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A Science and Art lesson on creating a Rain Stick (Music and Social Studies too)
4, 5, 6
Subject: Science Title: Science in Art: How to Make a Rain Stick by T. Vieira Grade: 4th - 6th grades Objectives:
The objective is to introduce a knowledge and appreciation of the rain forests in Brazil, and then have students make a rain stick so they can listen to the sounds of the rain forests.
- One 1-1/2 inch mailing tube (or heavy cardboard tube)
- One pound of 1-1/4 inch nails
- Wide tape if tube has no stopper
- wrapping or contact paper
- selection of rice, sand, unpopped popcorn, lentils, dried beans, sea shells or small gravel (enough to fill each tube Ã‚Â¼ way from the top)
- Map of Brazil
1. Pass map of Brazil around and ask them to find the Amazon River. Explain that this is a very rich area in Brazil for rain forests. Explain that rain forests are where more species of plants and animals live than in all the rest of the world’s ecosystems combined. The rain forest is home to thousands of known and yet to be discovered species of plants and animals. However, due to logging and agriculture, they are being destroyed at an alarming rate. The destruction of the rain forests causes many problems, such as causing the greatest number of plant and animal extinctions ever experienced on the earth. There are many more problems caused by destruction of the rain forests too, but by becoming aware of this problem, maybe we can do something to help.
2. Tell students that they will make a rain stick that mimics the sounds of the rain forests.
- Close one end of tube with wide tape
- Pour in selection of gravel, or etc. till it fills tube approximately Ã‚Â¼ inch from the top of the tube.
- Close other end of tube with tape.
- Decorate outside of tube with wrapping paper or contact paper.
3. Demonstrate that the stick can be slowly turned end to end to simulate the sound of the rain forests.
- Did the children follow directions?
- Did the children participate willingly?
- New! – Supplemental instructions:
The original author of this lesson plan didn’t include information on what to do with the nails. The nails can be hammered into the rain stick, and the other items in the tube will bounce against them as they roll up and down the tube, creating more sound. Hammer the nails into the rain stick in a spiral formation, about 1 and 1/2 inches apart up and down the tube. Screws may be a better option however, as they will hold themselves in the tube better (screw these in with a screwdriver). Or, you can just tape over the nails so they won’t come out.