Teaching the Water Cycle with Children’s Literature: Down Comes the Rain

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Down Comes the Rain, written by Franklyn Branley and illustrated by James Hale, is an interactive story that explores the water cycle and how it influences the weather.

The book begins by defining where rain comes from. It then goes step-by-step through the water cycle. The book revolves around four children experimenting with water vapor using common household items such boiling water or clothes drying on a line. They also use the outdoors to explain how humans and animals affect the water cycle. Even further, the book hits on how water vapor can effect the weather outside: “Sometimes the drops in clouds freeze. These raindrops become ice drops. This can happen even on a hot summer day, this is called hailstones”.

Curriculum Connections

Down Comes the Rain could be used as an introduction tool for learning about the water cycle. This book can be used for SOL:

3.9 a,b,c- investigate and understand the the water cycle and its relationship to the Earth. Key concepts include: evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and energy from the sun.

Additional Resources

  • North Harris County Regional Water AuthorityGives a quick overview of what the water cycle is and also provides instructions on how to build your own water cycle in the classroom.
  • Thirstin’s Wacky Water Adventure:  This PDF provides you with a printable activity book to give students. Students are introduced to Thirstin, a water cup, and he carries students through word searches and puzzles while teaching them fun facts about water.
  • Pro Teacher. Org: This site has a water cycle song that teachers can teach their students. It’s sung to the tune of “She’ll be coming around the Mountain”.

Book: Down Comes the Rain 
Author: Franklyn Branley
Illustrator: James Hale
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: September 1997
Pages: 32 pages
Grade Range: 1-3
ISBN: 9780064451666