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Chilean Rainstick

Created by: TD, BS, DE, EW, AP, FF, JT, & Bree
(To give credit to my fellow group members but not post their names on the internet without their permission, I will only list their initials.)

Subject Matter: Social Studies and Visual Arts

Grade Level: 2nd Grade

Time Required: Less than one hour

Students research the history of the rainstick and learn how it was originally made.
Students understand the use of the rainstick in various cultures.
Students create a replica rainstick and decorate it in authentic Native American designs.

VA.B.1.1: The student creates and communicates a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas using knowledge of structures and functions of visual arts.

VA.C.1.1: The student understands the visual arts in relation to history and culture.

VA.E.1.1: The student makes connections between the visual arts, other disciplines and the real world.

SS.A.2.1: The student understands historical chronology and the historical perspective.

SS.B.2.1: The student understands the interactions of people and the physical environment.

3.1 Information Manager
3.2 Effective Communicator
3.4 Creative and Critical Thinker
3.8 Cooperative Worker
3.10 Multi-Culturally Sensitive Citizen

Three-dimensional: Something has three dimensions, meaning something is wide, long, and tall. (For example, something that pops out at you or a 3-D movie)
Repeat: To do something over and over again.
Patterns: An artistic or decorative design.
Symmetrical: Equal size on both sides.
Chile: A country in South America, surrounded by Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, the Antarctic and the Pacific Ocean. It is the home of the Andes mountain range.
Desert: A dry, often sandy region of little rainfall.
Cactus: Usually leafless plants with spines that are found in dry areas.
Decorations: Native Americans decorate crafts to make them more beautiful, to retell a story or to talk about an important event.
Colors: Color is important to Native Americans in order to add meaning to a design.
o Black: night, male, cold, disease, death
o Blue: sky, water, female, clouds, lightning, moon, thunder, sadness
o Green: plant life, earth, summer, rain
o Red: wounds, sunset, blood, earth, war, day
o White: winter, death, snow
o Yellow: sunshine, day, dawn

Do you know what this object is?
What do you think this object is used for?
How could this be used in other cultures?

History of the rainstick.
Legend has it that the Chilean Native Americans invented the rainstick to make rainy weather. The authentic version of this musical instrument is made of dried cactus tubes gathered by Indians of the northern desert region. The cacti grow in large quantities and have a plant life of about seventy years. When the cacti die, artisans in Chili hand select branches suitable for rainsticks. The wood is then filled with small volcanic ash pebbles and spines are driven through the trunk in a spiral formation. When the rainstick is turned upside down, the sound of the pebbles falling slowly simulates the sound of rainfall. Traditionally the rainstick was used in ceremonies and worship rituals to ask the Gods for rain. Explain that the rainstick they are making is not traditional. It is made from a cardboard tube (instead of a dried cactus) and aluminum foil (in place of cactus spines).

1. Choose a recycled cardboard tube. Cut it to the desired length with scissors.
2. Seal: On a piece of construction paper or used file folder, trace around an open end of your cardboard tube with colored pencils. Draw a larger circle around the first one. Cut around the bigger circle. Cut several slits from the outer edge of the larger circle into the smaller circle. Make two of these double circles, one for each end of the tube.
3. Fold the slit edges up from the smaller circle. Only put glue on the outer edges and seal one end of the tube with one of the circles. Let the glue air-dry.
4. Roll and twist a long piece of aluminum foil (1 times the length of the tube) into a spiral snake. Place the foil snake inside the tube.
5. Fill: Pour a few seeds into the tube. Hold your hand over the open end of the tube and gently turn the rainstick over to see how it sounds. Experiment with the amount of seeds until you have the sound you like best.
6. Glue the second end of the rain stick closed with the other pre-cut double circle.
7. A piece of typing paper is the same size as your tube. Using glue, wrap the piece of paper (lengthwise) around the tube in order to decorate.
8. Decorate: Cover your art area with newspaper. Decorate the outside of the rainstick with authentic Native American colors and designs using paint and crayons. Be creative.
9. Glue on feathers, beads, yarn or other craft materials for a finishing touch. Air-dry before turning the rainstick from one end to another.

1. The students will each have a chance to share their rainstick with the rest of the class.
2. They must explain why they chose their color scheme and design.
3. The teacher will then close the lesson by illustrating all the many types of rainsticks throughout the classroom. This will show the students how important other cultures are.

Clean-up procedures:
Remember to put away scissors, put crayons in their boxes, cap off the glue, throw out the scrap paper, wash the paint brushes, throw out newspaper and put finished rainsticks away in order to fully dry.

ESOL/ESE Strategies
The teacher will:
Share the stories Pop-up Rainforest: By Janine Amos, Illustrations by Michael Steward, and Rain Forest wildlife prior to the rainstick activity.
Play music during the rainstick activity: Rainforest by Robert Rich.
Can watch the movie The Jungle Book and discuss the rainforest.

Gifted Strategies
Play music during the rain stick activity: Rainforest by Robert Rich.
View the movie Jumanji and discuss the rainforest and have the students write three paragraphs on the importance of the rainforests.
Have the students select from the following activities:
Native News Activity:
Research another rain forest region and make a comparison/contrast.
A Venn diagram can be prepared to share with the class.
Find articles on environmental issues.
Create a rain forest collage of products indigenous to the tropical regions-use pictures, labels, magazines, etc.

Paper towel tube or other long cardboard tube
Construction paper
Aluminum foil
Small dried beans, un-popped popcorn, dry rice, or tiny pasta.
Crayons or Markers
Other crafts, such as feather, beads, or yarn

The students will learn about different rainforests and their importance in our world.
Rainforest Group Creative Writing (using words from a word box)
Rainforest word search Worksheet
Rainforest Subject and Sentence Worksheet
Rainforest Crossword Puzzle
Rainforest fill-in the blank Worksheet (using words from a word bank)

1. Effective assessment of prior knowledge to students.
Did the teacher go into detail about the Native American and Chilean cultures and how they use rain sticks? This would provide students a clear picture of what rain sticks are, what they are used for, and why they are important.

2. Timely, sequential presentation and organization of materials.
Did the teacher have all materials ready and set out? Did the teacher allow enough time for all students to complete the assignment?

3. Student involvement in pre-activity task, brainstorming, and/or guided practice session.
Did the teacher have all the children engaged in pre-activities? Did she include higher and lower order questions on Native American culture and other cultures that use rain sticks?

4. Demonstration of studio technique.
Did the teacher provide examples of rain sticks? Did the teacher show the children how to create cut outs of nature items such as butterflies or bugs? Did the teacher explain that there are many ways to make rain sticks?

5. Effective and clear communication of procedures.
Did the teacher go over what exactly is expected from the student? Did the teacher provide adequate guidelines and step by step procedures?

6. Ability to assist learners with formalistic design elements and principles as well as social and cultural art issues.
Did the teacher walk around the room to help students? Was the history and reasoning of the activity explained?

7. Effective clean-up and closure procedures.
Did the teacher have a clean-up procedure ready? Did the teacher have a follow up activity?

Ferguson, Diana. (2001). Native American Myths. London: Collins & Brown Limited.
Osbourne, Harold. (1952). Indians of the Andes: Aymaras and Quechuas. London: Routledge & Paul.

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