The topic of weather is one of the most popular small talk icebreakers. Therefore, it would be helpful for ESL students to master their weather vocabulary in order to feel more comfortable in various social settings.
In this article, we will share some exciting ESL weather activities and seasons activities that you can incorporate into your weather lesson plans.
These are the best ESL weather activities to help students learn:
1. Spin the globe
Do your ESL students already know some basic weather vocabulary, such as “cold”, “warm”, “sunny”, “rainy”, “snowy”, etc? If yes, then you can bring a globe to your weather lesson and ask the students to guess the weather in different parts of the globe that you are pointing to. If you are teaching English to a group of international students, you can encourage each of them to point to their country on the globe and describe the typical weather there.
2. 20 weather questions
Have one of the students choose a location where he or she wants to travel. You can either give him or her a list of choices or just let them choose a random place. The rest of the class asks questions about the destination, trying to guess where their classmate wants to go. Encourage the students to ask more questions about the weather. If the class does not guess after 20 questions, the answerer wins. If they can guess before using all 20 questions, the class wins. You can also divide your students into small teams to play this fun ESL game.
For more examples of ESL games, see this article.
3. Weather contest
Bring various items to the classroom – bathing suits, sunscreen, umbrellas, scarves, etc. Working in groups, the students should choose the items that are most suitable for the weather condition that you call out. For example, if you say “summer” or “hot”, then the students should choose bathing suits and sunscreen. The first person from the team gets a point for choosing an appropriate clothing item, and the team with the most points wins.
4. Weather forecast
Show the students a video of a weather forecast with the sound turned off and ask them to guess what is being said. Then you can encourage the students to make their own forecasts, for example, try to predict what the weather will be like at the end of the day.
5. Meteorological sensitivity
Discuss with your students the weather conditions such as rain that can impact meteorologically sensitive people, for example, people who are prone to headaches or migraines. Ask the students if they have such symptoms or whether they or their parents can predict the weather by using their “inner barometer.”
6. Weather and culture
If you are teaching English to students from different countries in one classroom, you can discuss the festivals and other special events that are related to weather, such as the Groundhog Day. You can also discuss the idioms and sayings that involve weather as well as define their meaning. Finally, you can discuss how people can predict weather from the nature and surroundings in different cultures. For example, in some cultures birds that “bathe” in sand are a sign of coming rain.
Hang a big colorful calendar in the classroom. Ask each student to mark their birthday on that calendar and tell about the typical weather during that day. For example, “I was born on August 20. In my country, August is a summer month and it is typically hot on my birthday.”
8. What do you do when…?
In this ESL weather activity, the students work in teams to ask and answer questions about what they like to do when it is sunny, rainy, windy, or snowy. For example: “When it snows, I go skiing and ice skating.” “When it is sunny, I go to the beach.” “When it is rainy, I stay at home.”
9. Four seasons
Explain the four seasons to your students and then discuss the weather conditions that are typical for a certain season, such as winter, spring, summer, or autumn (fall). For younger students, you can use pictures. Show them pictures of seasons and have them guess which season you are showing.
10. Weather bingo
Print out different bingo cards for each student plus a call sheet. Cut out the call sheet into squares and put them into a hat. Hand out one bingo card to each person. The caller should pull out one image, describe it and show it to the students. The students will then mark the called image if it is on their card. You can also make your own markers. After a predefined pattern is made on a card, the person with that card calls out bingo.
11. Current weather discussion
This is one of the simplest ESL weather games, but still it works great. Working in pairs, the students discuss the today’s weather conditions and how they feel about them.
How Do You Teach Weather Vocabulary With Your ESL Students?
Talking about the weather is one of the most common conversation topics, and therefore one of the most important to learn. Vocabulary games and speaking activities can go a long way to teach ESL students how to talk about the weather. But what else helps? We want to hear from ESL teachers and tutors in the comments section. What do you do to help your ESL students learn about the weather and seasons?