Draw and Write Together: “The River”

  • crayons or markers
  • paper
  • flow
  • river

MA Standards:

Writing/W.PK.MA.2: Use a combination of dictating and drawing to explain information about a topic.

Head Start Outcomes:

Literacy Knowledge/Early Writing: Uses scribbles, shapes, pictures, and letters to represent objects, stories, experiences, or ideas.

PreK Learning Guidelines:

English Language Arts/Composition 16: Use their own words or illustrations to describe their experiences, tell imaginative stories, or communicate information about a topic of interest.

Draw and Write Together: “The River”

© Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Early Education and Care (Jennifer Waddell photographer). All rights reserved.

STEM Key Concepts: Water flows downhill; Water behaves differently on different surfaces; You can change the direction water flows; You can use different objects to move water

ELA Focus Skills: Active Listening, Phonological Awareness (Rhythm and Rhyme), Visualize, Vocabulary

Tell children you are going to read a poem to them about how a river flows down a mountain. Ask children to close their eyes as you read to help them concentrate on how the river moves. Say, I want you to close your eyes as I read the poem. I am going to read the words slowly so you can try to imagine how the river is flowing down the mountain.

Read the poem slowly and with expression. Once you are finished have children open their eyes. Ask questions such as,

  • Can you describe how the water moves down the mountain?
  • Explain that a lullaby is a soft song often sung before bedtime that helps calm children down and put them to sleep.  Say, Why do you think the author said it sounded like a lullaby?
  • Did having your eyes closed help you imagine the river flowing? Why do you think that?

After children respond, tell them you want them to draw a picture of how they imagined the river looked as it flowed down the mountain. You may want to read the poem as children draw.

Then have children dictate or write a caption for their pictures. Encourage children to share their work with the group. Display the pictures around the room for children to revisit throughout the week.

The River
High on a mountain,
Snow melts in the sun,
Runs down the hill,
And a river has begun.

Down, down, it gushes,
Sparkling, clear, and bright,
Splashing on pebbles,
Moving day and night.

Growing wider as it flows,
The water swirls and foams,
It glides on past a forest
And rushes past our homes.

The river’s running slower,
The river’s running deep,
Sounding like a lullaby
That’s singing me to sleep.

Adaptation: For groups with children having difficulty comprehending the poem, you may want to pull out a few specific lines and describe or have pictures on hand to help children imagine what the description looks like. For example, “Snow melts in the sun,” “Splashing on pebbles,” “It glides on past a forest.”

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