Rain Falls

By Christine Taylor-Butler
Illustrations by

Focus: Concepts of Print

  • one-to-one matching
  • using the picture clues
  • reading patterned sentences
  • noticing a change at the end of a patterned sentence

Supportive Text Features

  • familiar words and concept
  • patterned sentences
  • two alternating sentence patterns
  • strong picture/text match

Essential Components of Reading Instruction:

  • Phonemic Awareness: concept of word
  • Phonics: initial /r/, /f/; initial consonant blends /tr/, /fl/, /gr/; long /a/vowel sound spelled “ai”; long /o/ vowel sound spelled “oa”; long /e/ vowel sound spelled “eo”
  • Vocabulary: rain, falls, trees, flowers, grass, rocks, lake, house, road, cars, dog, people
  • Fluency: reread the story independently or with a partner
  • Comprehension: determine what is important, make connections, ask questions

High-frequency Words: it, on, the, me

Getting Ready to Read

1. Introduce the concept and vocabulary by asking open-ended questions:

  • Tell me how you feel when it rains. Why do you feel that way?
  • What are some good things about rain? What are some not-so-good things?
  • During what time of year do you think it rains the most?

2. Connect children’s past experiences with the story and vocabulary: * Hold the book, calling children’s attention to the title. Read: "Rain Falls." * Ask children to predict how the boy on the cover feels. * Show the back cover and read the copy. Ask children where else they think rain falls. * Have children predict some words they might read in the story. * Give children the book and have them look at the photographs. * Ask them to notice all the things on which rain falls.

3. Remind children of the strategies they know and can use with unfamiliar words: * Ask them, "What will you do if you come to a word you don’t know?" * Encourage children to look at the photographs and the beginning sound of the word.

4. Be aware of the following book/text features: * The book contains familiar words: rain, falls, trees, flowers, grass, rocks, lake, house, road, cars, dog, people. * The text is below the photographs. * There are two patterned sentences on each page: “Rain falls.” “It falls on the ___.” * Only one word changes in the second sentence on each page. * The last sentence is slightly different (the word the is eliminated): “It falls on me!” * The last sentence ends with an exclamation point.

Reading the Book
1. Set a purpose by telling children to read the book and find out where rain falls.

2. Have children read quietly but out loud. Each child should be reading at his or her own pace. Children should not read in chorus. Listen to children as they read by leaning close or bending down beside each child.

3. Look for these reading behaviors during the first reading:

  • Do the words children say match the printed words in the book? (voice-to-print match)
  • Do children look at the photographs before they read the text or after they read?
  • What do they do if they encounter an unfamiliar word? (appeal to you, try a strategy)
  • Do their eyes go up to the photograph before reading the new word in the pattern?
  • Are they saying the initial sounds of words before saying the whole word?
  • Are they saying the individual letter sounds
    /t/-/r/-/e/-/e/-/s/ or blending the sounds?
  • Do they reread if they come to an unfamiliar or unknown word?
  • Have they self-corrected any mistakes?
  • Is there any inflection or speech-like sound to their reading?
  • Have they responded with a laugh or other sound as they read the text?
  • Do they make comments as they read?

4. As children read, suggest a reading strategy if they are struggling: "Try looking at the photograph to make sense of the print." Encourage children to take a guess or use the beginning letter sound.

5. Possible teaching points to address based on your observations:

  • Review using the photograph to help with each new word.
  • Review using initial consonants and blends, and long-vowel sounds to read new words.
  • Model how to reread the sentence if it does not sound right or make sense.
  • Model how to make a return sweep to the second line of text.
  • Call attention to all the high-frequency words children have learned and used.
  • Provide help with reading two-syllable words.
  • Call attention to the exclamation point on the last page.

After the First Reading
1.Have children confirm their predictions and talk about where rain falls.

2.Talk about how we experience rain with our five senses. How does rain feel, sound, taste? What does it look like and smell like?

3.Focus children’s attention on the photographs on pages 2, 3, and 4. Talk about why rain is important for trees, flowers, and grass.

4.Discuss how rain affects some of the other items and places shown in the photographs.

5.Model how the last sentence should be read differently because of the exclamation point.

6.Have children revisit the photo on page 12. How does the boy feel? What do they think he will do after it stops raining?

Second Reading
1. Have children reread the book in a whisper voice or to a partner. 2. This is a time for assessment. While children are reading, watch what they do and what they use from the teaching time. Alternatively, you might take a running record on one child as an assessment of the child’s reading behavior.

Cross-Curricular Activities
Ask children to name items in the school playground or the outside area surrounding the school. List the items on the chalkboard. Let each child choose one item and, if necessary, help her or him write the sentences “Rain falls. It falls on the ___.” at the bottom of a piece of drawing paper. After children illustrate their sentences, bind their papers into a book and read the story aloud together.

Explain that a rain stick is an instrument from South America that approximates the sound of rain and is believed to help bring rain. Have children make their own rain sticks from cardboard paper towel or gift wrap tubes. Let children decorate the tubes with paint or markers. Then tape a circle of construction paper over one end, put some uncooked rice and/or small beans in the tube, and tape another circle of paper over the open end. Children then gently turn over their sticks and listen to the rain.

Take children on a walk outside after a rain shower and explore how rain affects the environment. Look closely at plants, leaves, the ground, sidewalks, puddles, and so on, and talk about the effects of the rain. You may also wish to bring along a digital camera and take pictures of some of the things children see. If possible, print the pictures and post them on a bulletin board under the heading “Our Rain Walk.”

Teach children about the water cycle. A simple explanation for young children can be found on the following Web site:

If you live in an area where it rains frequently during some times of the year, make a rain gauge and keep track of how much it rains each day or week for a month. Record the readings on a bar graph and discuss the results. Encourage children to make generalizations.

Choose a month and research the average rainfall for that month in various states or areas of the country. Chart the information, talk about the results, and ask children why they think there is more rain in some states or areas of the country than in others.

On ten rain boot shapes, write a numeral from 1 to 10 on each one. On another set of ten rain boots, draw from one to ten raindrops on each one. Have children match the numerals to the corresponding number of raindrops to make pairs of rain boots. You may wish to laminate the boots for durability.

Using the photos from your rain walk as prompts, help children write one or two sentences about what they observed.

La lluvia cae

Guided Reading: B
Intervention: 2

12 Pages
76 Words

The Spanish edition also uses two patterned sentences and familiar words: lluvia, cae, árboles, flores, hierba, rocas, lago, casa, carretera, autos, perro, gente. The present tense of the verb caer is used in the text. Because many children speak dialects or may mix Spanish and English, you may need to help children understand that “book language” does not always match the words we use every day.

The book introduction and guided reading lesson follow the outline for the English edition. Children need exactly the same support and strategy instruction as their English-speaking classmates.

If children have difficulty with concepts or words in the story, see the article "Guided Reading with Emergent Readers" for suggestions.

Phonics Supplement


About This Title

Guided Reading:




Interest Level:

Grades PreK - K

Reading Level:

Grades PreK - K


Comparing/Classifying/Measuring, Photographic Illustrations, Nature/Science, Nonfiction, Weather/Seasons/Clothing, Environment/Nature, Exploring Ecosystems, Water, Beginning Concepts, Home, Informational Text


Early Emergent Dual Language, Early Emergent English , English Informational Text Grades PreK-2, Bebop English Guided Reading Level B, Bebop Nonfiction Grades PreK-2, Reading Partners ER Lee & Low Kit , Dual Language Levels A-C Collection, Bebop English Nonfiction, Infant Toddler Instructional Interactions

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