It’s Raining Art!

Nicole Lemmon and Lauren Dunning

Students will be able to express weather conditions through writing and visual art.


Rice paste paper
Scissors, glue, wax paper, brayer rollers
Examples of Eric Carle collages
iPads or computers
Writing Template
Weather Research Sheet
Four pieces of chart paper: Summer, Spring, Fall, Winter
Access to website: to research weather


Part One: Research
1. Refer to essential questions and explain that we will be answering them through our project.
2. Have students line up in birth order (by months). Ask students to talk with peers around them about the weather around their birthday. (Example: “My birthday is in April, it is sunny and sometimes it rains.”)
3. Whole Group: Have students share their conversations. Record ideas on 4 sheets of chart paper labeled for the seasons.
4. Share season calendar with students. Have students determine which season their birthday falls in.
Spring: March 20 – June 20
Summer: June 21—September 21
Fall: September 22 – December 20
Winter: December 21 – March 19
5. Discuss with students the change that occurs over time. How does the weather change from season to season (example: summer to fall).
6. Introduce task: “Today we will use iPads and/or computers to research the weather conditions from your last birthday. We will work in partners and record our findings on the research information sheet.”
7. Model task: Use the research information sheet to model the task using your birthdate. On the website, click on “Airport Weather History” from the weather dropdown menu. Record the day, season, temperature, and conditions.
8. Have students work in pairs to complete the research information sheet.

Part Two: Writing
1. Review the information from Part One. Have students partner share their findings.
2. Refer back to the posters of the seasons as a guiding tool for the following conversation. Ask students, “What kinds of words would we use to describe the ground in each type of weather?” “What type of clothing would we wear in each type of weather?” Record ideas in a word bank. Examples describing the ground could include: soggy, crunchy, frozen, dry, etc.
3. Explain that we will be using our weather information to create a written piece for our class book.
4. Share writing template with students, highlighting what they should be filling in the blanks.
5. Give each student a printed copy of the writing template to fill out on their own using the information they found. Have them either partner edit or edit with an adult for spelling and accuracy.
6. Students will then type their writing into a preformatted template.

Part Three: Create Art
1. Bring students together to recall their research and writing about the weather on their birthday.
2. At some point earlier in the year the students will have created the Eric Carle rice paste paper.
3. Show students five images of various weather scenes. Such as, Thomas Hart Benton, Spring on the Missouri, Esaias van den Velde, Winter Scene (Dutch, 1614), John Beerman,
Three Trees, Two Clouds, or any other images. Discuss what colors and shapes the artist used to show weather.
4. Show students several Eric Carle books and collage art. Have students share with a partner what they notice about his style of art. Discuss as a group how he uses multiple shapes and layering to create an image.
5. Tell students, “Your task today is to create a collage, showing the weather on your last birthday. I should know, based on your collage, what type of weather is happening.”
6. Brainstorm a list of settings for the collages. Nature, city, neighborhood, beaches, mountains, etc.
7. Go over directions for how to actually make the collage.
a. choose papers
b. cut shapes
c. make sure everything is arranged before gluing
d. use liquid glue
e. glue all of the pieces
f. lay a piece of wax paper on top of your collage
g. use the brayer rollers to squish out all of the glue
8. Allow students time to create their collage, referring back to their research and the Eric Carle collages for accuracy.
9. After everything is finished and dry, put writing and collages side by side in order by month to be published into a book.

Differentiation Approaches

1. By using a template, the students can be creative and work to their ability by extending their responses. Example: The ground is wet. The ground is covered in dewdrops.2. Students will work in pairs of varying levels to support each other.3. Students can peer edit or edit with an adult.4. Word banks displayed for support.5. Display the examples of weather for support.


1. Make sure the image matches the research and the writing. All three pieces must display the same information.
2. Have students respond to the essential question, How does weather change?

Follow Up and Extension Ideas

1. Students have a chance to share the publication and have an author signing. (Could be at school or at a local business.)
2. Students can read their writing aloud with a younger class.
3. This lesson is part of a larger unit on weather that integrates all core subjects and specialists. The music teacher will teach the students to compose their own rainstorm music. They will also choreograph their own 8 count dance to go along with their music.

Additional Details

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