Ban the beds


In preparation for a summer holiday many people turn to sunbeds to top up their tan but could this habit be endangering their life? In this activity students are working as researchers on a TV show planning a report about the claim that sunbeds cause skin cancer. Students will use knowledge about UV light to explain the link between sunbeds and skin cancer, and understand how scientific evidence can support a claim. 

KS3/GCSE   Working Scientifically  Analysis and evaluation: interpret observations and data

KS3/GCSE   Waves:  uses of electromagnetic waves

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Lesson outline

For detailed lesson plan, download the teachers guide.

Starter:  Students study a graph that appears to show a link between sunbeds and skin cancer.
Core task:  Students do some research into UV light and write the introduction to the report.
Plenary:  There is a scientific reason why sunbeds could cause skin cancer.
Extension:  Students study evidence presented as graphs and decide which best supports the claim.
Plenary:  Discussion on if they now have enough evidence to prove the claim is correct.


Tanning addict warns of dangers  Online newspaper article about a young woman who was diagnosed with skin cancer aged 19. This is the story the activity starter is based on. Show the students the short interview.

SunSmart Website from Cancer Research UK about sunbeds.

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  • lornaq says:


    Helpful resource to help a very theoretical part of the syallabus appear relevant.

  • smanning says:

    Ban the Beds

    This was a good activity to enhance students research skills and alert them to a modern day problem.

  • smanning says:

    Ban the Beds

    This was a good activity to enhance students research skills and alert them to a problem.

  • nialtp says:

    Useful up to IGCSE and beyond!

    I haven’t tried this yet as it doesn’t feature in our curriculum yet, but I can definitely see it featuring next year.
    Not only for the KS3 but also for the IGCSE Science courses.

  • benoit says:

    used in european section in France

    Let’s talk about the sunbeds… a lot of my pupils knew what it is but none the danger linked to their use. They work on it with great will . In three weeks i’ll have some videos to share cause they will be the reporters if you want to see the results…

  • pauljcg says:

    Year 8 loved it!

    I asked my year 8s to vote on which “engage” lesson they wanted to learn more about and they voted for this lesson. Despite being a Friday a week before the end of term, they were all really interested in the topic and were looking at the evidence in a critical way. I can really recommend this lesson; it’s easy to adapt, add differentiation and make it your own.