Welcome to Cantastic Authorpalooza, featuring posts by and about great Canadian children’s book creators! Today’s guest: Sheryl McFarlane. Take it away, Sheryl!
Hi, I’m Sheryl McFarlane and I’m pleased to announce the release of my newest picture book, Welcome Rain! It’s published by Greystone Books, and illustrated by the very talented Christine Wei.
Welcome Rain! is a a celebration of rain in the form of a conversation between a child, and Rain.
It’s about running out to greet rainy days,
but…sometimes wishing rain would take a vacation.
It’s about puddle-jumping, and the wonder of raindrops sparkling on spider webs. It’s about appreciating how rain helps our gardens grow.
It’s about knowing that rain quenches thirsty streams and forests, and the plants and animals who live in and near them. Welcome Rain! encourages outdoor play, even on rainy days.
As a former teacher, I loved using picture books to introduce a theme or concept. Here are some fun ways for primary and preschool teachers to extend learning after reading Welcome Rain! to their classes.
Puddle Jumping Math is sure to make a splash!
After a heavy rain, take your class out to do a little puddle jumping. Bring along some extendable tape measures. Kids love to measure stuff! Have students take turns jumping in puddles to see who can splash the farthest. After measuring each participant’s splash, head back inside to create a large bar chart which can be taped up so students can see how far they jumped. (If some students don’t have rain gear, they can help with the measuring.)
Create a Rainstorm or Rain Choir (kids love this group activity)
- The leader starts by rubbing their hands together.👏
- A second person joins in, and then another and another until everyone is making the same sound together.
- The leader gently starts to clap their hands while the rest of the group continue to rub their hands together.
- The next person joins hand clapping, and so on until everyone is clapping.
- The leader slaps their thighs while the others continue to clap hands.
- The second person slaps their thighs and so on until everyone has joined in.
- The leader starts to stomp their feet.
- The next person joins in and so on until everyone is making the same sound.
- To end the storm, reverse the actions until the leader is the last one to rub their hands together and then stop.
Rainstorming is a cool language arts activity
Use chart paper and felts to brainstorm different words and phrases we use to describe rain. Then have students make up a story using some of these words or phrases. Here’s a few hints…
- raining buckets
Rain in a jar is an easy way to show kids how the water cycle works
- a medium sized glass jar (canning jar)
- a plate
- hot water
- ice ice cubes
- An adult pours about two inches of very hot water into the glass jar.
- Cover the jar with the plate and wait a few minutes before you start the next step.
- Put the ice cubes on the plate.
- Observe what happens…
How this works:
The ice-cooled plate causes moisture in the warm air inside the jar to condense and form water droplets. This is the same thing that happens in our atmosphere. Warm, moist air rises and meets colder air high in the atmosphere. The water vapour condenses and forms water droplets (rain) to fall.
Get in Touch!
I’d love to hear what activities Welcome Rain! inspires for you! Welcome Rain! Is available through your favourite Indie bookstore, via Amazon, Chapters/Indigo, Barnes and Noble, and Target.
Sheryl is the author of seventeen books for kids. She lives in Victoria, BC where she enjoys splashing in puddles with her grandchildren, and the rainy days she does not have to water her garden. Visit her at www.sherylmcfarlane.ca