Activity Introduction

stormQuick summary: Students will investigate the link between climate change and extreme weather events. They will begin by watching and responding to a clip on how climate change is expected to affect extreme weather events. They will then select an extreme weather event and create a series of focus questions to investigate this event. Students will trade questions and investigate the questions of another group, then present their research to the class. Finally, students are asked to find an example of a good news story associated with an extreme weather event.

These activities “… are an invaluable tool for teachers to address climate change in an educationally relevant, scientifically sound, and action-­based way.” – Tim Flannery (Read more)

Learning goals:

  • Students will understand the connection between climate change and extreme weather events.
  • Students will recognise some of the predicted extreme weather events for Australia and will understand some of their impacts.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, Ethical understanding.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.1.

Australian Curriculum content description:

Year 7 Geography

  • The causes, impacts and responses to an atmospheric or hydrological hazard (ACHGK042)

Year 8 Geography

  • The causes, impacts and responses to a geomorphological hazard (ACHGK053)

Syllabus OutcomesGE4-2,GE4-3, GE4-5, GE4-5

Topic: We Are the Weather Makers

Time required: 60 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee activity and facilitate discussion

Resources required: Internet access, student worksheet.

Digital technology opportunities: Prezi presentation, online brainstorming (mindmeister or, digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunities for homework or extension.

Key reading from We Are the Weather Makers: Chapter 14 – Extreme Weather

Further reading from the book: Chapter 9 – Magic Gates, El Nino and La Nina, Chapter 13 – Rainfall, Chapter 5 – Rising Waters

Keywords: Climate change, extreme weather events, impacts, Australia.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Cool Australia would like to acknowledge:

  • Tim Flannery
  • David Harding, Rose Iser, Sally Stevens
  • Text Publishing and Purves Environmental Fund
  • Climate Council



Teacher Worksheet

stormTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: By participating in this activity students will understand the connection between climate change and extreme weather events, recognising the predicted extreme weather events for Australia and understanding some of their impacts.

Teacher content information:

Extreme weather and climate change from Cool Australia on Vimeo -



For more reliable information about climate change in Australia, visit the Climate Council.



The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. It was created to:
  • provide policymakers (governments) with regular scientific updates about climate change;
  • highlight the impact climate change will have on the planet in the future; and,
  • offer some ideas about how to tackle the challenges of climate change's potential effects on the planet.
In 2021-22, the IPCC released their sixth
- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What is the difference between a natural disaster and an extreme weather event?

Part 1. Read through the quotes from We Are The Weather Makers and complete the activities below -


This quote comes from We Are the Weather Makers which was published in 2006. There have been more extreme weather events since. Undertake some research online to find three extreme weather events that have occurred globally since 2006. Include the type of event, the name of the event, when it happened and where it happened:




The following websites may be useful:


Part 2.  Watch the video from the Climate Commission about global warming and extreme weather and answer the questions below:

Extreme weather and climate change from Cool Australia on Vimeo -

Describe this video in 25 words or less:

What types of extreme weather were identified in this video?

Working with a partner, brainstorm the cau

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