Most English language courses for kids/beginner students include a lesson on the weather early on. Once students have learned how to ask and answer ‘How’s the weather?’, talking about the weather can be a useful warm-up in class and can become part of your daily routine. This page is a complete ESL lesson plan to teach about weather to kids and beginner ESL students. All the materials for the games and activities in this lesson plan are provided below.
Materials for this lesson:
- Flashcards – Weather
- Student Cards – Weather
- Board Game – Weather
- Hidden Picture PPT – Weather
- Weather Song by Busy Beavers (YouTube)
Weather Lesson Plan for Beginner ESL Students
Introduction and Warm Up
Before teaching the keywords for this lesson, it is important to put the lesson in context so students can better understand what they will learn. A very easy and effective way to do this when teaching about weather is to simply ask students to look outside. Ask students to look out of the window and try to elicit some of the weather keywords.
For example, you can ask students ‘Is it hot?’ and use your hand and body language to mime being hot. If you can elicit some of the key weather words (sunny, rainy, etc) from the students, then write these words on the board. Once students have a basic understanding of what they will study, reinforce this with a fun weather song.
There are many weather songs on YouTube, but our favorite for beginner learners is the ‘It’s Rainy‘ song by Busy Beavers. For a list of all our favorite ESL songs for kids to sing, arranged by topic, check out our post, The Best ESL Songs for Young Learners.
Play the song one time to students and then ask them what weather words they heard. Write these words on the board and practice them. Then, try to sing the song and teach students a simple dance. It’s quite easy to make a simple dance for this song, but to make it more fun, why not ask the kids to help you create the dance moves. For example, for ‘It’s sunny.’ students can make a large circle with their arms above their heads, and for ‘It’s rainy.’, students can use their hands and fingers to mimic rain.
Practice Key Words And Sentences
Using these weather flashcards, practice the keywords and expressions. The exact key expressions will depend on your particular curriculum, but here are some key expressions you might want to use while teaching about the weather:
- How’s the weather? – It’s (sunny).
- How’s the weather, today? – It’s (sunny).
- What’s the weather like? – It’s (sunny).
- What’s the weather like outside? – It’s (sunny).
- Is it raining? – Yes, it is. / No, it isn’t.
Activity 1: The Four Corner Game
Kids love this fun classroom game and it is a great listening game to practice weather. To play, place one of the weather flashcards in the 4 corners of the classroom. Then choose one (e.g. ‘sunny’), write it down, and don’t show the students. Next, give students 5 seconds to move to one of the corners.
After the 5 seconds, all the students should ask together ‘How’s the weather?’ and the teacher should answer with the weather he/she has written down. The students in the corresponding corner are out and must sit down. Repeat, and the last student standing is the winner. For safety, before playing be sure to tell students not to run or push, and make sure the floor is clear of anything the students can trip on.
Activity 2: Weather Board Game – Race Around The World
This weather board game is best played in pairs and is a great way to get students to speak using the target language. There is no need for dice. Simply print out this board game and give one to each pair of students. In this game students will ‘race around the world’ while talking about the weather. One student will go clockwise, and one student will go anti-clockwise.
To play, students should place their erasers at the bottom where it says ‘Start’. Then they should play ‘rock, scissors, paper’ and the winner can move his/her eraser to the next square. Next, students should make a dialogue based on the weather picture that is in that square. For example, ‘How’s the weather?’ – ‘It’s rainy.’. The first student to make it all the way around the world is the winner. Games4esl has many more free printable board games on many topics. For more, check out our Board Games Page.
Activity 3: How’s The Weather? – Guessing Game
This activity is played in groups of 4 and requires mini-weather flashcards. Print and cut out these weather student cards and give one set to each group. Ask students to place the weather cards face up on their desks and spread them out. Then, one student from the group should close his/her eyes while the other three students point to one of the cards.
Once they have chosen one of the weather cards, the one student can open his/her eyes. The three students should ask ‘How’s the weather?’ and the one student should try to guess which card they chose by answering ‘It’s (windy).’. If the one student guesses correctly, he/she gets to keep that card, and then it’s the next student’s turn. Once all the cards have gone, the student with the most cards is the winner.
Before finishing the class, review the keywords from the lesson. A great way to do this is with this hidden picture PowerPoint game. Click the color squares to reveal the weather picture beneath. When students are ready to guess, they should guess using the key expression from the lesson. To download more free Hidden Picture games check out our PowerPoint Games page.