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Teachers: Literacy: Sentence

Last Updated: Friday September 01 2006 11:55 GMT

Write picture captions

Sentence level


Climate change is a current hot topic. In 2006 children around the world experienced a range of dramatic weather events.

Extreme heat, forceful winds, sudden snowfall and severe floods and landslides are just some of the weather conditions which have made the news.

Learning aims

  • Notice and investigate a range of devices for presenting texts - captions.


    Click below to read the story:

    Flick through a newspaper and identify a number of picture captions. Explain that captions are a small piece of text which gives information about what is happening in a photograph.

    Show an enlarged weather picture and add your own caption. Display remaining pictures and ask children, in pairs, to discuss potential captions.

    Lightning can hit targets more than 20 miles away from the parent cloud
    A tornado can move at speeds of more than 250 miles per hour
    The greatest snowfall in a day is 192cm

    Ask children to share their ideas and write the best ones under the respective pictures.

    Prompt: Is one word good enough for a caption? Why not?

    Main activity

    Give each child a selection of weather pictures and ask them to write a descriptive caption.

    Less able children could use prepared captions to attach to the correct pictures.

    Extension activities

    Rainy day

    Write a fictional news story based around one of the pictures. It must have a beginning, middle and end section.

    See how many captions can be found on the Newsround website. Can any of them be changed?


    Divide the class into two. Give one half some pictures, the other half some captions.

    Children have to locate a partner by finding the caption/picture which matches what they have been given.

    If you want it to be a noisy session, the children could shout out their weather type as an aid to match up correctly.

    Teachers' background
    • The climate of the Earth is always changing as a result of natural causes. Nowadays, however, the term climate change is generally used when referring to changes in our climate which have been identified since the early part of the 1900's. The changes we've seen over recent years and those which are predicted over the next 80 years are thought by many observers to be the result of human behaviour, although this is not universally accepted.

    • Five million people in England and Wales are now at risk from flooding every year and two million homes have been built in the natural floodplain of rivers or the coast and are vulnerable to flooding. The total financial cost of all of the property, land and assets in these areas has been put at a value of 214 billion.

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