April Showers

We all know that April showers bring May flowers. But did you know that April’s showers are a crucial part of the earth’s water cycle? Let Pitter and Patter, two drops of rain, teach you all about it!

Pitter and Patter fall from a gray cloud. They tumble from the sky, careen off a leaf, plunge into a stream, flow through an underground cave, and travel through the entire water cycle.

LESSON PLAN: Nature Detective
Pitter and Patter meet many different “characters” in a variety of habitats as they journey through a watershed—squirrels, herons, seals, and foxes, just to name a few. In this activity, students learn more about each character, are introduced to new vocabulary terms, and become “nature detectives” drawing and/or writing about other critters in the habitat.
*NOTE: A pdf of this lesson is available here from Dawn Publications.

Suggested Grade Level: K-3

~ A copy of the book Pitter and Patter
~ Handout “Nature Detectives,” 1 copy for each student. Available here from Dawn Publications.
This handout is 20 pages long. It’s very complete with information about 9 habitats (oak tree, stream, valley, wetland, meadow, soil, cave, river, ocean) and three animals that live in each habitat.

1. Read aloud the story about Pitter and Patter.
2. Referring to the two pages in the back of the book titled “Explore More—For Kids,” follow Pitter and Patter through the water cycle beginning and ending with the gray cloud. Pay specific attention to the characters they meet along the way.
3. Using the handout, introduce habitats presented in the story  and have students take turns reading about the characters.
4. Review the vocabulary terms, adding more explanation as needed.
5. Have students complete the “Nature Detective” section for each habitat. There are several options for how you can have them do this: students may work individually or in small groups, with each person/group doing one habitat. Or, you may cover one or two habitats a day. For older students, you may want to assign “Nature Detective” for homework.
6. No matter which format you choose, have students share their completed writing/illustrations with the class or in small groups.

Common Core Standards (ELA K-3)
Reading: Informational Text
Key Ideas and Details (K.1, 1.1, 2.1, 3.1)
Integration and Knowledge of Ideas (K.7, 1.7, 2.7, 3.7)
Text Types and Purposes (K.3, 1.3, 2.3, 3.3)

Next Generation Science Standards (DCI K-3)
PS1: Matter and Interactions
A: Structure and Properties of Matter
B: Chemical Reactions
ESS2: Earth’s Systems
C: The Roles of Water in the Earth’s Surface Processes
LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
A: Structure and Function
C: Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms
D: Information Processing
LS2: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems


subscribe     Blog by Carol Malnor I love making connections: kids and nature, science and reading, fun and learning. I discovered the joy of connecting Dawn Publications' books with kids when I was a classroom teacher. Dawn's books were easy to incorporate into my lessons and the kids loved them. I used picture books with students of all ages, from primary school all the way up through 9th grade. Over the years, my relationship with Dawn changed and developed, and I authored Dawn’s Teacher’s Guides as well as writing books for children 4-14 years old. ARTICLE How to Use Creative Nonfiction Picture Books in Support of Common Core and Science ACTIVITIES Dawn Publications STANDARDS Common Core State Standards Next Generation Science Standards National Science Teachers Association Picture Perfect Science   OTHER FAVORITES Dawn Publications Children and Nature Network
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