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.
( Or for our analogue friends put up 4 weather flashcards. 🙂 )
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?
I’d also love to hear your top weatehr ideas, please do write them up in the comments!
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!