The weather affects everything we do, from what we eat to what we wear, so it's an important subject to teach our young kindergartens, even in English. It can be challenging to keep our young learners' attention, so how do we teach it without students getting boring? Today I want to share a method that will help you teach the weather in a fun way using weather flashcards.
For this activity, all you're going to need are some flashcards of the weather vocabulary you want to teach. You can find a weather flashcards pdf here from Mooncake English.
Start by positioning the class in a semi-circle with you, the teacher, at the front of the class.
First, we want to let students know that we are going to be talking about the weather. However, if teaching low-level students, you don't want to start by using too many big words or long sentences. Your students will not understand, and you will most likely lose their attention. For example:
"Okay, everyone, let's look outside and see what the weather is today, look outside, over there, look and let's see what the weather is today."
These sentences can be too much language for our low-level students to understand. Instead, introduce the weather section by going straight into a how's the weather today song.
"What's the weather, What's the weather, what's the weather like today? Is it Sunny? Is it rainy, is it stormy, or windy?"
Ensure you are singing with enthusiasm, and add some TPR for each of the weather symbols for kids.
INTRODUCE THE FLASHCARDS
Next, you're going to place the flashcards face down on the floor one by one, counting as you do. Be sure to count nice and slow so that your students can count with you.
DISCOVER THE FLASHCARDS - BOUNCE
Introduce the ball using a chant.
"It's a ball, roll, roll. It's a ball roll, roll!"
Choose one student that is sat nicely, call their name, and have the class chant all together:
"Roll the ball, roll the ball!"
Roll the ball to that student, have them pick it up, and bring it to the front of the class, dropping the ball onto one of the flashcards. Have that student then sit down and look at the flashcard with excitement. Have the class chant together:
"Let me see, please, let me see, please!"
Show that flashcard to the class and introduce the word using chants and TPR as you do. You must be using the same TPR for each of the different weather symbols for kids every time you teach the weather so that they have some time to digest and learn the new word.
Next, have the class chant all together:
"Look outside, look outside, look outside!"
Ask the class if the weather matches the weather on the flashcard you just introduced, "is it (sunny) today?" If it doesn't, have the class chant all together:
"No, it's not, no it's not, no it's not! Bye Bye (sunny)"
Place that flashcard behind you, choose another student, and go through the process once again with a different student. Keep going until all the flashcards have been introduced.
Once you do get to the weather of the day (try to keep that flashcard to last), have the class sing a 'how's the weather today?' song altogether:
"Today is a (sunny, sunny) day. *clap clap
Today is a (sunny, sunny) day. *clap clap
It's a (sunny) day; it's a (sunny) day.
Today is a (sunny, sunny) day. *clap clap"
You then put the weather of the day on the preschool weather chart or a prominent place for all to see.
You can start teaching the weather by only teaching students to identify different weather. However, once students have grasped the basics, they want to expand their vocabulary by introducing other weather nouns such as raindrops, clouds, and the sun.
You can talk about what different weather does; for example, the wind can move the trees, the sun can shine down on you, the rain makes you wet. You can talk about the sky, the sky's color, and the sky's color during different weather. You can talk about temperature and how it relates to seasons. The list is endless, and the more you expand on your students' weather vocabulary, the more their day to day English will improve.
So try not to get caught up in the trap of teaching just a few weather descriptions. Think about your class, their English level, and how you can expand their language skills using the weather.
Have a fantastic teaching week!
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