ESL Weather Vocabulary: Word List & Games

Instructor: Amanda Wiesner-Groff

Amanda has created and taught English/ESL curricula worldwide, has an M.Ed, and is the current ESOL Coordinator for the Saint Louis Public School District.

In this lesson we will be discussing weather vocabulary and some activities that can be used to teach ESL students all about the weather. You will be given word lists and games related to different types of weather conditions.

Weather Vocabulary Word Lists

There are a few different categories we are going to cover: weather conditions, temperature, and seasons. It is wise to teach these words one category at a time, so students do not have a large amount of new vocabulary thrown at them all at once. Having the words sorted into categories makes the lessons more organized and easy to follow.

Weather Conditions

Nice Weather

  • Sun
  • Sunny
  • Rainbow
  • Clear Sky
  • Bright

Rainy Weather

  • Rain
  • Rainy
  • Showers
  • Drizzle
  • Flood

Cloudy Weather

  • Cloud
  • Cloudy
  • Partly cloudy
  • Gloomy
  • Foggy
  • Overcast

Stormy or Bad Weather

  • Storm
  • Stormy
  • Thunder
  • Lightning
  • Windy
  • Tornado
  • Hurricane

Cold Weather

  • Snow
  • Snowy
  • Ice
  • Icy
  • Blizzard
  • Hail
  • Snowflake


  • Hot
  • Warm
  • Cold
  • Cool
  • Freezing
  • Thermometer


  • Winter
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Fall

While teaching each category you can introduce pictures with the word written underneath the image so students can also learn the spelling of each word. It is helpful to have the pictures on a poster, chart, or even just posted on the wall. Weather is universal and easy to comprehend, even if it takes a little while to remember the terms; therefore, having pictures is a great way to help students transfer what they already know. Additionally, having a chart depicting the seasons, along with pictures of activities people would normally do during each season, will help students better understand which type of weather typically falls into each seasonal area. Remember, some students may not have experienced all of these types of weather, so make sure to emphasize the weather and temperature vocabulary words associated with each individual season.


Flash Card Race

Divide students into two teams. One member from each team will come stand in front of you. Quickly hold up one flash card (either the image or the written side showing, depending upon the students' age and learning level). The player who correctly identifies the flash card first wins a point for his or her team. Keep going through the flash cards with a new player from each team getting a turn each time. At the end of the game, the team with the most points wins. This game can move along pretty quickly, so you can easily go through the pile of flash cards numerous times for added repetition. Don't forget to check for, and repeat, proper pronunciation of each word.

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