How Fire and Ice Shaped a Landscape

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Session Outline:

The session focuses on Derwentwater and its surrounding area including Crow Park, Skiddaw and the Borrowdale Valley. The children will explore the exogenic (processes which occur above the surface) and endogenic (phenomena which occur under the earth’s surface) forces which shaped and created the landscape around Derwentwater. In addition we will investigate the evidence for events millions of years ago by using fossils or by optional visit to Crow Park, to see a drumlin as a witness to the recent past. Three ‘hands on’ activities which complement each other will further understanding of how the landscape was formed through glaciation and movement of the landmasses.


  • Sorting rocks and exploring Dive into Derwentwater exhibition and gallery, focusing on geology, watching an animation of Derwentwater during the Ice Age by the University of Nottingham
  • Exogenic forces: The activity explores hands on how glaciers shaped the landscape by using clay, sand, gravel and ice. It will show how lakes and tarns were formed and give examples of glacial landforms such as: drumlins, moraines and erratics.
  • Endogenic forces: The activity focuses on the structure of the earth and plate tectonics through a demonstration. Afterwards the formation of the rocks of Skiddaw and the Borrowdale Valley is explained by using different coloured sand layers in a box.
  • Evidence (fossil riddle): Object handling, we will examine a number of fossils and work out how they can be proof that at various times there was a desert, a tropical forest and a shallow sea in what is now the Lake District.
  • Drumlin, Crow Park (optional): Twenty minutes from Keswick Museum is Crow Park which has examples of a glacial landform, Crow Park is an ideal place to understand how the landscape was formed.


Practical Details:

  • Year groups 3-6;
  • The three activities including exploration of the exhibition takes 2 hours, the Crow Park the visit would take an extra 30 minutes
  • One of the activities is self-led with clear instructions
  • The students work together in pairs or groups,
  • 10am-12pm or 1-3pm
  • £3.00 per pupil, leaders free.
  • Lunch on site is possible if booked in advance

Session outline

learning programme