5 ideas for teaching about the weather using apps and mobile devices

Click here to load reader

Post on 17-Jan-2015




0 download

Embed Size (px)


Here are some ideas for teaching weather words – or about the topic of the weather – using apps and mobile devices. The ideas are aimed at the EFL/ESL young learner classroom but can be adapted to other contexts.


  • 1. 5 ideas for teaching about the weatherusing apps and mobile devices Kim Ashmore, Director and Co-Founder, LearnAhead Ltd Copyright 2011, LearnAhead

2. 5 ideas for teaching about the weather usingapps and mobile devicesHere are some ideas for teaching weather words orabout the topic of the weather using apps andmobile devices. The ideas are aimed at the EFL/ESLyoung learner classroom but can be adapted to othercontexts.1. Listen to a song Itsy Bitsy Spider2. Learn about the seasons and weather3. Spell weather words4. Weather around the world5. Make a weather report2 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead 3. 1. Listen to a song Itsy Bitsy SpiderItsy Bitsy Spider (also known as Incy Wincy Spider) is atraditional childrens song about a spider in the rain. Thisapp is aimed at toddlers who speak English as a firstlanguage, but it would be suitable for some younger learners(for example aged 5 or 6) who are learning English as asecond or foreign language too.Use the app with your whole class, and get children to singalong (you can record them singing), and encourage them totouch and explore (for example, making rain come downfrom a cloud, splashing in puddles). Children can also learnabout weather and nature by poking the fly that appears inevery scene; and there are other learning activities (egcounting from 1 10 as a squirrel builds a house).3 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead 4. 1. Listen to a song Itsy Bitsy SpiderApp: Itsy Bitsy SpiderPlatform: iOS (versions for iPhone and iPad)Cost: 1.49/$1.99App: Itsy Bitsy SpiderPlatform: AndroidCost: 1.274 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead 5. 2. Learn about the seasons and weatheriLearn with Poko is an app aimed at children aged between 3- 7.The app has three levels all based around basic concepts of theweather and the seasons: In Level 1, children have to click onpictures that match certain descriptions (for example, click onthe picture where there are no clouds); in Level 2, children haveto click on things that dont match the weather (for example, achild wearing sunglasses on a cloudy day); and in Level3, children have to match activities with the right weather. Thislevel also introduces a calendar with months and days of theweek. App: iLearn with Poko: Seasons and Weather! Platform: iOS (versions for iPhone and iPad) Cost: 1.99/$2.995 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead 6. 2. Learn about the seasons and weatheriLearn with Poko is aimed at native speakers ofEnglish, but would be useful for children learningEnglish as a second or foreign language. Allinstructions are verbal, so learners will comeacross natural English used in meaningfulcontexts. They may need some help at first withunderstanding the instructions, but the appwould give learners great practice in developingtheir listening skills (note that this app usesAmerican English so uses fall and not autumnfor example). The app would also be useful incross-curricular contexts, introducing children tobasic concepts of science and geography. It mightalso inspire your class to keep their own weatherdiary for a period of time perhaps a class blogrecording the weather each day? 6 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead 7. 3. Spell weather wordsWord Carrot is an app that will help learners of all ages spellten weather words. Learners see the word, hear the word, andchoose the right letters to spell it. You could use it as a game toplay on the IWB, or students can use it to practise weatherwords outside the classroom. Here is an activity you can printfor learners to practise the words further.Weather WorksheetApp: Word CarrotPlatform: iOSCost: Free 7 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead 8. 4. Weather around the worldHere are two activities you can do with upper primary or secondary students.First divide students into small groups, and make sure that each group hasaccess to a mobile device with a free weather app installed (suchas Accuweather, or any preferred weather app). Now try the first activity:1. Ask each group to research current weather conditions, and to write a quizfor students in another group using the data (for example: Is it raining inSeoul? Whats the temperature in Madrid? Do you need to wear a raincoat inTokyo? Is it best to be indoors or outdoors in Helsinki today?) When studentsare ready, get them to swap quizzes and give them a time limit to answer thequestions using their weather app. If students use different weatherapps, you might get some interesting results, which could lead to a discussionabout the accuracy of weather apps.8 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead 9. 4. Weather around the world2. Give students some questions comparing the weather in different placesaround the world (for example: Whats the hottest place in Germany? Whatsthe coldest place in Japan? Is Moscow hotter than Beijing?)Tell students to use the weather app to find the answers as quickly as theycan. This is a great way to practise comparatives and superlatives.App: AccuweatherPlatform: iOS (versions for iPhone and iPad)/AndroidCost: Free 9 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead 10. 4. Weather around the world One interesting weather app is Weather Doodle, which features animated weather art that represents the time of day and weather conditions of the chosen location. This visual representation of the weather could be a useful asset to the classroom, and might inspire an art project too. This app is not free but it is low-cost. App: Weather Doodle Platform: iOS Cost: 0.69/$0.9910 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead 11. 5. Make a weather reportThis is another idea for older primary and secondary students. Put studentsinto pairs or small groups, and make sure that each group has a mobiledevice which allows video recording. First of all, discuss typical weatherreports: What information is given? Who is the audience? What do thesepeople need to know? What kinds of phrases are used? You could perhapswatch a weather report or two together as a class at this stage.Next, students should prepare a short weather report in groups, about theirown or another country. Once videos are ready, they can be shared withothers using a simple blogging app such as Posterous.App: PosterousPlatform: iOS/AndroidCost: Free11 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead 12. 5 ideas for teaching about the weather usingapps and mobile devicesHave you got any more ideas to share? Then sharethem at :http://wordcarrot.com/5-ideas-for-teaching-about-the-weather-using-apps-and-mobile-devices/Thank you! 12 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead