This is a short and simple lesson with the aim: explain the effect of rain as a symbol. Demonstrate understanding through writing.
The poem used is Shel Silverstein’s “Rain”. The lesson begins with a hinge question to assess what pupils already understand about symbolism. There are then two questions (best used in a sort of pitch-pause-pounce-bounce kind of way) which ask how rain could be used as a symbol in two different contexts, that of a funeral and that of a desert. The lesson then introduces Silverstein’s poem and points out that it can be read on two levels, both as a nonsense poem for children but, with more depth, with the rain as a symbol. Pupils are asked to explain what they think the rain could symbolise, and why.
I planned this to work alongside Louis Sachar’s novel “Holes” though it would work as a stand-alone lesson or as part of a unit on poetry.