Subject Area: Language Arts
David Shannon's wonderful illustrations and humorous text capture the chaos that occurs in a town during a rainstorm. However, things do turn around when the sun comes out.
Children will develop listening, observational, and language skills to recall story sequence and retell the story using cues from illustrations and knowledge of the storyline.
Show the class the cover illustration of The Rain Came Down. Ask them to describe what they think is happening. What do they think this book will be about?
Sequencing the Story
- Sentence-strip paper
- Pocket chart
- Markers, crayons, and pencils
- Drawing paper
- Reread the book several times to familiarize the class with the text and the story sequence.
- Ask the children to recall the different events as they occurred in the story. Begin by asking them to recall what day the rain came down and what animal was the first to react.
- Record each event on a separate piece of sentence-strip paper. Refer to the book if the children need assistance.
- After all the events have been recorded, provide each child with a sentence strip, a small sheet of drawing paper, and markers, crayons, and pencils to illustrate each sentence. If there aren't enough story sentences for each child, several children can illustrate the same event.
- Attach the illustrations to each sentence strip. Mix up the order of the events and place them in a pocket chart. Read each sentence with the class, encouraging them to identify familiar words. Invite the class to organize the events in proper sequence.
- Place the book and the sequence strips in the reading area to provide children with additional opportunities to revisit the activity during small-group time or center time.
Retelling the Story
- Once the children have become familiar with the story they can take turns reading aloud or dramatizing the story.
- Encourage them to identify familiar words and to use the illustrations from the book to guide their storytelling.
- Invite the children to dramatize the story. Choose one child to be the narrator and other children to portray different characters in the story. Use props from the classroom to enhance the dramatization.
- Celebrate the children's accomplishments with a picnic lunch or outdoor snack! If the weather doesn't allow this — have an indoor picnic.
Encourage the children to relate a personal experience to the story. Have they ever had a similar experience with rain? Invite them to share and discuss their experiences.
Other Books About Rain
Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain: A Nandi Tale
by Verna Aardema
This cumulative, rhyming African folktale relates how the very clever Ki-pat brings rain to the dry Kapiti Plain.
Mushroom in the Rain
by Mirra Ginsburg
While seeking refuge under a mushroom during a rainstorm, a little ant learns how his shelter can accommodate quite a few more rain-soaked friends.
Come on, Rain!
by Karen Hesse
Little Tess cannot wait for the rain to come and cool off her city during a long hot summer.
Other Books by David Shannon
David Goes to School
A Bad Case of Stripes
Teaching plan written by Risa Young