the Rain to Kapiti Plain
Monica L. Hanks
Level: Early Elementary
- The children will be able to find Kenya,
Africa on a world map.
- The children will draw a picture of the
African plains and a herdsman.
- Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by
Dial Books for Young Readers, New York,
- A world map or globe.
- Write the words of the book on chart paper or
an overhead transparency (extension activity).
- Ask the children if they think that people in
other parts of the world act like, dress like, eat like, or talk
like they do. When they say "No," ask the children if they know
where Africa is. Have them point to a world map or globe and show
you where Africa is. If they don't know where it is, show them,
and tell them that they are going to learn about a man who lives
in Kenya, Africa (point to Kenya on the map), and they're going to
learn about the way he lives, and how it might be different or the
same from the way they live.
- Read and discuss the book Bringing the Rain
to Kapiti Plain. Discuss the book with the children, asking
them questions about Kenya and the Nandi people so they'll have a
better understanding of Ki-pat and his way of life.
- Information and
- Why do you think the
book is called Bringing the Rain to Kapiti
- What do you think the
man is doing? Tending
- Do you think these
animals (giraffes, antelope) are afraid of the
- What kind of place do
you think they are in? Is it somewhere dry or somewhere with
a lot of rain? Why do you think so?
There could be
different answers, but it is hot for part of the year and
wet the other part.
- Kenya is located on the
East Coast of Africa and the equator runs through the middle of
it. Kenya is considered a tropical area because it is hot and
humid. There are sandy beaches, lagoons, rain forests, and
swamps. The average temperature is 80 degrees all year long.
Most (3/4) of Kenya consists of plains. It's very dry and the
soil isn't very good for farming. The plains receive about ten
to thirty inches of rainfall each year. There aren't any major
cities here, but nomads roam the land tending their flocks.
There is a highland area in the southwest that receives enough
rainfall (forty to fifty inches a year) and has enough good
soil to support farming. The majority of the people live here.
There are forests and grasslands, and Nairobi, the capital
city, is located in the highland area.
- What is an acacia
The tree on the
cover; any of a genus of trees or shrubs of the pea family,
having finely divided leaves and growing in tropical or warm
regions. (Scott, Foresman Advanced Dictionary,
- Which animal in the
picture is an animal that might eat the others?
- Do you think this place
is like where we live?
Discuss the plains
and the highlands of Kenya, and discuss that not all places
in Kenya look like this picture because there are beaches,
- The wildlife in Kenya is
diverse. There are elephants, giraffes, lions, rhinoceroses,
zebras, antelope, buffalo, cheetahs, leopards, crocodiles,
eagles, ostriches, storks, and more.
- In this picture it is
very dry, what is it called when an area doesn't have water
and it is very dry?
- Most of the people in Kenya
live in rural areas, but many people go to the cities every
year. The people in rural areas farm and raise livestock. Some
people live as nomads and they travel the land with their herds
to find food and water. The Nandi people are an example of a
nomad group; they live in Western Kenya, in the plains, and
they keep cattle, sheep, and goats as their way of life.
- Did you think that cows
lived in Kenya?
- Most of the men in Kenya
wear cotton shirts and pants or shorts, but some wear business
suits. Most females wear cotton dresses or skirts and blouses.
Some people that live in rural areas wear a cloth that they
wrap around their bodies. The nomads are especially known for
- This man dresses
differently than we do, why do you think he wraps a piece of
cloth around him?
It's most likely
cooler and less expensive than shirts and pants.
- Why do you think he
stands on only one leg?
There could be many
answers to this question.
- What do you think Ki-pat
will do with the arrow he made?
The children could
give any answer, but he is going to shoot the cloud to make
- Now he made a bow, let's
predict what he is going to do with the bow and
- Is it really possible to
shoot an arrow at a cloud to make it rain?
- Is it okay to pretend in
- What is it called when
it rains and rains and rains, in Africa?
- Most rural people live in
small houses made of mud or bundles of branches. The cities
have modern houses of stone and cement.
- Look at the houses they
live in and notice that they are different than ours. What
do you think they're made of?
- Do you think this is a
real story, why or why not?
No, because you can't
shoot a cloud to make it rain.
- Why do people tell these
stories, what is their purpose?
To explain things
that occur around them.
- Do we do this?
Yes, we do sometimes.
Even though Ki-pat lived far away from where we live now,
and we are very different, we also have some things that are
- Have one or two children show where Kenya
is on the map, and have the other children tell them if they are
- Tell the children that they have learned about
the plains in Kenya and the people who raise animals, and now they
are going to draw what they think the plains look like and what
the people look like watching their animals. Have them draw these
- Ask the children if they think it is important
to learn about other people. Yes! so that we can know that we are
very different but also have things in common.
- Ask one or two children to point to the map
and show where Kenya is. Have the other children correct or agree
with the helpers.
- Assess the accuracy of the children's
To find all the background
together, and some extra bits of information.
to Africa Table of Contents