A must read for all educators and parents!
Every now and again I am lucky enough to stumble onto a book for kids that I can’t put down, that makes me think and tells a moving story. Rain, Reign by Ann Martin is one of them. This book provides readers with insights into how challenging some student’s home lives can be, how Autistic students may perceive their world, tough decisions we all will have to make at some point and most of all – what it means to be courageous. Rain, Reign provides the reader with a greater understanding of why children with Autism may choose to make sense of their world the way they do, how they may make some decisions and sometimes behave the way they do. When it is estimated that 1 in 5 children are somewhere on the Autism spectrum, this book is long overdue. The wonderful thing about Rain, Reign is that it is multi layered. It isn’t just about Autism or Rose, it is about courage, overcoming obstacles and how your percieved flaws (in this case, Rose’s black and white thinking, can be one of your greatest assets). Students will connect with this book on a variety of levels and hopefully re-examine those students they share a classroom with, see on the yard or sit with on the bus home and realize that everyone doesn’t have just one story but that everyone has layers and some of those can make life tough. I highly recommend picking up a copy of Rain, Reign. Every classroom and every household should read this book!
Rain, Reign – An Educator’s Guide
Overall Themes and Questions
- Rose has autism. What are some things that you know about Autism?
- Is Rose a hero? Why or why not?
- Parents make mistakes. What are some mistakes that Rose’s father makes? Is Rose’s father a good person? Give at least 3 reasons from the book to justify your answer.
- Each character in the story has flaws. Choose 3 characters from the story and identify their flaws.
- Rose has black and white thinking. List some times in the book when she had this type of thinking. What things do you have black and white thinking about?
- Is Rose a hero? What makes her a hero?
- What is Rose’s biggest obstacle or challenge that she has to overcome? Explain your thinking.
Questions to consider:
What rules are important to Rose?
Why do you think students are unkind to Rose?
Rose understands her world through creating structure, numbers, rules and routines. How are you and Rose the same and what makes you different?
What are some of the things that Rose attributes to having high functioning autism? Make a chart of her abilities and list whether or not you think they are positive or negative. Be ready to defend your thinking.
Rose needs support from Mrs Leibler to start conversations differently. How does how you start conversations with people differ from Rose?
Rose has some triggers that can cause her to become upset and agitated. What are they and what things does she do to remain calm. Provide examples from the book. What upsets you and how do you calm down?
Parvani, in Rose’s class, looks away from Josh when he is being mean about Rose’s behaviour and rolling his eyes. There are subtle and quiet things we can all do to show people we do not support bullying. List as many as you can.
Would you work hard to track down the Henderson’s? Why or why not
Rose’s father loses his temper and frightens Rain and Rose. Instead of hurting Rose he leaves the house. When you are losing your temper how do you calm yourself down?
Rose’s father has come from a background where his parents were unkind to him and he is working hard to not follow in his parents footsteps. Is her father brave and honourable? Why or Why not?
Have a period of working with radio static in the background to mimic how Rose must feel. Put the paper, pens and other classroom supplies in a different place every day for a week to show kids how they also like routines and structures too.
Each child has to make a box describing them with a minimum of 5 things in it that are significant to describing who they are as a person. A twist on this activity would be that a classmate would present their box rather than them doing it.
Mapping out their community like Rose is able to do. Drawing a map to scale, using a key, etc.
Make a list of all Homophones that Rose identifies.
Make a list of what each household should have in the way of emergency supplies.
Using details that Rose gives us about Rain make a Lost Poster.
Make a list of all the prime numbers that Rose identifies in the book.
Write a different ending for the book where Rose does not have to give up Rain.
Have a class debate – One team thinks Rose should have done what she did when giving back the dog to the Henderson family and one team that thinks she should have not looked for the previous owners at all.
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