Weather: My Top Ways to Teach It!

Teaching the weather seems to be the most popular Genki English lesson this month.

So to go with the main “What’s the weather like? / How’s the weather?” lesson here are a couple of great games I use…

Weather Clap Clap!

First up is a very simple no-prep game that you can set up in 30 seconds.

First do the computer game and song as usual & then pop “Words 2” on the screen.

( Or for our analogue friends  put up 4 weather flashcards. 🙂 )

Then …

1. Everyone stands up.

2. Everyone says “What’s the weather like?” ( or “How’s the weather?” if you like, both are in the Teacher’s Set)

3. Everyone claps two times.

4. Everyone, at the exact same time, chooses one type of weather and whilst singing the line ( e.g. “It’s rainy”) they do the gesture.

5. If any of the kids have chosen the same weather as the teacher, they are out and sit down.

6. Repeat from 2 until all the kids are sat down.

Dead easy, but lots of fun.

Ninja Tip: Make sure everyone says the question, that way even the kids who are sat down still pay attention.

Ninja Tip 2: Tell the sat down kids they have to listen to see if anyone is cheating. They really get into this and really pay attention!

What’s the weather like in ….?

Or if you have a little more time this is my best ever weather game  for primary age kids and up (adults love this game too as they get lots of talking – even arguing- practice!)

1. First of all teach the weather words.

2. Put the kids in groups and put a large world map on the board.

3. Give each group a smaller map of the world. Each map has the 8 countries marked here.


4. In their groups the kids have to decide which country has what weather. They draw a picture to mark this weather on the country. It’s up to you to decide how detailed to do this e.g. “It’ sunny” or “It’s 24 degrees” or whatever.

5. When the kids have finished everyone turns round to look at the board.


Feel free to choose which countries you use!

6. The teacher chooses one country and one person from each group stands up and says what weather they chose for that country. The teacher writes, or draws, this on the board.

7. When all the groups info is in the teacher reads out the real *live*  info from this page (or you can make a print out of it beforehand!) of the real weather there!

8. The nearest group to predict the correct weather wins that country and one point!

9. Repeat again from 6, this time asking a different kid from each group.

10. The group with the most countries at the end of the game has won!

This is a great game for not only English practise, but getting the kids to work in groups and actually thinking about the English they are using.

Using real-time weather info that you got only minutes before makes the kids really excited. Or you could even play the CNN or BBC World Weather forecast to them, great listening practice!

Weather Picture Book

And finally, one of the most popular weather items is the Baby Monkey Weather Picture Book.

( I think it’s the clouds on page 9!)

Now … do you want me to update the weather software to have the picture book in there?

If you do, let me know in the comments, otherwise I’ll just leave the Youtube version!

I’d also love to hear your top weatehr ideas, please do write them up in the comments!

Be genki,

Richard

P.S.  As with anything, psychology is really important with chosing which words to teach.  Many textbooks just focus on lots of bad weather words, and hence the class gets on a bit of a downer!  So with Genki English, as with all the other themes, I purposely choose a few “bad” weather words at the beginning, but make sure they are balanced up with lots of really positive words at the end.  That way instead of going home thinking “it’s rainy/cloudy/snowy/horrible/end of the world!” like with regular textbooks, with Genki English they go home thinking “It’s hot, it’s sunny, it’s fine, it’s a beautiful day!”   Needless to say parents *really* appreciate this! 🙂

P.P.S.  The winner of September’s comment competition was …. Agnès!   If you’d like a chance to win a Genki English CD ( or CD download) of your choice, get commenting on the blog.  Each month I pick one comment at random to be the winner, the more you comment, the more chance you have to win!

Richard Graham

Hello, I'm Richard Graham. And when I was a kid I found school to be sooooo boring... So I transformed my way of teaching. I listened to what the kids were really wanting to say and taught it in ways they really wanted to learn. The results were magical. So I'm sharing it all with you now...

7 Responses to “Weather: My Top Ways to Teach It!”

  1. Cincyesl

    It’s funny, I teach in a tropical climate in India and teaching weather such as snow is tricky! Actually, teaching weather is easier than teaching ‘seasons’ because not all parts of the world experience the same: winter, spring, summer, autumn. Seasons here include ‘monsoon’!

  2. Gudrun

    Oh yes, please, Richard!
    It makes life so much easier to have the picture books right there in the software. That way, on my tablet, I don’t have to go out of the software, go to the file with the picture books and then back to the software if I want to recap another theme. That takes time, as it doesn’t always work properly and the kids get distracted.
    Sorry, but I am still hoping for the Genki English programme for iPad!!! After one year now working with both, my iPad and the other tablet that I only got for your programme, I have to say there’s absolutely no comparison!!! The iPad is worlds ahead and the quality is unbeatable, so once I get your programme for iPad, I will get rid of my other tablet for sure!!! And I hope it will be soon – please!!! It’s a bit of a drag to run around with both tablets in my bag. Hint, hint… 🙂
    Thanks for all the great ideas and all the extra work you do for us, Richard! We appreciate it!!!

    Oh – one more question to everyone out there: What do you do if Halloween falls in the middle of autumn vacation??? That’s the case this year in Germany and I don’t know if I should do the party this year or not. What do you think/do? Thanks for your advice.
    Have a good one,
    Gudrun.

  3. Gumby

    Richard, I love this idea. I have used the Weather Clap Clap game with great success. It also works great with other themes.

    I will definitely try the Weather around the world game. It is a great intro to different time zones. If you click on the name of each country you have on your website, it will also tell you the local time.

    I found the ‘feels like… degrees” entry interesting. I know that due to humidity differences the same temperature feels so much different in the US and in Japan, especially during summer. It would make a great science tie in, too.

    Gudrun, I would say have a Halloween party. My kids lookd forward to the special holiday lessons I do. Seeing them only once a week, I tend to “celebrate” whenever it is convenient 🙂

  4. Gudrun

    Thanks for your advice, Gumby,
    I agree with you, I am just a bit torn because lots of kids won’t be here, and they would be sad to miss the big party. I was also thinking about having it on the Friday night before Halloween. However, even then lots of kids will be gone already… Just as yours, they can’t wait for the Halloween lessons, even though it’s not a big thing here really. I am teaching lessons like the Treasure Adventure, The Pirates With The Coloured Beards, I Am A Robot, Mr. Octopus, Let’s Make A Monster, etc. throughout the month, so they are ready for Halloween. And the weather theme is also a good one: we describe it from Halloween morning throughout the day until Trick-Or-Treating and the party at night. They are very creative with that!

  5. Luciana

    Hi Richard, I bought the teacher’s set and i’m really excited. A question: Why didn’t you include angry in the how are you lesson? And i think the picture for tired shouldn’t have the ZZZ as children think of sleepy! Congrats for everything! You are the best!

  6. richard

    Hi Luciana,

    Good question, it’s to keep the balance of always ending the lesson on positive words. Very important for the motivation part of GE!

    The “zzz” on tired is because in most countries it has the same meaning as “sleepy” which tends to be only used for younger kids!

  7. Susan K

    Great ideas here! Thanks Richard!

    I’m doing speaking practice on weather and seasons at the moment so the game looks really good! I hadn’t thought of using a map but as the students are in year 4 it will improve their geography, too. Maybe they’d also enjoy a map of their country as Turkey has a wide variety of climates (snow in the north-east when people are swimming in the sea in the south!) They also enjoy chatting about their holidays visiting relatives!

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