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Kids and teens should read and write even when they are out of school. Why is this so important?

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Activity

It’s Raining Cats and Dogs! Make a Children’s Book about the Weather

 

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It’s Raining Cats and Dogs! Make a Children’s Book about the Weather

Grades 7 – 12
Activity Time 1 ½ to 3 hours (can be done on separate days).
Activity Author

Jaime R. Wood

Jaime R. Wood

Portland, Oregon

 
Publisher National Council of Teachers of English
 

What You Need

Here's What To Do

More Ideas To Try

Glossary

 

What You Need

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Here's What To Do

  1. Give the teens the list of weather sayings and let them read through it. Explain that they are going to explore the meanings behind these sayings and make an illustrated book explaining these sayings to a younger child.
  2. Ask teens to choose 5 to 10 weather sayings that seem interesting.
  3. Introduce teens to the “Weather Proverbs” website and the “Fun Science Facts from the Library of Congress” website.
  4. Ask the teens to cut and paste information from these sites into a word processing program and save them for later. They will want to choose information that helps them better understand the 5 to 10 weather sayings they are going to work with. The information might be historical context, scientific explanations, or folklore that relates to the origins of the sayings. If they can’t find information about all of their weather sayings on these sites, they might try typing the sayings into a search engine or into Wikipedia to see what they can find. (Note: Teens will need to credit their sources on the last page of their children’s book, so ask them to copy and paste website information such as the title and URL.)
  5. Now the teen is ready to start making their book. They should decide which book format they would like to use: paper (Use 8 ½ x 11” unlined paper. Fold it in half to make the pages of the book.) or electronic (either the Flip Book or the Stapleless Book. They might want to practice using the electronic formats before they make a final decision.
  6. The teen will create the book as follows: Page one will include an illustration of the first weather saying with the saying written or typed underneath as the caption. Page two, which should be a facing page, will consist of a brief paragraph explaining something interesting about the first weather saying that the teen found in his or her research. The pages will progress this way until each of the 5 to 10 weather sayings have been illustrated on one page and explained on the next, facing page. Some questions the teen might choose to answer in his or her paragraph might include the following:
    • What does the saying mean?
    • Where did it come from?
    • Where was it used and by whom?
    • Do people still use it?
    • Is it accurate? For example, for the saying “Dandelion blossoms close before a rain,” can we believe it to be true? If we see closed dandelion blossoms, should we really expect rain? If so, why? If not, why not?
  7. Explain to the teen that s/he can't use the "copy and paste" function and keep the same material word for word. Instead s/he will choose the most interesting and relevant information and write it in his or her own words. Encourage the teen to be creative, using a storyteller’s voice to catch the interest of the audience, younger children.
  8. Remind teens to include a source page at the very end of their books that should include titles and URLs for all of the websites they used to gather information.
  9. When the teen has finished each page of his or her book, it is time to bind the book. (If the book is electronic, the teen will need to print it out first.) The teen can bind it three ways using this guide: Three Ways to Bind a Handmade Book.
  10. Now teens can come up with creative titles to put on their covers. Encourage them to make the cover colorful and inviting so younger children will be interested in picking it up.
  11. Finally, they are ready to share their books with a younger sibling, relative, or neighbor!

 

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More Ideas To Try

  • Make up some weather sayings of your own and draw pictures that go with each. Add them to your book, or make a new book with these original sayings.
  • Create a children’s book of old wives' tales using this website to get you started. This time, illustrate each wives' tale and explain what’s true and false about the wives' tale. You might also explain why the tale existed in the first place if you can find that information.

 

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Glossary

Folklore

 

The traditional beliefs, legends, and customs of a group of people.

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