Printer Friendly

Rainstick rhythm: elementary.

Significant Problem

The importance of rain and the water cycle is a part of the first grade curriculum. Appreciating the traditions of other cultures is a part of all school programs. Three-dimensional construction is a component of the art curriculum. Creating rainsticks provides a way to integrate learning.

Essential Concepts

1. Understand that rainsticks are important instruments for rituals, ceremonies, and celebrations in many societies.

2. Learn about the importance of rain and the water cycle.

3. Explore ways to create a rainstick.


Sturdy cardboard tubes with one end closed, electric drill, awl, hammer, flat-head nails, glue, brushes, masking tape, duct tape, seeds, small shells, rice, dried beans, popcorn kernels, beads, buttons, tissue paper in warm and coot colors, empty plastic containers for glue mixture, newspaper

Guiding Practice

1. In advance, pre, are tubes by drilling small holes in a spiral down the length of the side. Ask parents to send small quantities of various dried beans, rice, small shells, buttons, and seeds in small plastic bags.

2. Discuss the importance of rain and why rain is essential for our livelihood.

3. Show examples of rainsticks and read, The Rainstick, a fable written by Sandra Chisholm Robinson. Play a tape, such as Relaxing with Nature quietly in the background.

4. Set up workstations where students can complete each process. Select two tubes and wiggle nails into the drilled holes to form an internal spiral matrix. Stress safety measures. Cover nail heads with masking tape to secure them in place.

5. Experiment with sounds by dropping various seeds into the tube.

6. Apply overlapping layers of colored tissue paper to the tube using glue. Finish with a protective coat of glue.

Assessing Learning

Recall the process from the last step to the first step and discuss choices.

Significant Problem

Learning how to make various sounds with the rainstick and developing an appreciation for a non-traditional musical instrument.

Guiding Practice

1. Play a CD with the sounds of a rainstorm. Ask students to form a circle and listen. Give each student their rainstick and present instructions for playing the rainstick with gentle hands.

2. Tell students to hold their hands about a foot apart and tip the rainstick slowly. Emphasize that the rainstick needs to be placed gently on the ground after playing.

3. Demonstrate two poses, a listening pose (rainstick straight up) and a playing pose (rainstick held horizontally).

4. Tell students to turn to a partner and take turns playing their rainsticks with a continuous sound. To assist their partner, students nod when their rainstick is halfway through its cycle.

5. When partners complete several "waves" of sound, they are asked to return to the large circle.

6. As a group, students then create one large "wave" of sound.

7. Ask students to place the rainsticks against their cheek or shoulder to feel the vibrations of the fill of the rainstick.

8. Suggest that they choose a time during the session to stop and listen to the sound of the "storm." Quietly remove one rainstick at a time while students play and motion for the children to sit in the circle and listen.

9. When the last rainstick has been removed and all the children are seated in the circle, create a finale to the rainstorm using their hands, feet and small sounds. Prompt individuals to tap their fingers, rub their hands, stomp their feet, or click their tongues to mimic various sounds of a rainstorm.

Assessing Learning

Compare and contrast the levels and varieties of sounds. Discuss students' observations of the process.

ClipCard submitted by Tara L. Kanevski, an art teacher in Andover, Massachusetts.
COPYRIGHT 2002 Davis Publications, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Kanevski, Tara L.
Publication:School Arts
Date:Nov 1, 2002
Previous Article:Flowers in the round: elementary.
Next Article:Party animals. (A Closer Look).

Related Articles
Rhythm & blues.
Fun activities for elementary music students. (Engaging Rhythyms).
Remember this. (Verso).
Teacher hits all the right notes with kids.
Rhythmic meter munchies.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters