The Reading / Listening - Cherry Blossoms - Level 1

Cherry blossoms in Japan bloomed at their earliest in 600 years. Blossoms in Kyoto peaked on the 26th of March. This was a day earlier than the previous record set in 1409. Data on Kyoto's cherry blossoms go back 1,200 years to the year 812. Japan's imperial court wrote about the blooms in diaries. Japan had much warmer weather this year. Meteorologists say this is because of climate change. They say this is making plants blossom earlier than normal.



Cherry blossoms are important in Japanese culture. People look at cherry-blossom forecasts. The blossoms are called "sakura" in Japan. People go to famous cherry blossom spots to have picnics. The blossoms give Japan an important economic lift each spring. A Japanese newspaper explained their importance. It wrote: "Sakura has deeply influenced Japanese culture for centuries....Their fragility is seen as a symbol of life, death and rebirth."

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Cherry Blossoms - Level 0 Cherry Blossoms - Level 2   or  Cherry Blossoms - Level 3

Sources
  • https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20210331/p2g/00m/0na/038000c
  • https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-56574142
  • https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/climate-change-japan-cherry-blossoms-b1824373.html


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Phrase Matching

Paragraph 1

  1. bloomed at their earliest
  2. This was a day
  3. the previous record
  4. go back 1,200 years
  5. wrote about the blooms
  6. Japan had much warmer
  7. this is because of
  8. plants blossom earlier
  1. earlier
  2. than normal
  3. in diaries
  4. in 600 years
  5. climate change
  6. to the year 812
  7. weather this year
  8. set in 1409

Paragraph 2

  1. Cherry blossoms are important
  2. cherry-blossom
  3. The blossoms are called
  4. famous cherry blossom
  5. an important economic
  6. A Japanese newspaper explained
  7. deeply influenced Japanese
  8. a symbol
  1. their importance
  2. "sakura" in Japan
  3. lift
  4. of life
  5. in Japanese culture
  6. spots
  7. forecasts
  8. culture

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Cherry blossoms in Japan (1) ___________________ earliest in 600 years. Blossoms in Kyoto (2) ___________________ 26th of March. This was (3) ___________________ than the previous record set in 1409. Data on Kyoto's cherry (4) ___________________ 1,200 years to the year 812. Japan's imperial court wrote about the blooms in diaries. Japan had much warmer (5) ___________________. Meteorologists say this is because of climate change. They say this is making plants blossom (6) ___________________.

Cherry blossoms (7) ___________________ Japanese culture. People look at cherry-blossom forecasts. The (8) ___________________ "sakura" in Japan. People go to famous cherry blossom (9) ___________________ picnics. The blossoms give Japan an important economic (10) ___________________. A Japanese newspaper explained their importance. It wrote: "Sakura (11) ___________________ Japanese culture for centuries....Their fragility is seen as a (12) ___________________, death and rebirth."

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

CherryblossomsinJapanbloomedattheirearliestin600years.Blossom
sinKyotopeakedonthe26thofMarch.Thiswasadayearlierthantheprev
iousrecordsetin1409.DataonKyoto'scherryblossomsgoback1,200ye
arstotheyear812.Japan'simperialcourtwroteaboutthebloomsindiari
es.Japanhadmuchwarmerweatherthisyear.Meteorologistssaythisis
becauseofclimatechange.Theysaythisismakingplantsblossomearlie
rthannormal.CherryblossomsareimportantinJapaneseculture.Peopl
elookatcherry-blossomforecasts.Theblossomsarecalled"sakura"i
nJapan.Peoplegotofamouscherryblossomspotstohavepicnics.Thebl
ossomsgiveJapananimportanteconomiclifteachspring.AJapanesene
wspaperexplainedtheirimportance.Itwrote:"Sakurahasdeeplyinflue
ncedJapanesecultureforcenturies....Theirfragilityisseenasasymbolo
flife,deathandrebirth."

Student survey

Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

(Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

Discussion — Write your own questions

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

(a) ________________

(b) ________________

(c) ________________

(d) ________________

(e) ________________

(f) ________________

(g) ________________

(h) ________________

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

(i) ________________

(j) ________________

(k) ________________

(l) ________________

(m) ________________

(n) ________________

(o) ________________

(p) ________________





Free writing

Write about this topic for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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Answers

(Please check your answers against the article above.

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