Bringing Rain

Bringing Rain lesson plan

Folklore meets science when you research rain stories, create a mobile demonstrating the stages of the water cycle, and write original folktales using rhyme, rhythm, and repetition.

  • 1.

    Read the Nandi folktale, Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain, retold by Verna Aardema and illustrated by Beatriz Vidal. Research water cycles, including evaporation, cloud formation, and precipitation. Discuss the effects of drought on plants and animals.

  • 2.

    Work in teams to create figures representing stages of the water cycle to hang on a mobile. Cover your work area with newspaper. Use Crayola® Colored Pencils on to draw clouds, rain, sun, and representations of evaporation.

  • 3.

    Cut out each drawing with Crayola Scissors. Trace and mount each piece on cardboard with Crayola School Glue, sandwiching a long string between the paper and cardboard. Dry.

  • 4.

    Arrange drawings so they are in a circular formation representing the water cycle. Cut the strings on each piece so their lengths will position them correctly when hung from a recycled cardboard tube. Tie each string to the cardboard tube so drawings hang in a large circle. Run a long piece of string through the tube and tie for hanging.

  • 5.

    Use your water cycle mobile to help you write your own rhyming, repetitive folktale about how rain comes to the land. Refer to Aardema's retelling for a suggested rhythm and pattern. Share folktales with classmates.


  • Students research folklore and scientific information about rain and water cycles.
  • Students communicate their understanding of water cycles by creating mobiles showing each stage.
  • Students write their own folk tales, explaining the water cycle and its relationship to weather and climatic patterns using rhyme, rhythm, and repetition.


  • Teachers use mobiles and folktales as assessment tools to determine student understanding of the water cycle and its relationship to weather and climatic patterns.
  • Students engage in dialogue about the effects of too much rain and how floods affect the soil, animal life, and human communities.
  • Compare beliefs and legends about rain in various cultures. For example, children research the story of Saint Swithin's Day, observed in England on July 15. After being made a saint, Swithin's body was moved to Winchester Cathedral during a heavy rain. The rain continued for 40 days, which was source of the legend that if it is raining on July 15, it will rain for 40 more days.
  • Focus on water conservation in folk tales, putting a modern twist on how people waste water and the effect that has on other living things. Write short rhyming folktales with watercolor pencil and display with mobiles to share a message about conserving water resources. Offer your display to community organizations.