Resources for Teachers (post-16 years)

Resources for Teachers (post-16 years)

The webpages of hopefully provide a useful information resource for both students and teachers. However, there are also lots of free downloads and interactive resources available on the internet. This webpage has a number of resources suitable for GCSE and A-Level Geography and Geoscience teachers.

There are more ideas for student projects on the Geography A-Level Projects page. You can also see the Essay Questions page for more ideas.

Patagonian Ice Sheet (and glacial landforms)

Make sure to check out the teaching resources and interactive maps that we have developed about the Glaciation of Patagonia. There are photographs and examples of the different landforms, gifs and images, and there is an interactive ArcGIS Online map to explore, all freely available.

Glaciation of Britain (and landforms)

There is also a number of resources focused on the glaciation of Britain, including the Younger Dryas Glacial Map, another interactive ArcGIS Online webmap!

The Younger Dryas Glacial Map

Text books

If you want to brush up on your own glaciological knowledge, then there are hundreds of text books to choose from. However, two of the best are:

The IPCC Fifth Assessment Report has numerous datasets about glaciers, ice caps and climate change, all of which are relevant to the schools curriculum. The Summary for Policy Makers is quick and digestible.  If you want more detail, there is a whole chapter on Observations: Cryosphere.

Quaternary Glaciations: Extent and Chronology

This book by Elsevier (Ehlers and Gibbard, 2011; Quaternary Glaciations: extent and chronology, a closer look) is rather expensive, but they have made the GIS data and maps freely available  to anyone. You can download the shapefiles of the Last Glacial Maximum for the whole world from the Booksite. I made the map below quickly just using the files provided on the Booksite.

Ice sheets at the Last Glacial Maximum worldwide, around 27,000 to 21,000 years ago. From Ehlers and Gibbard, 2011.


Nasa produce thousands of satellite images and make them freely available. Use EarthExplorer to find satellite images.

An easier way to do it might be to use the Image of the Day feature on the NASA website. These images often are GeoTiffs that can be downloaded straight into a GIS for analysis and mapping. Here is a great example of the North Patagonian Icefield.

In the higher resolution image from the website, the moraines and geomorphic features around the ice mass are clearly visible, and are easily mapped directly in the GIS.

North Patagonian Icefield from NASA’s Image of the Day. Right click to see full size.

There are lots of great pages for you to explore here. For example, here is an explainer, with figures, of the Larsen Ice Shelf collapse.

LIMA: Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica

A number of maps of Antarctica are available to download and print off for free from LIMA. They include the Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica, a beautiful map you can explore in a GIS.

Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA) showing location of key ice shelves. Figure by Bethan Davies

IBCSO (International Bathymetric Chart of the Southern Ocean)

IBCSO bathymetric charts
IBCSO bathymetric charts

The IBCSO website provides information on sea floor topography. Users can download a PDF chart or Geotiff data of the entire ocean floor.

Access the data.

When using any data from the IBCSO project please cite:

Arndt, J.E., H. W. Schenke, M. Jakobsson, F. Nitsche, G. Buys, B. Goleby, M. Rebesco, F. Bohoyo, J.K. Hong, J. Black, R. Greku, G. Udintsev, F. Barrios, W. Reynoso-Peralta, T. Morishita, R. Wigley, “The International Bathymetric Chart of the Southern Ocean (IBCSO) Version 1.0 – A new bathymetric compilation covering circum-Antarctic waters”, Geophysical Research Letters, doi: 10.1002/grl.50413


Glaciers Online

The Glaciers Online website has an excellent photo-glossary that you can encourage the students to explore.

Other web resources

See more suggestions on my Links page.

Making Glaciers

One way to get students involved and engaged is to get them to make a glacier using Glacier Goo. This tried and tested method is fun and exciting, and you can encourage the students to think about deformation and glacier movement processes, as well as ablation and accumulation.

Making glacier goo flow down a mountain that we made out of papier machee

There are many glacier goo recipes around. The National Association of Geoscience Teachers has some good resources.

Purchase printed maps

You can buy lots of maps of Antarctica cheaply from the British Antarctic Survey. You can also browse and purchase photographs.

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