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Europe has been covered by ice and snow. It has spread as far as the Mediterranean coast with temperatures as low as -30C.

Different countries are calling it by different names. The UK has nicknamed it “the Beast from The East”, the Dutch, the “Siberian Bear” and the Swedes, the “Snow Cannon”.

Countries such as Spain, Italy and even Mediterranean islands like Capri are seeing snow. These places almost never get this kind of weather.

Since Monday, at least 10 people have died. Some of those include homeless people. Shelters have been opened to help prevent this. The shelters are providing blankets and warm food.

Many people have changed their plans because of cancelled flights and trains. Roads and hundreds of schools have closed as well. Citizens have been told to stay at home.

The Belgian police have made some lawbreakers stay in jail longer if they did not want to go to a shelter. Other groups have asked citizens to check on their neighbours.

Many people are hoping that spring is right around the corner.

Difficult words

Coast: Where the lands meets the sea.

Prevent: To stop something.

Provide: To give.

Citizen: A person who is from a certain country.

Lawbreaker: A person who commits a crime.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English: 

American English:

Match the Synonym!

 1. Coast  A. Stop
 2. Prevent  B. National
 3. Provide  C. Criminal
 4. Citizen  D. Beach
 5. Lawbreaker  E. Give

True or False?

1.  Europe is experiencing very hot temperatures. T / F

2. The cold weather has many names. T / F

3.  No flights have been cancelled. T / F

4. People have been asked to stay at home. T / F

5.  The German police made some lawbreakers stay in jail longer. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. Europe / covered / ice / by / has / snow / been / and

2. Different / are / countries / it / by / names / different / calling

3. shelters / blankets / and / warm / The / food / providing / are

4. flights / people / cancelled / because / their / and / changed / trains / have / plans / of / Many

5. been / Citizens / stay / have / home / to / at / told

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

British English: 

American English:

Names Providing Neighbours
Cancelled  Temperatures Weather

Europe has been covered by ice and snow. It has spread as far as the Mediterranean coast with ___________ as low as -30C.

Different countries are calling it by different _________. The UK has nicknamed it “the Beast from The East”, the Dutch, the “Siberian Bear” and the Swedes, the “Snow Cannon”.

Countries such as Spain, Italy and even Mediterranean islands like Capri are seeing snow. These places almost never get this kind of ___________.

Since Monday, at least 10 people have died. Some of those include homeless people. Shelters have been opened to help prevent this. The shelters are ___________ blankets and warm food.

Many people have changed their plans because of ____________ flights and trains. Roads and hundreds of schools have closed as well. Citizens have been told to stay at home.

The Belgian police made some lawbreakers stay in jail longer if they did not want to go to a shelter. Other groups have asked citizens to check on their ____________.

Many people are hoping that spring is right around the corner.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. Have you ever experienced extreme weather?
4. Does it snow in your country?
5. Do you know anyone in Europe?
6. Have you ever had trouble going somewhere because of the weather?
7. Do you regularly check the weather forecast?
8. What weather do you feel most comfortable in?
9. Does your country’s government do anything special when there is bad weather?
10. Do people in your country ever not go to work or school because of the weather?
11. Has a flight ever been cancelled for you?
12. Does your mood change in different weather?
13. What is your favourite season?
14. What kind of activities do you do when the weather makes you stay inside?
15. Do you think your country will have the same weather 100 years from now?
16. What do you think of global warming?
17. Should people try to prevent global warming?
18. What are the consequences of global warming?
19. Do you know the term “green”?
20. Does your country do anything to be “green”?