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Rain, Rain Go Away!

  • Apr 11, 2011
  • Dianna Babcock & Cheryl Henningsgaard

Spring is here and what child is not fascinated by the sounds of nature? This blog posting will highlight adding percussive sounds to your Library Story Time to implement the rhythms of a rainstorm and the glorious sights of a colorful rainbow at the end of the storm. Describing what happens during a rainstorm and utilizing socio-dramatic play to narrate the events of a rainstorm will also help children cope with weather changes and understand the sounds they are hearing around them, and increase their vocabulary. The rhythm and rhyme of several favorite chants about the rain going away add phonemic awareness that is essential for literacy. Young children learn best through meaningful, connected experiences. Spring is a great time to introduce the audience to not only the spring weather and literature about spring weather, but also the sounds of spring. The book we are highlighting today was written and illustrated by Minnesotans Audrey and Don Wood.

Music in a Box

Book Title: The Napping House

Appropriate Audience: Preschool-Early Elementary

Author/Illustrator: Audrey Wood, Don Wood

Literacy Goals (phonological awareness, print motivation, vocabulary, print awareness, letter-knowledge, narrative): All of the literacy goals can be facilitated by creating this story via musical storytelling. The pictures are interesting, detailed, and attractive. The characters in the story are meaningful to young children (a house, a bed, a granny, a child, a cat, a dog, a bed, a mouse, and flea). The story is sequential in nature, and there is rhythm and rhyme as the end line includes “where everyone is sleeping.” Vocabulary aspects include the interesting way adjectives are used to describe the characters in the story. The repetition of the words “on a” facilitate letter knowledge.

Activities/Extension with Music & Musical Materials:
Library Story Time can begin with Greeting Songs, and Finger Plays and rhymes about the rainy weather. Finger Plays could include, “The Itsy-Bitsy” Spider” and “Rain, Rain, Go Away.” Another listening opportunity might be recorded storm sounds and labeling what the sounds are. Sounds could be wind, rain, thunder, or lightening. Create a “Storm Symphony” with household objects that help make these sounds: drumming on coffee cans for “rain”, tapping on kettle lids for hail, banging kettle lids together for lightening.

Using a Flannel Board, create the outline of a “napping” house that is sleeping during a dreary rainstorm, and the story “characters” that go inside: a bed, a granny, a child, a dog, a cat, a mouse, and a flea. The characters should be labeled for early readers. Finally, create a rainbow that can be placed above the house at the end of the story.

Introduce the story by telling it using the Flannel Board and characters. Read the book to your audience and they will enjoy the contrast. Finally, using socio-dramatic play, you can act out the story, giving “volunteers” a character in the story.

The story ends with the storm ending, and a rainbow in the sky above the Napping House where “no one now is sleeping.” Ending Library Story Time listening to “Somewhere over the Rainbow,” sung by Judy Garland, dancing with colored ribbon wands or scarves.

Materials:
Napping House Book, Egg Shakers, CD Player, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” recording, Weather Sounds Recording, Household Kitchen Items for Making a Storm Symphony (kettles, lids, lidded coffee cans), Flannel Board, Felt “Napping House” Characters (House, Bed, Granny, Child, Cat, Dog, Mouse, Flea, Rainbow), colored ribbon wands, and costumes and props for socio-dramatic play.

Parent Education Tips: Discuss the importance of learning through multi-sensory approaches. Discuss the importance of play and how pretend play and cooperative play builds better learning and opportunities for developing creativity. Teaching about weather sounds during a storm will empower children to make sense of their world, and empower them to feel safe.

© MacPhail Center for Music, 2011

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