Where Does Precipitation Come From?
April showers bring May flowers crafts and interactive bulletin boards are excellent ways to help students understand precipitation and how it makes things grow.
Introduce the lesson by asking students what precipitation is and where it comes from. Focus on precipitation that falls as rain in this lesson. Precipitation occurs when water evaporates, the resulting water vapor rises and cools. The vapor then condenses into water droplets, and these water droplets create clouds. When the droplets become too big for the air to carry them, they fall out of the sky, as rain. Have students brainstorm how precipitation affects our lives. For example rain helps the plants and gardens grow. Talk about the saying “April Showers Bring May Flowers” and discuss why It rains a lot in April and flowers bloom in May. Show children photographs of a flower and discuss the four main parts, the stem, leaves, petals and roots.
Raining Nouns and Verbs
Children will love reviewing nouns and verbs with this rainy-day scene. This cute craft can be completed by the students and then transformed into a spring class bulletin board.
Provide each student with the following materials -
- 2 sheets of dark blue construction paper stapled together
- 2 sheets of yellow construction paper
- 1 sheet of green construction paper pre-cut approximately one each wide with 1/2 in slits representing grass.
- 2 or more pre-cut raindrops
- 2 pre-cut stems and leaves
- 2 pre-cut clouds
Trace around both hands with the yellow construction paper and cut these out. Students will curl each finger around a pencil. Teacher will assist students in forming a cone with the palm of their hand. Glue, tape or staple the hand together. This is your lily. The students will label one cloud shape with the word noun the other with the word verb. Children will brainstorm different nouns and verbs to write on their raindrops. The children will glue the green grass to the bottom of their blue sheet of paper, and their clouds and raindrops to the top. The clouds will be raining nouns and verbs under the appropriate cloud. The flower will be glued to the bottom of the paper. Last, students will paste on the stem and leaves. When completed the teacher will put them all together creating a magnificent, spring, bulletin board.
Suffixes Blooming Up and Down the Classroom
Students will create an April Showers Bring May Flowers craft while reviewing the correct plural form of words.
- 2 Clouds that students can cut out of white paper.
- 4 or more raindrop shapes for students to cut out of blue construction paper.
- 6 pre-cut heart and 6 pre-cut teardrop shapes for the flower petals use a variety of colors.
- 2 pre-cut stems
- 4 pre-cut leaves for flowers
- 1 sheet of purple construction paper
- 2 yellow circles for students to cut out
Students will glue the clouds with falling raindrops to the purple construction paper. The kids will brainstorm plural words ending in es and s and write the words on their flower petals. Children will write ‘es’ on one yellow circle and ’s' on the other circle. Arrange the flowers on the appropriate circle, to form a flower. Attach the stem and leaves to the flower with glue. Arrange on a bulletin board. Flower suffixes will be blooming up and down the classroom.
Cute Personalized Crafts
This cute craft will have your students blooming all over the classroom.
- 6 or 7 pre-cut ovals, hearts or circles out of a different color for each child.
- 2 pre-cut green stems and 2 pre-cut green leaves for each student
- 1 pre-cut yellow or any color for the center of the flower
- a photograph of each student
Assist students in gluing their flowers together and inserting their picture onto a class bulletin board the teacher has previously designed with umbrellas, clouds, rain etc.
Songs and Fingerplays
Raindrops Falling (tune Frere Jacques)
Raindrops falling, Raindrops falling, From the sky, From the sky.
Put up an umbrella, Put up an umbrella, Nice and dry, Nice and dry.
Showers over, Showers over, Sun aglow, Sun aglow.
See the pretty flowers, See the pretty flowers, In a row, In a row.
By Jean Warren from Totline Magazine, April 1993
It’s Raining It’s Pouring
It’s raining, it’s pouring;
The old man is snoring.
He went to bed and he bumped his head
And he couldn’t get up in the morning.
April Showers Bring May Flowers Poem
April showers bring May flowers,
That is what they say.
But if all the showers turned to flowers,
We’d have quite a colorful day!
There’d be bluebells and cockleshells,
Tulips red and green,
Daffodils and Chinese squill,
The brightest you’ve ever seen.
You’d see tiger lilies and water lilies,
Carnations pink and blue,
Forget-me-not and small sundrop
Glistening with the dew.
We’d have fireweed and milkweed
And many more different flowers.
Mexican star and shooting star,
Falling in the showers.
And if all the showers turned to flowers
On that rainy April day,
Would all the flowers turn to showers
In the sunny month of May?
Activities for Primary Students
There are several April showers bring May flowers activities for students in the primary grades.These activities will help students learn about precipitation and the water cycle.
Make a Rain Stick
- Paper towel rolls
- Brown packing tape (or any kind of tape you can paint on)
- Brown tempera paint
- 50 Toothpicks
- White glue
Pre-poke approximately 50 holes in the paper towel rolls and cover one end of the roll with tape ahead of time. Use the type of tape that can be painted on.
The kids will paint their sticks with brown tempera paint. Let the stick dry, then have the children put toothpicks through one hole and out another. Glue both ends of the toothpick. The whole idea is to have the toothpicks going in at different angles to make the required sound. The teacher will cut off any protruding ends of the toothpicks.
Fill the roll with rice. Students may decide how much to use; instruct them to put the rice in a little at a time. Flip it back and forth so they can hear the “rain” sound they want. The amount of rice used determines the sound it will make.
Tape up the other and, there you have it, a rainstick!!!!
Make it Rain Activity
You will need a glass mayonnaise or canning jar, plate, hot water and ice cubes, Pour 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. What happens? The cold plate causes the moisture in the warm air, which is inside the jar to condense and form water droplets. This is the same thing that happens in the atmosphere. Warm, moist air rises and meets colder air high in the atmosphere. The water vapor condenses and forms precipitation that falls to the ground.
Make a Class Rain Gauge
- Empty two-liter bottle
- Permanent marker
- Wooden stake
- Several large rubber bands
To make the class rain gauge remove the top third of the bottle; then invert the top inside the bottom of the bottle, forming a funnel. Use the marker to make a desired scale on the side of the bottle. With a hammer, drive the stake into ground level area of the schoolyard. Set the bottle beside the stake. Use rubber bands to secure the bottle to the stake. Then enlist students' help in taking daily readings of the rainfall amount. Record the amount on a classroom graph. Each time you record a measurement, empty the bottle. Do this for the entire month of April.
The Rain Game
The group sits in a circle.
The leader starts by rubbing their hands together**.** The person to the right does the same, the next person to the right, and so on until everyone is doing the action.
When all are rubbing their hands, the leader starts a new sound, finger snapping, then hands clapping, next slapping thighs and even try foot stomping.
To end the storm, reverse the actions. At the end, the group, one by one stops rubbing hands and sits and waits for the action to be completed by the group.
Books and Additional Activities
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
What Do Bunnies See? by Linda Sue Park
The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
Spring Is Here by Lois Lenski
Spring Things by Bob Raczka
Sunflower House by Eve Bunting
Read aloud Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett. Ask the students what they wish it would rain from the sky. Have them write their own creative stories such as “ The Day it Rained My New Bike” or “The Day it Rained Cats and Dogs”.
Spring Snack Idea
Have students create a fun springtime snack.
Orange Umbrella Snacks
Slice an orange into 1/4" thick round slices.
Cut each round slice in half - to form a half round umbrella shape.
Place each orange umbrella on a small plate.
Have each child choose an “umbrella handle” from thin sliced cheese, pretzel sticks, thin celery sticks, or thin apple slices.
The April showers bring May flowers activities are a fun, educational way of teaching primary students about the water cycle and different parts of the flower. Additional practice in correct suffix use and distinguishing the difference between a noun and verb can also be found in this unit on the crafts page. Student’s language skills are sure to grow while participaing in these fun spring, hands-on activities and crafts.
Kids Activities, http://www.kidactivities.net/category/Seasonal-Rain-Clouds.aspx
Spring Bulletin Boards, The Mailbox 2009 Edition
Photos courtesy of Lisa King/