A gentle rain is falling and you are dressed in your boots and your raincoat. Heres some fun for days that are wet and drippy.
HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED
- appropriate clothing (rain gear)
- a hand lens
HERE'S WHAT TO DO
Nancy F. Castaldo is the author of many books packed with inspiring ideas for childhood discovery and
learning. In addition to the three titles above, Nancy has written activity guides for teaching children
ages 6 to 9 about the ocean, rainforests, deserts, and rivers. All of these titles are published by
Chicago Review Press.
here to learn about these books and others by Nancy Castaldo.
For this activity you will want to bring along some parent volunteers or other grown-ups. Dress according to the outdoor temperature and take a rainy-day walk around your schoolyard or the neighborhood around your school.
There may not be many people outdoors, but there will be lots of critters out and about. Look for worms that come out of the ground during the rain and end up on walkways. Look for spider webs covered with raindrops. Are you surprised that the rain hasn't washed away the webs?
With your hand lens, examine raindrops that sit like tiny bubbles on leaves or railings.
How does the rain feel? Stick out your tongue and catch a raindrop. Touch leaves, soil, and rocks. Feel the squishy ground beneath your feet.
Involve students in some of these extension activities:
Talk about the difference between summer rainy days and fall rainy days.
Play "I Spy" in the rain. Each player picks something for the other player to find. For example, "I Spy a leaping frog" or "I Spy a slippery leaf."
Look for rainy-day critters like snails, frogs, toads, and salamanders. Then go indoors, dry off, and read aloud The Salamander Room by Anne Mazer.
Look for rainbows just as the sun begins to burst forth.
This activity is excerpted from Nancy Castaldo's Rainy Day Play, which is published by Chicago Review Press. This lesson idea is one of more than 65 imaginative activities from Rainy Day Play that are sure to inspire children as they discover and learn.
About the Author
A native of New York's Hudson
Valley, Nancy Castaldo earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Marymount College and a Master of
Arts from the State University of New York. As an environmental educator, author, and Girl Scout volunteer
and board member, Castaldo has led numerous children's workshops. Her school programs include workshops
on ocean creatures and other nature topics, creative writing, and pizza making/Italy. She has conducted
programs at the Boston Children's Museum, Atlanta Zoo, and Tennessee Aquarium. Castaldo's books include
River Wild: An Activity Guide to North American Rivers; Oceans: An Activity Guide for Ages 6-9;
Deserts: An Activity Guide for Ages 6-9; and Rainforests: An Activity Guide for Ages 6-9.
She is also author of a historical-fiction picture book, Pizza for the Queen. To learn more
about Nancy and her books, check out her Web site, www.nancycastaldo.com.
Article by Nancy Castaldo
Copyright © 2006 Education World