WEATHER RESOURCES

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This activity will help students convey the main weather message, clearly and accurately, to the audience.

Chris Fawkes takes a look inside the BBC's weather studios

BBC Weather presenter Christ Fawkes takes you behind-the-scenes for a glimpse inside a studio in the BBC's Weather Centre.

As well as explaining exactly what a green screen is, Chris reveals how an 'intelligent' studio can even cope with him being the tallest person in the BBC's weather team.

Watch the video, and discuss what the practical difficulties of presenting the weather might be. (Hints: using an earpiece; the 'invisible' map.)

ACTIVITIES

Watch the experts

Extra Activity

JUST A MINUTE GAME

Get the students to practise talking without a script or assistance for a minute by playing a version of the BBC Radio 4 panel game 'Just a Minute'. Play in groups of four.

Roles:

  • Presenter - speaks about their chosen topic.
  • Rule-keeper - calls 'stop'
  • Timekeeper - starts the stopwatch when the presenter starts speaking and stops it when the rule-keeper calls 'stop'.
  • Judge - decides if the 'stop' call is correct. If not, the presenter may carry on and the timekeeper restarts the clock.

Rules for the presenter:

  • Talk for one minute on a chosen topic (it does not have to be the weather)
  • Do not hesitate (i.e. say 'er')
  • Do not repeat any information you've already said.
  • Do not stray from your chosen topic.

Mark each person's time on the board. The student who talked for the longest without breaking the rules is the winner.

Watch a forecast on BBC Weather. You can watch the national forecast or one for your area.

Discuss:

  • What makes it engaging?
  • At what speed do they convey the message?
  • How do they emphasise their point - verbally and physically?
  • What do you not like about the individuals?
  • What do you like about the individuals?
  • What can you try in your presentation?

The BBC Weather team do not read a script from an autocue, which means the presenters have to be able to talk for up to four minutes without assistance.

Forecaster Alex Deakin is one of the BBC's top presenters and he has some top tips on how to make your forecast informative and engaging.

Have a go yourself

On TV:

Project a BBC weather map on to an interactive whiteboard or wall in your classroom. (You can use the UK Weather map or one for your area.)

One student presents the weather while another student clicks the play (>) icon, pausing between each timeframe to give the presenting student enough time to deliver their weather report. Choose a set duration you would like your broadcast to be and try to keep to it.

When presenting the weather, think about these questions:

  • Are you getting the main message across?
  • How can you keep your audience's attention?
  • How do you come across; verbally and physically?
  • Are you speaking slowly and clearly?
  • What tone of voice are you using?
  • How are you interacting with your graphics?
  • Are you keeping to time?

On radio:

For a radio forecast, the presenter cannot rely on a weather map to convey information to the audience, so you need to make sure you communicate that with what you say.

Radio, like TV, is based on accurate timings, so choose a set duration you would like your broadcast to be and try to keep to it. With radio it does not matter where you are looking so you can keep an eye on the clock.

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Where are you going to present your bulletin?
BBC umbrella Using an umbrella when presenting outside.

If you are doing an in-vision forecast, it is important to think about the place you will be recording it.

Do you have a 'green screen' at your school where you can project your weather map?

Maybe you could present your weather forecast outside. Do the pictures or surroundings help portray your weather story?

If rain is due, umbrellas give a sense of what is to come.

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