THE FLOW OF MUSIC AND POETRY

BY:  Theresa Gottbrath, Silver Street Elementary
     Pekin IN, Summer 1992 "Workshop On Water"

Purpose:  Let the students get in touch with their feelings about rain through art, music, and poetry.

Teaching Level:  grades K-6.

Geographic Themes:  Human-environment interaction is the main theme focused upon in this lesson.

Objectives:
Upon completion of this lesson, the students will be able to:
    1.  listen to music as they think about rain and determine how they feel about rain.
    2.  create either poetry or artwork about as they listen to music thinking about rain.
    3.  learn through discussion the effect rain has upon others and themselves other than physical effects.

Materials Required:
- Rain music (There is a wide variety of this music available from thunderstorms to rain accompanied by
  musicians.  It is best to have music with no words spoken.)
- one precut raindrop for each student in class
- precut umbrellas, rainbows, or clouds on which to hand the raindrops
- string or fishing wire with which to hand the raindrops
- one 18" x 24" sheet of black construction paper for each student
- squeeze bottles of glue
- bright chalk pastels and chalk fixative

Procedure:
1. While the students are listening to a tape of the sounds or rain, read a short poem to them (such as
   the poem below):
                              The Rain
                              Rain on the green grass,
                              Rain on the flowers,
                              Rain on the tree.
                              Rain on the house-top,
                              But not on me.
                                             Anonymous
2.  After the poem is read, have the students silently continue to listen to the music as they  (a)  write
    their own poem or continue the poem they just heard (which means that you need copies of this poem),
    (b)  write what they are feeling (for upper elementary),  (c)  write down their favorite activity rainy
    day activity, or  (d)  draw a picture about a rainy day.  The teacher needs to decide which activity or
    activities students would prefer to do.  After the students have finished their activity, have them
    share their work with everyone else.
3.  Then, have the students sit in one circle.  Give each student a precut raindrop;  each student is to pick
    a word that they associate with rain;  no two raindrops should be alike.  One at a time, have the students
    share their word and then write the word in large print on the raindrop.
4.  Hang the raindrops onto the precut umbrellas or rainbows or clouds.  Students can then return to their
    seats and create a rain picture with their black contruction paper.  Here the students will squirt lines
    and shapes from the squeeze bottles of white glue, avoiding the edges of the paper.  Set the designs
    aside for at least one day.  After the glue has dried, have the students design, with the pastels, vivid
    pictures.  Chalking inside the glue-line boundaries is only one of many techniques students can use.  When
    finished, spray with a chalk fixative to prevent smearing.  Good ventilation is very important when using
    the fixative.

Evaluation:
In this type of activity, class participation through the use of creativity will determine is students met the objectives state above.

Extensions/Adaptations:
This type of lesson can be done using the topic of rain forest, using rain forest music.  You could have a large tree and have students write on leaves.

Another activity is to have students paint a watercolor picture on construction paper.  Let it dry for about three hours.  If it is raining, have the students put on their raincoats and take their watercolor painting outside for a few seconds in the rain.  The water will cause the colors to splatter and blend.  If it is not raining, spray the painting with water using a spray bottle.

Resources:
The chalk activity is from Paula Guhin, Aberdeen South Dakota as obtained from Scholastic Instructor, April 1992.  The activity was shared with educators at the WOW by Marci Smith, Bedford Texas.

 
SUGGESTED READING INCORPORATING WATER

Book                                                                                Author

Where the Forest Meets the Sea                               Jeannie Baker
Baby Beluga                                                                 Ashley Wolff
Make Way for Ducklings                                             Robert McClosky
The Magic School Bus at the Water Works             August Goldin
The City Girl Who Went to Sea                                 Joanna Cole
Riverkeeper                                                                 George Ancona
Sally and the Limpet                                                   Simon James
Coastal Rescue                                                          Christina G. Miller
Down the Drain                                                          Thompson Yardley
Big Al                                                                          Clements Yoshi
Fish Eyes                                                                   Lois Ehlert
Swimmy                                                                      Leo Lionni
The Fish Who Could Wish                                        John Bush
A Walk in the Rain                                                      Ursel Scheffler
Rain Talk                                                                      Mary Serfozo
Listen to the Rain                                                         Bill Martin, Jr.
Water's Way                                                                 Lisa Westbert Peters
The Sun, the Wind, and the Rain                                     "
Rain Forest                                                                 Helen Cowcher
The River                                                                       David Bellamy
Were You a Wild Duck, Where Would You Go?      George Mendoza
Professor Noah's Spaceship                                     Brian Wildsmith
How Green Are You?                                                  David Bellamy
Paddle to the Sea
The Whale's Song