During the last week of school I joined my daughter’s preschool class on their Celebration Day field trip to a park a few blocks from the school. The kids had only been playing for a half hour or so when dark clouds rolled in and raindrops started sprinkling. We rounded up the class quickly, but it wasn’t quick enough. We were a block away from the school when the sprinkle turned to a downpour, and we were just across the street when we had to find shelter to escape the hail. It was a memorable Celebration Day, that’s for sure!
I couldn’t help but think of Linda Ashman’s Rain! as we huddled in the bus shelter across the street from the school with 16 preschoolers. Some of them were crying. Some of them were laughing. Being caught in the rain is largely a matter of perspective, and that’s just what Ashman explores in her picture book about two people who experience a rainy day quite differently. This is a great choice for a rainy day read-aloud or to add to a character ed lesson as Tracey pointed out in this post.
Perhaps my favorite rainy day read is The Big Wet Balloon by Ricardo Liniers, a South American comic artist. This sweet sibling story that follows two little girls on a rainy Saturday is geared to emerging readers, but I have to say that I think the story will be appreciated by anyone with a sibling. Whether you were the older sibling taking the lead but sometimes making mistakes or the younger who sometimes followed and sometimes was dragged along on adventures that were sometimes fun and sometimes scary, this story is for you.
You can explore rain through the seasons in One Big Rain: Poems for Rainy Days compiled by Rita Gray. The collection has an appropriately muted feel in the words and the illustrations. The poems—from Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, and others—tell us that rain can be a forceful storm or a gentle sprinkle in various seasons (or all in the same day as I found out with my daughter’s class!).
Perhaps these books will inspire your students to write their own rainy day stories or poems. For those that need a little inspirational boost, share Jack Prelutsky’s Read a Rhyme, Write a Rhyme. This picture book poetry anthology from 2005 includes “poemstarts” for various topics, including one for rain. It’s perfect for classroom use!
The Big Wet Balloon by Ricardo Liniers. 9781935179320. 2013. Gr. PK-3 (Note this book is also available in Spanish.)
One Big Rain: Poems for Rainy Days edited by Rita Gray. Illustrated by Ryan O’Rourke. 9781570917165. 2010. Gr. 1-4
Rain! By Linda Ashman. Illustrated by Christian Robinson. 9780547733951. 2013. Gr. PK-2
Read a Rhyme, Write a Rhyme by Jack Prelutsky. Illustrated by Meilo So. 9780375822865. 2005. Gr. 1-3
Find more on Mackin.com:
Wet & Wild Weather – The fiction and nonfiction resources on this list provide information about extreme wet and wild weather, including rainstorms, blizzards, tornadoes, and hurricanes. Mackin login required to view.
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