Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Oh, Let the Rain Fall Down

Jeanne Barber-Morris
Santa Rosa District Schools

Description

Using the three phases of the water cycle and five science vocabulary words, students write a narrative paragraph(s) describing the journey of a raindrop during one day.This introduces personification.

Objectives

The student generally follows the conventions of punctuation, capitalization, and spelling appropriate at fifth-grade or higher level.

The student revises draft to further develop a piece of writing by adding, deleting, and rearranging ideas and details.

The student evaluates own and other's writing (for example, identifing the best features of a piece of writing, determining how own writing achieves its purpose, asking for feedback, responding to classmate's writing).

The student uses creative writing strategies appropriate to the format (for example, using appropriate voice; using descriptive language to clarify ideas and create vivid images; using elements of style, such as appropriate tone).

The student uses strategies to create an effective central theme or focus (suspense, humor, creativity or fantasy).

The student chooses specific detail and precise word choice to work together to support the story line.

The student creates a logical organizational pattern (including an effective beginning, middle, end, and transitions) appropriate to narrative writing.

The student uses a variety of sentence structures to reinforce the story.

The student understands the stages of the water cycle (for example, evaporation, condensation, precipitation).

Materials

-Paper and pencils
-Assortment of science books, books on water
-Direction sheets for each child
-Pictures of the water cycle
-Dictionaries
-One piece of blue 8x11 card stock
-Large raindrop pattern for each student or table group
-Hole punch
-Plastic fish line- 2' per student
-Scissors
-Glue
-Computer Internet access
-Black or Blue ink pens (Optional)
-Life and Journey of a Raindrop Rubric Assessment Sheet (see file attachment)
-Fifth Grade Journey Sheet (see file attachment)
-Staplers
-Red pens or pencils
-Computer desktop writing publisher software
-Printer

Preparations

1. For each child, gather together:
-8x11 blue card stock
-copies of raindrop pattern
-black or blue pens
-red pens or pencils
-copies of direction sheets with the check off list
-assortment of science text books and library books on water, water cycle, raindrops,etc.
-hole punches
-scissors
-glue
-copies of Raindrop Rubric
-copies of The Fifth Grade Journey Sheet ( writing process steps/ self and peer editing)

2. Prepare computers for writing with desk top publishing software.
3. Have printers cued.
4. Obtain staplers, enough for small teams to use.
5. Prepare the computers online for the water quiz for the final assessment.

Procedures

Day One

Introduce this fun writing activity by asking questions and going over the water cycle. Ask your students:
What if YOU were a raindrop and went on this water journey?

What would you go through?
How would it feel? Taste?
What would it sound like?
How many ways would you travel?
Would you have a family?
Would you have friends?


THEN:
1. This week you are going to write a narrative paragraph describing the journey that YOU would take as a raindrop during the day.

2. Pass out a copy of the directions. (see file attachment)

3. Go over the directions stressing what elements the writing must include. These elements are:

A. You, as a raindrop, must take the reader through condensation, precipitation, and evaporation.
B. Five vocabulary words from the science chapter about water cycle should be used correctly and underlined.
C. One strong topic sentence.
D. Student's own UNIQUE, catchy title.
E. Three or more supporting sentences.

4. Each child then must understand the narrative genre being used. Review how this is written by modeling a narrative of another science topic, on a large chart tablet or written in computer document form and printed out. Then make it into an overhead for sharing (ex.: The sun going up and down, exchanging places with the moon each day).

5. Show students personification by YOU- the teacher- being the sun or the moon in your example above. This is an introduction to this part of writing, in the fifth grade, but you'll get a lot of interesting, funny, silly, and imaginative tales.

6. Get the students started on their pre-writing by modeling web clustering or brainstorm lists.

7. After they have completed this step, they start their drafts #1, skipping lines.

8. Pass out the Fifth Grade Journey Sheets (see file attachment). Students fill out the top.

9. Staple the Journey Sheets to the upper left hand corner of draft 1. Pass them in.

Days Two and Three

Review all the ideas and steps from the last lesson. Remind students of all the required things for the writing, and pass out their writing.
1. Have students look at their check-off lists on the bottom of their direction sheets.

2. Have students pair up with a student editor and do letters A and B on the journey sheets.

3. Most students should start and complete their draft #2 . (Letter C on Fifth Grade Journey Sheet)

4. After each student completes draft 2, he or she completes letters A, B, and D on the Journey Sheet (see file attachment).

5. Each student writes his or her final draft on the computer, using a desk top publisher like Creative Writer, Microsoft Word, Ultimate Writing Creativity Center, etc.

6. Option: If you do not have computers, students may neatly write their paragraphs on notebook paper in black or blue ink.

7. Each final copy should have the title at the top, the word BY and then the student's name.

8. Even if your computer software has a spell checker, have the students double check each other's print-out using the letter D section of the Journey Sheet and a red pen or pencil.

9. After students have completed their final edited copy on the computer, have them trace their large raindrops onto their blue card stock . (Option: The teacher can trace the raindrop onto a white piece of paper and then outline it in large tip markers, along with a hole near the top for the string. Make multiple copies onto the blue card stock ready to be cut out.)



Days Four and Five
1. Have all the students trace over their raindrop shape on their blue card stock with a large, black, wide marker. Also, draw a hole near the top for the string.

2. Students then take the print out (final document) of their paragraph, lay it over the raindrop outline on the blue card stock, and lightly trace the raindrop line around the writing draft.

3. Cut out the writing so it will neatly fit the raindrop.

4. Paste the writing onto the raindrop.

5. Cut out the raindrop.

6. Punch out a hole near the top and string different lengths of fishing line so they will hang at different heights.

7. Each student fills out the left side of the Raindrop Rubric. (Numbers 5,7,8,9, students use the six- traits of writing number rubric.) (see file attachment)

8. Each student takes the on-line WATER CYCLE quiz to review and test their understanding of the cycle. (See website address below)


Day Five
1. After all raindrops are completed, have students who wish to share read their raindrop tales for the class.

2. Hang the raindrops in the hallway above and near a bulletin board. Have a spring April scene with flowers, a picket fence, and the words OH! LET THE RAIN FALL DOWN !

Assessments

Students:
Fill out the left side of the Raindrop Rubric. Students can also take the Water Cycle Quiz on-line, among other great activities (see URL addresses below).

Teacher:
Fill out the right hand side of the Raindrop Rubric Sheet, alongside the students' assessment. Also, teachers may want to do classroom observations using the Status of the Class (mini, quickie, conference) method. This helps the students maintain their progress, especially when they know the teacher is checking where they are.

Extensions

1. When the students are following their Fifth Grade Journey Sheets, they are working independently. The teacher may be able to help those students who need it in a conference setting or in a one on one method.
2. If you do not have enough computers to complete the project in a timely manner, ask other teachers ahead of time if you may send students to their classes for computer use. If this isn't appropriate, schedule time slots to use your school computer lab or school library computers.
3. If students do not have a way to use computers at all, write the final drafts in cursive using black ink , appropriate margins, and clear writing for a neat final copy.
4. Another resource with lessons, activities, and ideas: -Water, Water, Everywhere!- [The Mailbox Magazine]. Feb./Mar. 2001, p.40-44.

Web Links

Web supplement for Oh, Let the Rain Fall Down
All About Water

Information on many aspects of water, along with pictures, data, maps, and an interactive center where you can give opinions and test your water knowledge.
Water Science for Schools

Web supplement for Oh, Let the Rain Fall Down
The Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Water

Web supplement for Oh, Let the Rain Fall Down
EPA's Kids' Page

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