A Picture Book Poetry Lesson from WritingFix

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Teacher's Guide:

Ain't Gonna Rain No More

creating new verses for an old campfire and blues song

This lesson was created by Corbett Harrison after he heard Jodie Black share Karen Beaumont's wonderful book as a read-aloud.

The intended "mentor text" to be used when teaching this on-line lesson is the picture book I Ain't Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont. Before writing, students should listen to and discuss the writing style of this book's author.

To our loyal WritingFix users: Please use this link if purchasing I Ain't Gonna Paint No More! from Amazon.com, and help keep WritingFix free and on-line. We thank you!

A note for teacher users: These lessons are posted so that you may borrow ideas from them, but our intention in providing this resource is not to give teachers a word-for-word script to follow. Please, use this lesson's big ideas but adapt everything else. And adapt it recklessly; that's how you become an authentic writing teacher.

Teacher Instructions & Lesson Resources :

Pre-Step (before sharing the published model):  There are many renditions of the song "It Ain't Gonna Rain No More" available for download at I-Tunes.  Several Disney children's albums feature this song, but there are also some very interesting blues and country renditions to share with your students.  Our current favorite is by blues guitarist and songster Mance Lipscomb.  His rendition is worth the cost for the song's download.  Play it for your students and talk about its rhyme scheme.

Step one (sharing the published model):  Karen Beaumont has cleverly adapted the old song, “It Ain’t Gonna Rain No More,” in her book, I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More!  David Catrow uses his witty and crazily colored illustrations to visually enhance the story of the little boy who paints his whole body while introducing a series of hilarious rhyming couplets.  While this book is specifically targeted at pre-school to kindergartners, all ages will enjoy the song, the illustrations, and the last slightly naughty innuendo in rhyme.  Jodie suggests, "Teachers are going to want to read and sing I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More several times with their students prior to attempting the writing activity.  The uniquely colorful illustrations serve to tell the story as humorously as the text does and students will want to pour over them time and time again."

Teachers of younger students should stress, during oral readings, how the words, the rhyming scheme, the punctuation and the illustrations let us hear so clearly the voice of the main character as he goes about doing exactly what his mother doesn’t want him to do.  These initial readings and discussions can flow naturally into some whole class sharing about things all of us have to do, want to do or don’t want to do.

Step two (introducing models of writing):    In small groups, have your students read and respond to any or all of the student models that come with this lesson.  The groups will certainly talk about the sentence fluency, since that's the focus of this lesson, but you might prompt your students to talk about each model's word choice as well.

WritingFix Safely Publishes Students from Around the World! In 2008, we first began accepting students samples from teachers anywhere who use this lesson. Hundreds of new published students now go up at our site annually!

We're currently looking for student samples for other grade levels for this lesson!  Help us obtain some from your students, and we'll send you a free resource for your classroom!  Visit this lesson's student samples page for details.


Step three (thinking and pre-writing): For students' internal rhymes to match the rhythm, students will have to use words that rhyme with helping verbs (auxiliaries).  The worksheet below will help them brainstorm these types of words.  Have student groups brainstorm as many words as they can on this sheet; it will give them more options for their own attempts at writing.

Once the first line is crafted to nicely fit the rhythm of the original song, the second and fourth line are pretty much created too.  The next trick is to create the third line, which will require some more rhyming and word experimentation.  The interactive button game on the Student Instructions Page might give your students some ideas for writing the third line of their stanzas, so might the website Rhymezone, but so might just a good discussion with a partner or writing buddy.

Rhyme and rhythm are not easy for many developing writers.  Some of your students will quickly finish a four-line stanza, and they should be encouraged to create more of the same.  A page in a Writer's Notebook that is devoted to stanzas that can be sung to this tune might be something you encourage these students to set aside.

Share Original Graphic Organizers (for Pre-Writing)
from Your Teaching Toolbox.

We share graphic organizers with our peers, we find them in books, and we think we should also be able to find tried-and-true ones online at WritingFix. This year, if you create an original graphic organizer (or adapt one of ours) when you teach this page's lesson, and post it, we might just end up publishing it directly here at WritingFix, and we will post it here, giving you full credit.

  • Original graphic organizers for specific lessons, like this one, can be submitted as an attachment at this link. Look for the "Reply to this Box" beneath the post. To be able to post, you will need to be a member of our free Writing Lesson of the Month Network.

Step four (revising with specific trait language):  Two tools for revision are provided below.  You can use one or both, depending on how much time you have to spend on this assignment.

To promote response and revision to rough draft writing, attach WritingFix's Revision and Response Post-it® Note-sized templates to your students' drafts.  Make sure the students rank their use of the trait-specific skills on the Post-it® Note-sized templates, which means they'll only have one "1" and one "5."   Have them commit to ideas for revision based on their Post-It rankings.  For more ideas on WritingFix's Revision & Response Post-it® Note-sized templates, click here.

Share Original Revision Techniques or
Adaptations from Your Toolbox.

Inspired by Barry Lane's Reviser's Toolbox, the WritingFix website encourages its teacher users to adapt our lessons, especially the tools of revision we have posted here. If you create an original revision tool (or adapt one of ours) when you teach this page's lesson, and post it, we might just end up publishing it directly here at WritingFix, and we will post it here, giving you full credit.

  • Original revision ideas from teacher users of WritingFix can be submitted through copy/paste or as an attachment at this link. Look for the "Reply to this Box" beneath the post. To be able to post, you will need to be a member of our free Writing Lesson of the Month Network.


Step five (editing for conventions):  After students apply their revision ideas to their drafts and re-write neatly, require them to find an editor.   If you've established a "Community of Editors" among your students, have each student exchange his/her paper with multiple peers.  With yellow high-lighters in hand, each peer reads for and highlights suspected errors for just one item from the Editing Post-it.  The "Community of Editors" idea is just one of dozens and dozens of inspiring ideas that is talked about in detail in the Northern Nevada Writing Project's Going Deep with 6 Trait Language Workbook for Teachers.

Step six (publishing for the portfolio):  The goal of most lessons posted at WritingFix is that students end up with a piece of writing they like, and that their writing was taken through all steps of the writing process. After revising, invite your students to come back to this piece once more during an upcoming writer's workshop block.  The writing started with this lesson might become even more polished for final placement in the portfolio, or the big ideas being written about here might transform into a completely different piece of writing. Most likely, your students will enjoy creating an illustration for this writing as they ready to place final drafts in their portfolios.

Interested in publishing student work on-line? You might earn a free classroom resource from the NNWP! We invite teachers to teach this lesson completely, then share up to three of their students' best revised and edited samples at our ning's Publish Student Writers group.

To submit student samples for this page's lesson, click here. You won't be able to post unless you are a verified member of this site's Writing Lesson of the Month ning.

Find more words that rhyme by using Rhymezone!

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