I chose this book for several reasons. The first reason was because it was raining. The second reason it because I love Jan Brett's stories and pictures. This story exposes my students to animals they do not know about. With all the new animals in the story, I thought it would be fun to write about their favorite animal. I will begin the lesson by engaging them in a conversation about the rain. Here in Arizona, we don't see a lot of rain. We make a big deal out of it when we are fortunate to have rain.
"It has been raining these past few days. I love the rain. The rain makes the air and the plants smell so good. How many of you got rain at your house this weekend?"
I allow my students to talk one at a time about the rain. I prompt my shy and quiet students to participate in our conversation.
"I love to walk in the rain with my umbrella. How many of you have an umbrella?"
We then talk about umbrellas and rain boots.
"Did you know that there are places in the world where it rains all the time? Here where we live is dry and we don't have very many big plants growing around because we don't get very much rain. What do you think it looks like where it rains all the time?"
We then talk about the plants and how it looks where it rains all the time.
"Do you know any animals that live where it rains all the time? Let's watch a slide show that introduces all the animals that live in the rain forrest."
"Now that we have learned about the animals in the story let's read the story; The Umbrella."
"Now that we have seen the slide show and read the book, let's see if we can name all the animals in the story. I will put them on the bubble map about the Umbrella."
I use my name sticks to call on students to tell me the name of an animal from the story. I write the animals on the bubble map. I love to use Bubble Maps. Using the bubble map is easy for my students to understand. The map organizes my student's thoughts and ideas. It is a visual reference for them to refer to during the writing process. When the bubble map is finished we chorally read the animals and then talk about the writing activity.
"I want you to look at the animals on the bubble chart and decide which animal is your favorite. When you get to your table I want you to write, My favorite animal from the story is _____. Then you will draw a picture of your favorite animal. Remember to include picture details."
I model the writing under the document camera.
"I am going to turn off the document camera and let you write your sentence all by yourself. I will help you sound out the words in your sentence. I will leave the bubble map up for you to choose your animal."
I then send my students one row at a time to their tables. I ask my class paper passers to pass out the story lined paper to each seat. I walk around the room prompting and supporting students that need help. When they are finished, we gather on the carpet for oral reading of our sentences.
"We are ready to read about our favorite animal from the story; Umbrella. I would like the boys to come up to the front of the class and get your papers ready for reading."
I like to call my students up to read as groups. I find my students are more comfortable and more willing to give their oral presentation when they have the support from their peers. After the boys read their work I call the girls come up to read. We cheer and applaud after each reading.