In Texas, we don’t often get a rainy day that we can enjoy. However, last week, we got to enjoy not one, but multiple rainy days. Since we don’t often get this type of weather, I thought my students might enjoy spending time playing and enjoying being outside. Not only did we play in the rain and explore puddles on the playground, I also used the rain to teach a writing and observation lesson. To do this, while my students were in specials, I went outside to take a few pictures of what I noticed. When I brought my students back to the classroom, I began the lesson. I reminded them that as scientists and writers, our job was to look closely at things. I explained to them that while they were in specials, I documented what I noticed using my camera and shared my pictures with them.
As I projected the images on my white board, I asked my students why they thought I took each picture. I also told them some of my thoughts.
“As I sat quietly outside, I noticed the ripples in the giant puddles.”
Student: “Miss Smith, what is a ripple?”
(This produced a great conversation on ripples, and many students tried to look for them when we went outside!)
“I love the way the rain drops look on the iris!”
“I heard splashing and investigated to find out where it was coming from. I noticed that the rain gutter was creating a lot of noise!”
After we talked about my pictures, I told them that now it was their turn! I gave them each a clipboard and a freshly sharpened pencil, and told them that we were going to practice being silent and using our senses to write and draw what we were noticing. My kindergarten students loved this.
They diligently wrote and drew what they were observing.
Then, they got up to get closer looks at what they were observing. They looked for rain drops and puddles. They also looked for buds on the trees.
We did this for thirty minutes and then needed to go to lunch. However, when we got back from lunch, my students asked it we could go back outside with their crayons so that they could add the right color details to their drawings!
I happily agreed to going back out!
They worked outside for another 30 minutes enjoying their task.
My students added multiple sentences and details to their writing.
Then, they added the colors that they noticed.
They loved this activity and I plan on doing many more activities like this since they enjoyed it so much! It reminded me that while a rainy day might be commonplace for us as adults, to children, it creates a whole new world for them to discover and notice. I hope that you will try activities like this, too!