- To practise questions and short answers
- Is it sunny? Yes it is. No it isn't.
- To use weather related poems and rhymes for learning English
- To introduce weather related vocabulary
Sun(ny), wind(y), rain(y), snow(y) etc.
- To introduce seasons and to revise months
- To practise adjectives
Hot, cold, warm etc.
- A large circle of card per student
- A paper fastener per student
- Sequencing cards for Incy Wincy Spider
- A class set of rulers and lots of extra crayons
- Photocopies of the worksheet in stage 2
- Photocopies of the weather chart for homework
Stage 1: Introduce topic with a poem and a song
There are a number of weather related poems and songs you could use here.
For younger children:
- My favourites include Incy Wincy Spider . This is great as it involves hand actions and you can get students to sequence illustrations for the poem after.
- Give each pair of students a set of pictures taken from the rhyme. Go to this link on the Enchanted Learning website, or draw your own.
- In their pairs students put the pictures into the correct order. Practise saying the rhyme again as they follow their pictures to check the order. Pre-teach word like rain and sunshine.
For older children:
- 'I Hear Thunder' is a good one to use. It is sung to the tune of 'Frère Jacques' and you can find the words here. I like this song because you can split the class up into teams and make it a team effort to sing better than the other team.
- You can be ambitious and try and sing in a round! It might get a bit messy but can be fun.
- If the teacher is with you then get him/her to be the singing leader for one team and you for the other. Pre-teach word like thunder, raindrops, pitter, patter, and wet etc.
Stage 2: Printable worksheets / Computer activities
- Go to this British Council's LearnEnglish kids website where you will find downloadable printable worksheets. You will need to click on 'Topics' on the left-hand side and scroll down to weather. Once you're on the weather page click on 'DOC' next to Printables - Weather and you will find a colourful matching worksheet.
- Your students have to match the pictures to the weather words and match the seasons to the weather. If you can photocopy this in colour all the better.
- If you can take them to the computer room then there is a good weather game here. They will need to know the future. 'It will be very windy'. It's a map of Britain and they have to read the weather report and match the weather pictures to the correct area in Great Britain.
- Again if you can use computers during your class there's a great on-line weather quiz. Students have to choose the best written description to match the weather picture.
Stage 3: Make a weather chart
- Provide each child with a large circle of card. Draw a line across the middle from left to right to split the chart into seasons in the top half and weather types on the bottom half. Basically split it like a camembert. You should also provide strips of paper or card to act as indicators. You can make small holes in the centre of the circles before class to make this stage more child-friendly.
- Give each child a paper fastener and demonstrate how to attach the indicators or clock hands onto the chart.
- You can model how to fill in the chart on the board. Depending on the age of your students you can either use pictures of snow and rain etc with only the seasons written or you can supply the phrases 'It's windy' for them to copy onto their charts.
Stage 4: Using the weather chart
- Once the chart has been made demonstrate how to use it with your own poster sized chart. Show how you can match a season to a weather picture and say 'In spring it's sunny.' 'In winter it's snowy.' You can hide where you have put your indicators and say 'In Autumn it's windy.' The children then have to put their indicators to the pictures you described on their own charts.
- Then they can check if they were correct when you reveal your chart. Get a few of the children to do as you did for the whole class. This can then be done in pairs or small groups.
- You can also practise adjectives when demonstrating how to use the chart. You can elicit sentences such as: 'In winter it's cold.' and 'In summer it's hot.' This is a good way to introduce the seasons as well.
- Again with the chart hidden and working in pairs, one child puts the weather indicator onto a picture. His/her partner has to ask 'Is it sunny?' and she/he replies 'Yes it is' or 'No it isn't' depending on where their indicator is.
- At the end of the lesson you can display the charts and each lesson they can put their chart indicators onto the correct weather for that particular day.
- Students can use the rectangular weather chart that you'll find at this link and fill it in during the week. You could get them to cut out the small weather squares and stick them into their diary, or ask them to draw the pictures. If they can write then get them to copy the expressions as well as draw the pictures.
- In pairs they can compare their homework weather charts drilling sentences such as 'On Monday it was sunny'. You will need to have provided them with the past simple of 'to be'. If there are any differences on the weather charts then ask if the child went away at the weekend.
- Using this worksheet you can go on to talk about hot countries and what clothes you need to wear in a hot country. On the worksheet they colour in the clothes they should wear and cross out the ones which aren't suitable.
By Jo Bertrand