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Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain

Last updated Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Author: Verna Aardema
Date of Publication: 1981
ISBN: 0803708092
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Apr. 2007

Synopsis: From School Library Journal: The story of how Ki-pat ingeniously brings rain to the arid Kapiti Plain. "Cumulative rhyming tale with the rhythm and repetition of The House That Jack Built . . . Illustrations are stylized, simple, and dramatic."

Note to readers:
•  This book is fairly long but engaging. Encourage children to participate in the reading after they become familiar with the pattern. For example, they can “moo” like the cows, or repeat phrases with you.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What animals on the cover are wild animals? What animals do you think the man is herding or watching over?
•  What are rhyming words? Give some examples of rhyming words.
•  What is a folk tale?
•  Where do you think this story might take place? Find Kenya on a map of Africa.
•  Why do we need rain? How does rain help us? How does it help the environment? What would happen if it never rained?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What happens to the land and the creatures in the story when it doesn’t rain? What is a drought? Do we have a drought in Los Angeles? Is it the same as in the story?
•  How does Kapit bring the rain? Can you really get rain from shooting a feather?
•  How would you bring rain? What would you do?

Craft ideas:
•  Draw Kapiti Plain. Then cut out or draw the animals that live there. Focus on the different patterns on the animals, the stripes, patches, spots, etc.
•  Bring ahead option: Make a rain stick. Materials needed: Empty toilet paper/paper towel tubes, toothpicks, small beads or rice. Cover one end of the tube with construction paper. Make sure there is a tight seal so that the beads/rice will not fall out. Pour in a small amount of beads/rice. Cover the other end of the tube with construction paper. Insert a few toothpicks into the sides of the tube to divert the flow of the beads/rice inside. Trim the part of the toothpick that is left outside. Cover the tube with construction paper to decorate and to help the toothpicks stay in place.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!