Thursday, April 7, 2016

It's Raining, It's Pouring: Rain Themed Ideas and Freebies for Primary Classrooms

April showers bring...lots of indoor recess.  Rainy days are not always a favorite of teachers, but maybe it's time to rethink our feelings about rain.
One way to make the most out of a rainy day is with some great read alouds.  There are so many books about rain, storms, rainbows, thunder, lightning, and more.  Two of my favorite rain themed read alouds are Rain! by Linda Ashman and Raindrop, Plop! by Wendy Cheyette Lewison.
Both of these stories really lend themselves to activities with various comprehension skills.

One way we used these books was by doing little text-to-text comparison using a Venn diagram. For my first graders, I put together the Venn diagram printable pictured below, that includes cut and glue responses.  Not all of my students needed the cut and glue option, but it was really helpful to most.  Students completed the diagram on their own without glueing their responses.  Then, I went over the answers.  Students could make the changes they needed to and then they glued everything in place.  
Of course, higher flying students can come up with their own responses and write them.  Or, they can use the cut and glue option and then add some additional responses of their own.
For a FREE copy of the Venn diagram we used with Rain! and with Raindrop, Plop!, you can click here.

After reading and comparing these two texts, my firsties had lots of ideas about fun things to do on a rainy day.  It was the perfect time to make a cute writing craftivity to brighten the hallway outside our classroom.
Students wrote about what they would like to do on a rainy day.  They could also write about a rainy day they experienced in the past.  The read alouds really helped students generate some great ideas for their writing pieces.
Click here if you would like more details about this Rainy Day Kids writing craftivity.

Another rain themed activity that my students absolutely loved was Raindrop Adjectives (a write the room activity).
I printed 16 raindrop words on blue paper and cut them out.  I placed them around the room and gave every student a recording sheet.

As students rotated around the room, they wrote each of the words on their recording sheets.  After they had all the words on their sheet, they returned to their desks and colored the boxes that had adjectives.

I picked up all the raindrop words while the students were coloring the adjectives at their desks.  After a few minutes, we gathered together to discuss all the words and which words are truly adjectives.  We taped the adjective raindrops to our anchor chart.
While parts of speech are still pretty tricky to many of my students, they have come a long way in their understanding of these concepts.
You can click here if you would like a FREE copy of Raindrop Adjectives to use with your class.

My students also enjoyed some rain inspired math activities during center time and during guided practice.  This week we started work on telling time.  I put together this simple digital time/clock matching activity for students to complete with a partner.

Students matched the digital time card with the clock cards and then wrote the times for the clocks on the recording sheet.  They did a great job!
Click here if you would like a free copy of Time for a Shower (a time to the hour activity).

Rain doesn't have to spoil your day.  It can be a fabulous jumping off point for some thematic learning.  I hope some of these activities are helpful to you as you make each day count with your young learners.
Thanks for stopping by.