Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema
Purpose: Students will learn to identify how climate influences a community and affects its members.
Grade Level: Grades 4-6, but adaptable.
National Geography Standards Addresses:
2. How to use mental maps to organize information about people, places, and environments in a spatial context.
9. The characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on Earth’s surface.
14. How human actions modify the physical environment.
15. How physical systems affect human systems
7.3.6: Locate and map the climate regions of the eastern Hemisphere, and explain how and why they differ.
7.3.10: Describe the restrictions
that climate and
land forms place on land use
in regions of
Students will be able to analyze the story geographically, and they will be able to explain the term climate and discuss its relevance in the story, as well as, to their own lives.
1. Review the geography terms used in the story. (See bottom of lesson)
2. Be sure the students are able to locate
3. Have the
view the cover of the story and hypothesize how it will relate geographically.
Write their responses on the board/overhead.
4. Perform the activity "Say Something":
a. Students choose a partner, and
each pair is given a single copy of Bringing
the Rain to Kapiti Plain.
b. Each pair of students should be asked whether they will read the story aloud or silently.
c. One student begins to read a section of the story. Then, they stop and "say something" about what was read.
d. After each exchange of this sort, the partnership continues to read the next several paragraphs and again each "says something" to the other before going on to the next paragraph, and so on through the story. Students can comment on what was just read, make predictions about what will happen next, or share experiences related to the selection.
e. Toward completion, the teacher organizes a group discussion by writing a central topic (i.e. climate) from the reading in the middle of the overhead, circling it twice, and asking students to talk about some of the things the author had to say on the topic. Explain what this concept had to do with the topic and how it fits in with the other ideas that the book discussed.
5. Check the predictions made in step number 2 above by analyzing as a whole group how this story relates to the five themes of geography.
Define and discuss the term "climate".
7. Have students create a climograph of a city in
8. Compare the two climographs and analyze the information given.
*Have the students travel along the equator and identify other places/locations with similar climates.
*Choose another folktale and research the country of origin.
*Write a poem about their community incorporating location and geography terms
*Ask students about cloud formation and why it rains. Begin a study of the water cycle. Read The Magic School Bus at the Waterworks by Joanna Cole and discuss the water cycle. (Science connection)
*Start recording weather information and look for patterns.
*Read another cumulative tale like The House that Jack Built or I Know an Old Lady.
an animal from
*Take a field trip to a local weather station or to a local water treatment facility.
*Economic connection: scarcity: the condition of not being able to have all of the goods and services that you want.
Weather and Climate by Barbara Taylor
Geography from A to Z by Jack Knowlton
Kenya, Africa's Tamed Wilderness by Joann J. Burch
Creating Classrooms for Authors by Harste, Short, Burke
Magic School Bus at the Waterworks by Joanna Cole
On the Same Day in March by Marilyn Singer
Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain Geography Terms
Plain Climate Acacia Tree
Migration Drought Folktale
Climograph Precipitation Equator