The Sun, the Wind and the Rain Reader Activities
(second grade and up)
Writers like to repeat sounds. It’s fun to do. It’s like finding colors that match or like playing musical notes that sound good together. Repeated sounds in a piece of writing make it more musical, more poetic, more coherent.
Here are some repeated sounds in The Sun, The Wind and The Rain:
handful of sand
mound of sand
bump on the beach
Have your students experiment with repeated sounds. First ask your students to write a paragraph about their own most recent visit to the beach. Don’t offer any further writing instructions.
Then read The Sun, The Wind and The Rain. Point out a few of the repeated sounds. Repeated sounds can come at the beginning, the middle, or the end of a word. Ask students to find some more examples in the story.
Then ask them to look at their own work and find ways to revise it by adding some repeated sounds.
It’s fun to hear both versions out loud, to listen for the differences. What do they say about their revision process? Did the search for repeated sounds force other word changes? Did they see any other parts that required revision or tightening?
Science Activity (first grade and up)
Have your students build a sand mountain with wet sand packed hard like the one Elizabeth makes. Do it outside on the ground or inside on a waterproof surface, like a metal tray.
Decorate it! You can use twigs for trees or pebbles for animals as Elizabeth did, or you can try something different. You can even make a town.
With a sprinkler for rain, see how your mountain wears down. Do rivers form and grow? Do houses and trees fall over? Can the kids think of a place in the United States where landslides happen frequently? Can the kids think of examples of erosion near school or their own homes? What can people do to prevent erosion?
Suggested Lesson Plans
Awesome lesson plan, Mudpile Mountain, by NYU.
Another set of great lesson plans from Teacher Vision.