Monday, 23 December 2013

The Weather - Pre-Intermediate Lesson

Stormy Weather

The winter has finally arrived!  Last week we had a very bad storm, with heavy snow in some areas. In my village, we had 320 mm of rain in 4 days.  I have been telling my students about the storm and I have noticed that most students don't have the vocabulary to describe the weather.  It is a common topic of conversation and English people love talking about it.  So today's post is all about the weather.

What is stormy weather? 

Look at the amazing stormy weather pictures from the National Geographic website:

Photo by Jim Reed National Geographic

* Discuss the pictures and the vocabulary in the captions:     


Rain is a verb:

It's raining outside (present continuous).
Is it raining? (Present continuous)
It rained yesterday (past simple)
I think it will rain tomorrow (Future)

Rain is a noun:

Look at the rain.
Can you see the rain outside?
I love rain, it reminds me of England.

Rainy is an adjective:

It is a rainy day, I think I'll stay home.
October is usually a very rainy month.

Other rain expressions:

Heavy rain: A lot of rain.
Rain-storm: Heavy rain with, thunder and lightening.
Drizzle: light rain
To pour: To rain very hard.
Shower: A short period of rain.
Rain drops: Little drops of rain.
Flood: A large amount of water, covering land that is normally dry.



Photo by Ryan Humphries

Snow is a verb:

It's snowing (present continuous).
Is it snowing outside (present continuous)?
It snowed last night (past simple).
It will snow tomorrow (future).

Snow is a noun:

There was a lot of snow on the mountain.
My car is covered in snow.

Snowy is an adjective:

It is a beautiful snowy day.
It is not usually snowy in November.

Other snow expressions:

Snow-storm: Very heavy snow-fall.
Heavy snow: A lot of snow.
Light snow: Small amount of snow.
A lot of snow: A large amount of snow.
A little snow: Small amount of snow.
Icy: Very cold or covered with ice.
Hail: Small balls of ice.
Frost: When water vapour freezes.


Sun is NOT a verb, 'shine' is a verb that describes the sun:

The sun is shining today (present continuous).
Is the sun shining (present continuous)?
The sun shone all day yesterday (past simple).
I hope the rain will stop and the sun will shine tomorrow (future).

Sun is a noun:

The sun rises at 6.00 am sets at 7.00pm.
The rain stopped and the sun came out.

Sunny is an adjective:

It was a sunny day, so we went to the beach.
I love sunny weekends.

Other sun expressions:

Sunrise: When the sun comes up in the morning and the day light begins.
Sunset: When the sun goes down in the evening and the day light ends.
Sunshine: The warmth given from the sun's rays.


Wind is NOT a verb, 'blow' is a verb used to describe the wind:

The wind is blowing very hard outside (present continuous)
Is the wind blowing very hard?  (present continuous).
The wind blew all night long (past simple).
The weather forecast said the wind will blow at 100 km per hour tonight.

Wind is a noun:

I like flying a kite when the wind blows.
I can feel the wind on my face.

Windy is an adjective:

The weather forecast said it would be very windy this afternoon.
If it is too windy we might have to cancel the party.

Other windy expressions:

Breeze: Light wind
Gale: Strong wind
Hurricane: A very strong wind, with wind speed of more than 119 km per hour.


Cloud is NOT a verb, 'to cloud over' is a phrasal verb used to describe clouds:

It is clouding over, I think it's going to rain (present continuous).
It suddenly clouded over and the blue sky turned to grey (present simple).
The weather forecast said that it will cloud over at around noon.

Cloud is a noun:

The sky was full of big black clouds.
That looks like a rain cloud.
That cloud looks like a dog.

Cloudy is an adjective:

The forecast said it will be cloudy all day.
It is usually cloudy at this time of year.

Other cloud expressions:

Rain cloud: Grey clouds
Storm cloud: Big black clouds
Partly cloudy: Not completely cloudy, 2/6 of the sky/day is cloudy.

Asking about the weather?

What is the weather like today? (Present simple)
What was the weather like during your trip? (Past tense)
What will the weather be like at the weekend? (Future)

Talking about the temperature:

It is/It was/It will be:
Boiling: Very hot
Freezing: Very cold

To check the weather we look at the 'Weather Forecast'.

Exercise 1:

Look at the Weather Forecast in London, use the information in the box, choose the correct word to complete the sentences:

Example:  What's the weather like in London today (Wednesday)? It's cloudy today.

       11                           Rain                    Partly cloudy              
   Partly sunny                    10                         Sunny

1. What's the temperature in London today (Wednesday)? It's ____ degrees.
2. What will the weather be like on Thursday in London? It will be ______.
3. What will the weather be like on Friday in London? It will be _______and______ on Friday.
4. What will the weather be like on Saturday in London? It will _______.
5. What will the temperature be in London on Sunday? It will be _____ degrees.

* Answers below

Exercise 2

Look at the Weather Forecast around the world, use the information in the box, choose the correct word to complete the sentences:

     Cloudy                                   Snowing                              3 
               Shining                          Raining                           Partly sunny

1. What is the temperature in Beijing today?  _____  degrees.
2. What's the weather like in Lagos today? It's  _________ .
3. What's the weather like in Auckland today? It's _________.
4. What's the weather like in Moscow today? It's ___________.
5. What's the temperature in Buenos Aires today? _________. 
6. What's the weather like in New York today? The sun is ________ .

* Answers below

Exercise 3:

Watch the video from  and answer the questions below:

1. Why does the Mother think it will be rainy?

2. What's the weather like in Northern Canada?

3. What's the weather like in South America?

4. What's the temperature in some parts of Europe?

5. What's the weather in Asia?

6. What's the weather in America?

7. Why does the Father want to go to bed?

*Answers below

Exercise 4:

Answer the questions below:


1. What's the weather like where you live today?

2. What was the weather like yesterday?

3. What will the weather be like at the weekend?

4. What's the weather usually like in your region/country in July?

5. What's the weather usually like in your region/country in December?

"You can't have a rainbow without a little rain."

Question: What does this quote mean
Answer:   You can't have a beautiful life without some challenges. 

Whatever the weather, have a great day !!!!

* Answers Exercise 1
1. 11.   2.Sunny.   3. Partly sunny and partly cloudy.    4. Rain.     5. 10.

*Answers Exercise 2
1. 3.   2. Cloudy.   3. Raining.   4. Snowing.   5. Partly sunny.    6. Shining.

* Answers Exercise 3
1. Because there is thunder and lightening.
2. Cold and snowy.
3. Hot sunny.
4. Cool.
5. Cloudy and warm.
6. Overcast and rain is possible.
7. He's scared of the thunder and lightening.

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