beetles.

A dung beetle in some dung! Photo: Darren Mann

“The first time I went through the entire process of collecting, preserving, and identifying specimens on my own, I felt a real sense of achievement.”

I went out again, and again, and, well you get the picture. I spent hours searching dung, finding beetles, and because I did it so much, I got quite good at finding and identifying them. I became the Warwickshire county recorder for dung beetles and their allies and found some quite rare ones, including a few species not discovered in the county before. The excitement of getting a first county record has never worn off and it is always a privilege to be the first person to find something new.

“I’ve now worked at the Oxford Museum of Natural History for over 20 years”

My favourite space is the Westwood Room, named after the first professor of Zoology at Oxford – John O. Westwood. It has an open fireplace carved with a hawkmoth and stag beetle life cycle, hanging above is a portrait of the great beetle hunter, the Reverend Canon Fowler, and it housed the British Insect collection, including all the dung beetles.

“I’m currently working on a project moving over a million British insects into a new space”

One of the museum’s major projects, supported through The National Lottery Heritage Fund is HOPE for the Future which aims to move all the British insects out of the Westwood Room and into new storerooms in shiny new pest proof cabinets. The room will then be refurbished to accommodate teaching, workshops, exhibitions and maybe even some bug handling sessions. The first stage in any large project is applying for funding, you need money to employ people and buy stuff. We spent many hours working on the application, discussing logistics, costings, and delivery plans. With over a million British insects, we needed extra help. Training and working with volunteers is an important part of my role. For this project, there was a team of twelve volunteers, counting and cataloguing the insect collection – this took quite a long time due to the sheer number of insects involved.

Moving the beetle collection. Photo: Oxford University Museum of Natural History

“I dream of going dung beetling in medieval Britain!”

Many of our insects were collected by famous entomologists from places that I have also visited. It gives you a sense of connection to the Victorian bug hunters and sometimes a little beetle envy creeps in, as many of their old haunts have been lost or the species is now almost extinct in the UK. If there is ever a time machine built, I want to go dung beetling in medieval Britain, searching the dung of the extinct Aurochs and visit Deal sandhills with Commander JJ Walker before it was developed into a golf course. 

“I also give tours at the museum”

Another aspect of my job is public engagement, talking to people about the Museum and the collections, giving behind the scenes tours and hosting visitors and researchers. I can generally manage to slip in a dung beetle anecdote or two. I get requests for help with insect identification, sometimes a blurry photograph in an e-mail, sometimes a dead ‘thing’ in a jar left at the front desk. These can be challenging, but always fun and sometimes surprising. One person contacted me with a picture of a European rhinoceros beetle found in their garden moth trap. This 5cm long beetle was probably imported with plants from Italy to the local garden centre and flew a few hundred metres to their garden. If our climate gets warmer, one day it may become established like so many other introduced insects.

Beetle expert Darren Mann talks to Whizz Pop Bang science magazine about his love of insects and how he got his job as a collections manager at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History
Darren at work. Photo: Darren Mann

“If you want to become an entomologist, enthusiasm is so important.”

You could join clubs and societies that are relevant to your interests. It helps you meet with likeminded people, gives you access to a magazine and website full of the latest news and articles, and shows prospective employers that you are dedicated to your subject, especially if you have been a member for a long time.

I have read hundreds of application forms and interviewed lots of people. Those that make it to my short list are there because their interest and enthusiasm shines through. Applying for jobs can be quite nerve wracking but never over embellish your CV or exaggerate claims at interview. If you don’t know the answer, say so and then make an educated guess. You are more likely to earn respect by being honest and showing you can apply some lateral thinking or problem-solving skills. 

The Oxford University Museum of Natural History’s incredible insect collection is free to visit – find out more here!


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Watch a surgical robot peeling a grape

Robot surgeons allow surgeons to perform complex operations with more precision. Robot surgeons allow surgeons to perform complex operations with more precision. A real surgeon operates the robotic arms from a console.

Want to know more about the robo-revolution? Whizz Pop Bang: Robots Rock is available in our shop now!


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Watch a cheetah robot in action!

The gymnast of the robot world, MIT’s mini cheetah robot can execute a perfect 360° backflip! It can also walk the right way up or upside down and tackle bumpy terrain twice as fast as the average person’s walking speed.

Watch it in action here:

Want to know more about the robo-revolution? Whizz Pop Bang: Robots Rock is available in our shop now!


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Watch a robotic fish swim!

SoFi is a soft robotic fish that can swim around coral reefs, taking close-up videos of the real fish without disturbing them as a human diver would.

Watch SoFi swim here:

Want to know more about the robo-revolution? Whizz Pop Bang: Robots Rock is available in our shop now!


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Learn to love nettles!

Nettles are know mainly for one thing, and it doesn’t make them too popular: their stings! In fact, these much-maligned plants play an important role in our natural world.

Image: Shutterstock

They provide a home for insect species, including butterflies and moths, and are a safe place to live as many grazing animals avoid eating them (for one obvious and painful reason!) Over winter, they are a good habitat for aphids, providing an early food source for ladybirds and blue tits. Later in the year, they produce large amounts of seeds which are very useful for seed-eating birds.

They’re also a great source of nutrients for humans, and spring is a great time to go and harvest some nettles. Just remember to wear gloves and pick away from busy roads and above the height of a cocked dog’s leg 😉

Nettle bread
Nettle crisps

Nettle scones

PLUS you can find a recipe for tasty nettle soup in Whizz Pop Bang: ROCK ON!

Did you know that rocks can morph from one type to another? It’s all happening right under your feet! In this rocking edition of Whizz Pop Bang, get busy cooking up a chocolate rock cycle, making your own fossils, starting a rock collection, and cutting out and making a twisty rock cycler toy!

You can also find out about mountain goats, make nettle soup and meet space geologist Katie Joy, who studies rocks from the Moon! Find how pneumatic drills can smash up almost anything, discover ten awesomely amazing rocks with superpowers, meet James Hutton, the first person to realise how the rock cycle works, and chip away at the mystery of the walking stones of Death Valley! Rock on!


Let us know if you give nettles a try! Find out more here


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Teaching teeth in year 4

Are you looking for planning resources for teaching teeth in year 4? Here’s how you can use our new downloadable teeth teaching resources to easily create memorable lessons that produce the sticky knowledge that Ofsted will be looking for…

Where to start?

Teeth should be taught before the digestive system. By year 4, most children will have lost several of their baby teeth and will be at the in-between stage with a mixture of adult teeth, baby teeth and some gaps. It’s fun to get pupils to look in a mirror and examine their own mouths! Children will already know that they have two sets of teeth. What they probably don’t know is that their adult teeth started growing while they were still a baby! They probably also don’t know how many teeth they have, what they are called and what they are used for. Our Model Mouth Lesson Pack answers all of these questions. It has been written by an experienced primary school teacher and is ideal for teaching teeth to year 4 pupils. The downloadable pack includes:

  • A teeth lesson plan
  • A PowerPoint presentation
  • Instructions for making a model mouth
  • A printable Wibble Wobble tooth game
Model Mouth lesson pack

Why build a 3D model mouth rather than asking children to label
a worksheet?

All pupils learn differently, and to create sticky knowledge children need memorable experiences. The visual and kinaesthetic learners are more likely to remember making a 3D model mouth than filling in a worksheet. They will physically make 32 teeth and mould each tooth into the correct shape. Once the models are complete, you can discuss how we keep teeth healthy. Pupils could even practise brushing their model teeth

How to evidence the lesson

If your planning isn’t enough evidence, pupils could use the Keynote app on an iPad to record themselves describing their model mouth and each tooth’s name and function. If you need evidence in their books, you could print a photo of the model and during morning work the next day, pupils could label and annotate it. This would mean that they go back over their learning from the day before, helping the knowledge to stick. Our Wibble Wobble board game is also a good way for children to revisit the subject. Knowledge organisers can be an additional tool to help remind children of previous learning, or to use as a scaffold – not for answers!

A3 vocabulary poster and Knowledge organiser

What to cover next

Pupils should then research other animals, both herbivores and carnivores, that have teeth. What similarities and differences do they notice? Do all the animals have the same number of teeth? Do they all have molars, canines and incisors? Are they called something different? Why don’t some animals have teeth? Once children start researching, they will hopefully come up with lots of questions they would like to find out the answers to. Our downloadable Animal Antics text on vipers is a good place to start.

A non-chronological report on vipers

Further investigations

We also have another year 4 downloadable lesson plan on teeth, which is an observation over time enquiry. Pupils will set up an investigation to observe eggshells in different liquids. Eggshells and teeth are both made of calcium-based compounds so this is a good visual demonstration of how some drinks can cause damage to our teeth. Our lesson plans always explain the science behind the lessons – teachers can’t remember everything!

Dissolving teeth lesson pack

How to make teeth cross-curricular

Making the model mouth links to art and sculpture. There are also lots of ways to embed the pupil’s science learning in your school day. Using science texts in guided reading or whole class reading sessions is an easy way for children to delve further into the subject matter and acquire more knowledge. We have three reading comprehension packs for year 4:

We also have a bank of spectacular science images that are perfect for promoting discussion. They feature a striking scientific image, along with a couple of questions. As you click through the PowerPoint presentation, the answers to the questions will be revealed. Pupils should try to answer the questions as you go. The presentation to use for teeth is called ‘Smile crocodile’. It only takes ten minutes so it can slot into those awkward times in the school day – for example, straight after lunch while you are waiting for everyone to come in.

Spectacular science image

Whizz Pop Bang magazine and teaching resources are brilliant ways to enhance your school’s science teaching:

  • We provide downloadable science lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations, memorable lessons and science reading comprehensions written by primary school teachers.
  • Whizz Pop Bang teaching resources link to the National Curriculum, ensuring correct coverage.
  • All of our resources are year group specific, ensuring progression between the years.
  • We make cross-curricular links to other subjects, such as English, Maths, History, Geography, Art, Design and Technology and PSHE.

Prices from as little as £190 per year for a copy of Whizz Pop Bang magazine through the post each month and whole-school access to our ever-growing library of downloadable teaching resources, with unlimited teacher logins.

We’ve also just launched a new individual membership option so teachers and home educators can access all of our amazing downloadable resources for just £20 for the whole year

“Using Whizz Pop Bang school resources has enabled investigations to be an integral part of my science planning. I now have investigations and experiments throughout my planning rather than just at the end. The lessons are easy to resource and the pack has everything I need to teach the lesson so it saves me time as well!” Louise Hampson, Year 3 teacher 


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Take the flying paper challenge!

Looking for some simple science activities to keep children busy during the holidays? Here are three fantastic ways to make paper soar through the air.

Discover new twists on paper planes – just download, print, cut, fold and launch! Try out one design, or challenge your children to make all three and compare how they travel.

If you’re a teacher looking for ideas of primary science ideas, head this way to read about how to use these resources in the classroom and playground throughout primary school.

Make an air-powered rocket:
Whizz-Pop-Bang-air-powered-rocket-2-1


Make a stunt plane that flies in a circle!
https://www.whizzpopbang.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Whizz-Pop-Bang-Stunt-planes-1.pdf


Make straw planes
https://www.whizzpopbang.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Whizz-Pop-Bang-Stunt-planes-1.pdf


Whizz Pop Bang is a top-quality, gender-neutral, advert-free science magazine for families everywhere. Each issue is packed with experiments, activities, amazing facts, puzzles, jokes, riddles and more. Find out more here and flick through a space-themed issue here!


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