The Met Office Education Website is part of
Skip Navigation Mobile Help Site map Default text size Larger text size High contrast page

What are clouds and why does it rain?

Key Stage 3, Geography, QCA Scheme of work

Unit 10.3 Weather patterns over Europe (Year 8)     

Prior Learning

At Key Stage 2 students learnt the basic water cycle, this is adding to and building upon this work.


By the end of the lesson:


Get the students to complete the hydrological cycle word search to give them the key vocabulary for the lesson.

Main Body

Option to demonstrate water cycle in a bowl

  • A quick visual refresh of what is going on. Simple demonstration requiring a kettle (to supply steaming water) a mixing bowl, cling film and some ice cubes.

Illustration of water cycle in a bowl 

Condensation should form on the cling film and drip (rain) back into the bowl. A slower version of this demo can be found in the primary kids section.

Go through hydrological cycle animation with students.


Complete the hydrological cycle crossword to check their understanding of the cycle. Alternatively compile their own crossword using key words.