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"Rain": A Shared Reading Lesson for Preschool or Pre K Students

written by: Tracey Bleakley • edited by: Amanda Grove • updated: 6/6/2012

"Rain" by Robert Kalan is a perfect shared reading book for preschoolers. Its simple, repetitive text and bold illustrations will make it a classroom favorite. This lesson works especially well during a unit about colors or weather.

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    Shared reading is a great way to familiarize young children with concepts about print, beginning reading strategies and other reading skills. Your prekindergartens will be reading along with you in no time, when you use the book Rain by Robert Kalan for your shared reading. The predictable text and strong picture clues make a good choice for introducing a few simple reading strategies to students.


    • The big book Rain by Robert Kalan
    • sentence strips
    • Wikki Stix or highlighter tape
    • Pocket chart
    • markers
    • crayons, paper for the class


    Monday: Show the class the cover of the book and ask them what they think it will be about. Then read the title. author and illustrator, pointing to each as you read. Do a quick picture walk through the book, letting students comment on the illustrations as you look at the pictures together. As you begin to read, point to the words using your finger or a pointer. Stop and and think aloud every few pages, so that your students can "see" your thought process. On the first few pages you might say, "Wow, I notice a lot of dark gray clouds. I wonder if it will start raining soon." Continue reading asking questions and thinking aloud as you go. Where do they think the car is going? What will get rained on next?

    Tuesday: Read Rain again pointing to the words as you read. Invite your preschool children to read with you if they want to. Then tell the class you are going to read it again, while watching to see how the pictures can help you figure out the words. On the page that says Rain on the purple flowers, you might say "I see some purple flowers on this page and the words that comes after purple starts with f. It must say flowers. " On each page look at the pictures and show the students how they cross-check to see if the words begin with the right letter sound. Read the book once more, asking your students to join you.

    Wednesday: Today you will be focusing on the color words in the book. If you have a color chart or poem that the children are familiar with, read over it first. Then read through the book Rain again, stopping on each to ask the students if they heard any color words. If they did, invite different students to come up to the book and find the word on the page. Then either circle it with Wikki Stix or use highlighting tape to highlight it.

    Thursday: After rereading the book once again, choose a few sentences from the story. Write one on a sentence strip and then cut the words apart. Mix the words up and ask a few students to come up and "be" the words in the sentence. Give each student a word card and and have them build the sentence by getting into the write order. Read the sentence again pointing to each word. Then the whole class can read the sentence. Repeat this with several sentences giving more students a chance to be the words.

    Friday: Today tell the class that you are going to make a new version of the book. You can make a new version with rain or change the weather to snow or hail. Make a chart and let each student tell a sentence following the pattern: "Snow on the red mailbox." When the chart is finished, let each student read his sentence and then write it on a sentence strip for him. After everyone has a sentence, the students cut the words apart, mix them up and build their sentences again. Then they can glue the words onto a large sheet of paper and illustrate. All of the pages can then be stapled together to make a class book for the book center.


    Have the students read their sentences to you pointing to each word as they read. Do they have one to one matching? Were they able to reconstruct their sentences correctly?