Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain
 By Verna Aardema
 Pictures by Beatriz Vidal

A delightful blended /hybrid story—a story of an African plain that is written as a poetic folktale using a variation of the cumulative English nursery rhyme, “The House that Jack Built”.

Book Talk
Storyteller Verna Aardema skillfully blends three types of writing (poetry, folktale, nursery rhyme)  to create a beautiful read-aloud about the Kapiti Plain in Kenya.  

The original tale is taken from the Nandi people and written in English by Sir Claud Hollis in 1909.  Aardema adds a repeating refrain to tie the folktale closer to the rhythm of “The House that Jack Built”.

An example of the building, poetic, folkloric text:

From this:
“This is the cloud,  
     all heavy with rain,              
That shadowed  the ground
     on Kapiti Plain”
To this:
“These are the cows,
all hungry and dry,
Who mooed for the rain,
to fall from the sky;
To green-up the grass,
all brown and dead,
That needed the rain
from the cloud overhead—
The big, black cloud,
all heavy with rain,
That shadowed the ground 
on  Kapiti Plain”

Students will love the rhythm and rhyme of this cumulative story and how it continues to grow!

Suggested Uses as a Mentor Text:
Book Genre: Folktale (thru poetry)
Reading Workshop strategies: Fluency, Predicting, Questioning
Writing Workshop: Folktale, Poetry
Curricular Themes: Diversity/We Need Diverse Book, African cultures & folktales

About Verna Aardemahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verna_Aardema

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