Setting the Stage: Show a short slideshow with a multi-media projector of pictures of rain falling in various places on various people.
Introduction: Ask students to think about whether or not they like the rain. Tell them we are about to read a poem about rain. As they listen, they should try to predict whether the poet will say he likes the rain or not. (Pause before the last line and ask students for their opinions on this.)
Read the Poem:
“April Rain Song”
Let the rain kiss you.
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops.
Let the rain sing you a lullaby.
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk.
The rain makes running pools in the gutter.
The rain plays a little sleep-song on our roof at night—
And I love the rain.
(Hughes, Langston. 1960. April rain song. Rpt. in Hull, Robert, ed. 1991. Poems for spring, 30. Illus. by Annabel Spenceley. Austin, TX: Steck-Vaughn Library.)
Extension: Now tell students that we are going to pretend we all hate it when it rains. Point out how Langston Hughes didn’t say, “The rain sounds like a lullaby,” but just said, “Let the rain sing you a lullaby.” Ask them each to come up with a sentence that could tell something you hate about rain, but do it in a creative way that will surprise the reader. After writing, compile the sentences to make a group/class poem about hating the rain.