poems by Joan Bransfield Graham,
illustrated by Steve Scott,
Poetry/Picture Book, Houghton
IDEA SHEET--for use with SPLISH SPLASH or water studies in general; many other books
could be coordinated with these suggestions.
students how water can be all three states of matter--a
solid, a liquid,
the March 1994 issue of Creative
Classroom, an article on the "Universal
Solvent" suggests a mini-water cycle experiment.
Use two empty baby food jars, put
4 ml of water in one, invert the other jar on top and tape together
at the necks. Set in a sunny spot to watch the water disappear, or evaporate. Placing an ice cube on
top will lower the temperature and make the water reappear, or condense.
at a map or globe. How many
oceans are there? Which is
the largest? About
71% of the earth's surface is water.
The human body is approximately 65-70% water.
This poem is an example of personification--giving
human characteristics to
something which is inanimate.
Let children join hands to create a wave and
dramatize the poem.
TEARS--I had fun making up my own "legend." There are many animal
legends which attempt to explain why things are the way they are.
Have children bring in animal
legends to share or let them try making up their own.
doesn't a waterfall fall up?
Talk about gravity and how water flows to
a lower level. The
highest waterfall in the world is in Venezuela--Angel Falls,
named after U.S. pilot Jimmy Angel.
is a lot of alliteration in this poem and a chance for auditory
discrimination. Read the poem and have students listen for just how
many s's there are (12, counting
the title). As you read each "spray" of words, have your class
after you. Now try it faster. Find
other examples of alliteration.
CUBES--I used a lot of crunchy, hard c
sounds in this one to convey the sound of ice
cubes. Ice cubes
and Popsicles are solid forms of
water because they have a definite
shape--at least until they melt!
is a tongue-treat and a tongue-twister.
What are some other tongue-
twisters? Explain why
things freeze. If you have
access to a freezer, pour juice into
ice cube trays, add sticks, and freeze to make your own Popsicles.
is rain important? Floods are
caused by too much rain and droughts by not
enough; how does each affect us?
The Diaguitas, a native Chilean people, gather
dead and dried Normata cactus and press thorns into the hollow
cascading over the thorns create a water sound.
This ancient instrument is still
heard in the music of the Andes.
Rainsticks are played to remind the spirits that
rain is welcome. Other
cultures use rainsticks also. You
can make a very simple
rainstick with a paper towel roll--push in straight pins and wrap
with masking tape to keep the
pins in place. Seal one end
with cardboard, add rice, seal the other end,
and cover with construction paper or yarn.
Or try using a mailing tube with nails a
bit shorter than the diameter and fill with lentils or pebbles.
Experiment to hear how the sounds
can vary with different materials.
BROOK--In a way, this is a "found" poem.
I found part of it in the thesaurus
of my computer, when I looked up "babble." I loved how the words sounded, bumping up against each
other. They became
older children you could discuss
the subtle differences in the meanings. Try to "find" a
and people float because they weigh less than the water they displace.
Share the famous story about Archimedes and how he found out the
wasn't gold. (Look in Brainstorms
and Thunderbolts, a fascinating book, for that
and other great stories of discovery.)
causes hail, another solid form
of water? Why do things
a prism or sun-catcher to separate sunlight into the colors of the
orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.
What creates colors?
did civilizations begin around rivers?
What advantages do they offer?
map or globe to locate some of the world's great rivers.
can be a gas when it turns to water
vapor. Discuss what happens when
about the Great Lakes, man-made and natural lakes, and lakes around the
world. Are there any
special lakes your students remember visiting?
causes snow? Explain that
snowflakes are six-sided, hexagonal, and all
Crystals by W.A. Bentley and W.J.Humphreys(Dover) has 2453
photographs of snowflakes! To
make a snowflake, have children trace a CIRCLE on
a piece of paper. Cut
out. Fold the CIRCLE in HALF.
Fold this HALF into
through the layers, cut out designs on all three sides.
see a lacy snowflake. Experiment
with different textured papers and designs.
kinds of plants and animals do you find in and around a pond?
How is a
pond different in summer and winter?
invented the shower? Study
some other inventions which make use of
water's special properties: steam
engine, water wheel, irrigation.
A metaphor is a figure of speech, where you say one thing is
something else--a shower is a
cloud." Encourage students to try writing a poem with a metaphor, to
in a fresh, original way.
causes an icicle? What effect
does the sun have on ice?
how waves are created by three things: 1. wind, 2. tides, 3. earthquake.
students into cooperative learning groups and, using reference books such
as the Information Please Almanac
and The Guinness Book of World
Records, have them devise a Water Quiz for each other.
(i.e. Where is the
rainiest place on earth? What
are the two longest rivers in the world and where are they located?
Name one waterfall and the country where it is found.
On what river did Tom Sawyer travel?)
an empty fish bowl on your desk with a stack of orange construction paper
fish beside it. Whenever
students think of other ways we use water, or, other shapes it can take,
they can write their ideas on a fish, put a paper clip on it for a mouth
and drop it into the bowl. At
the end of the week, make a fishing pole with a magnet on the end and let
them "fish" out all the ideas to share.
You could do this with water conservation ideas, too.
a field trip to your local water treatment facility.
younger children the poems could be used to discuss a variety of concepts:
up/down, above/below ("make a lake" on a flannel board),
hot/cold, big/little, colors. Use the book with students acquiring
English, as it is very visual, and the titles describe the picture-poems.
first word that Ann Sullivan was able to teach her pupil, Helen Keller,
is just a sampling of ideas--the
tip of the iceberg. Water is
a great theme which can flow through all areas of the curriculum!
And poetry belongs everywhere!
April 22 is Earth Day. Water
May is Water Awareness Month.
June is American Rivers Month.
July is National Parks and
states of matter (solid, liquid, gas)
(three causes: wind, earthquake,
a sprinkler, or a waterfall can act like a prism separating white light
into the colors of the rainbow: red,
orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet
things float--something weighs less than the water it displaces
(shape) poetry--see Nov./Dec.
'94 issue of Instructor, pages
60 - 61
See the Sept./Oct. 2000 issue of Creative
Classroom, pages 40 & 42
* Learn how to do the
in sign language--a poem
in the air!
*April is National
narrative, lyrical, apostrophe,
a water poem that isn't in the book
of the world/exploration
rivers, lakes, waterfalls
of rivers in the developing of civilizations--transportation/trade centers
of water in many cultures/creation myths/animal legends which explain why
things are the way they are
(PHYSICAL & MENTAL)
of water in human body/ history of cleanliness
do we cry? Does it make us
listen to, or sing some famous songs or pieces of music with some form of
water in the title (i.e. SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, FROSTY THE SNOWMAN, OVER THE
RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS, and many classical selections)
famous paintings featuring water.
crocodile puppets from green construction paper or egg cartons.
1994 Joan Bransfield Graham