The Reading / Listening - Cherry Blossoms - Level 2

Cherry blossoms in Japan bloomed at their earliest in 600 years. Researchers say blossoms in the city of Kyoto peaked on the 26th of March. This peak was a day earlier than the previous record set in 1409. Data on Kyoto's cherry blossoms go back 1,200 years. As far back as the year 812, officials at Japan's imperial court wrote about the blooms in diaries. Japan had much warmer weather in the first few months of this year. Meteorologists say this is because of climate change. They say plants are flowering and blossoming earlier than normal because of global warming.



Cherry blossoms are important in Japanese culture. People keep a close eye on the news of blossoming times from cherry-blossom forecasts. The blossoms are called "sakura" in Japan. People plan trips to famous cherry blossom spots and have picnics under the sakura. The blossoms provide Japan with an important economic boost each spring. A Japanese newspaper explained the importance of sakura. It wrote: "Sakura has deeply influenced Japanese culture for centuries. It has regularly been used in poetry and literature. 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 1   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 peak was a day
  3. the previous record set
  4. Data on Kyoto's cherry blossoms go
  5. As far back as
  6. in the first few
  7. this is because
  8. blossoming earlier
  1. months of this year
  2. in 1409
  3. than normal
  4. in 600 years
  5. of climate change
  6. earlier
  7. the year 812
  8. back 1,200 years

Paragraph 2

  1. Cherry blossoms are important
  2. keep a close eye
  3. The blossoms are called
  4. People plan trips to famous
  5. an important economic
  6. deeply influenced Japanese
  7. used in poetry
  8. seen as a symbol
  1. and literature
  2. cherry blossom spots
  3. of life
  4. on the news
  5. culture
  6. in Japanese culture
  7. boost
  8. "sakura" in Japan

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Cherry blossoms in Japan bloomed at (1) ___________________ 600 years. Researchers say blossoms in the city of Kyoto peaked on the 26th of March. This peak was (2) ___________________ than the previous (3) ___________________ 1409. Data on Kyoto's cherry blossoms go back 1,200 years. As (4) ___________________ the year 812, officials at Japan's imperial court wrote about the blooms in diaries. Japan had much warmer weather in (5) ___________________ months of this year. Meteorologists say this is because of climate change. They say plants are flowering and blossoming (6) ___________________ because of global warming.

Cherry blossoms (7) ___________________ Japanese culture. People keep a (8) ___________________ the news of blossoming times from cherry-blossom forecasts. The blossoms are called "sakura" in Japan. People (9) ___________________ famous cherry blossom spots and have picnics under the sakura. The blossoms provide Japan with an important economic (10) ___________________. A Japanese newspaper explained the importance of sakura. It wrote: "Sakura has deeply influenced Japanese culture for centuries. It has (11) ___________________ in poetry and literature. Their fragility is seen as (12) ___________________ life, death and rebirth."

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

CherryblossomsinJapanbloomedattheirearliestin600years.Researc
herssayblossomsinthecityofKyotopeakedonthe26thofMarch.Thispe
akwasadayearlierthanthepreviousrecordsetin1409.DataonKyoto'sc
herryblossomsgoback1,200years.Asfarbackastheyear812,officialsa
tJapan'simperialcourtwroteaboutthebloomsindiaries.Japanhadmuc
hwarmerweatherinthefirstfewmonthsofthisyear.Meteorologistssayt
hisisbecauseofclimatechange.Theysayplantsarefloweringandblosso
mingearlierthannormalbecauseofglobalwarming.Cherryblossomsar
eimportantinJapaneseculture.Peoplekeepacloseeyeonthenewsofblo
ssomingtimesfromcherry-blossomforecasts.Theblossomsarecalled"
sakura"inJapan.Peopleplantripstofamouscherryblossomspotsandh
avepicnicsunderthesakura.TheblossomsprovideJapanwithanimport
anteconomicboosteachspring.AJapanesenewspaperexplainedtheim
portanceofsakura.Itwrote:"SakurahasdeeplyinfluencedJapanesecu
ltureforcenturies.Ithasregularlybeenusedinpoetryandliterature.The
irfragilityisseenasasymboloflife,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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