Big Rain Coming by Katrina Germein – An Integrated Maths and Science Lesson for 1/2



This lesson adopts an integrated approach to teaching science, incorporating picture story books and maths concepts.  The lesson aims to expand the students understanding of the differing seasons in Northern Australia and draws on their developing understanding of scientific concepts such as evaporation.  The lesson should be taught as part of a continuing exploration of the importance of living sustainably.


Children in the 1/2 area have been enjoying listening to ‘Dreamtime stories’, they have also begun to learn about the days of the week and months of the year, working on their own calendars during lap top sessions. By using Big Rain Coming I aim to introduce the concept that, in parts of Australia they don’t experience four seasons like we do in the south. In Northern Australia, there is the wet season and the dry season.


To introduce the children to the concept of seasons in the ‘Top End’ and comparing them to seasons in Southern Australia.

Australian Curriculum Links:

Year 1:

  • Observable changes occur in the sky and landscape (ACSSU019)
  • Science involves asking questions about, and describing changes in, objects and events (ACSHE021)
  • Science involves exploring and observing the world using the senses (ACSHE013)


Year 2:

  • Use a calendar to identify the date and determine the number of days in each month (ACMMG041).


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures: investigating the seasons used by Aboriginal people, comparing them to those used in Western society and recognising the connection to weather patterns.


  • Why do you think old man Stephen believes that the rain is coming? Are there any clues in the pictures that would suggest this?
  • How many seasons of weather do we have?
  • Why are their different coloured clouds? What do you think this might mean?
  • What is a billabong? What is it being used for? Why is the billabong important? Who needs to use the billabong?
  • What makes thunder?
  • Why were the people sleeping outside waiting for the rain to come?
  • Why were the dogs digging holes to keep cool?
  • Why do living things need water?
  • Why did Stephen say the rain was coming?
  • Where did the children swim?
  • How did the dogs keep cool?
  • When did the rain come?
  • Why was the water warm and still in a billabong?
  • Why did the fat green frogs gathered around the leaky tap?
  • Where can you hear echo sounds?
  • How did the children feel when the rain came?
  • What happens to the grass and trees around us when is not raining?



  • Many places experience 4 seasons in a year. Each season lasts for 3 months. Hot places near the equator often only have 2 seasons, called the wet and the dry.
  • In Victoria, we are coming into our warm and sunny seasons, in Darwin it is starting to get very hot, stormy and rainy!
  • Read story Big Rain Coming
  • Discuss
  • Look at ‘How do you know it is going to rain?’


Scientists Observe (Outside if possible) Children to face teacher and observe… 

  • “What are my clothes doing?
  • What am I wearing?” etc.
  • Ask children to turn around so they cant see teacher. Teacher to change appearance, eg pull up one sleeve or trouser leg, put on glasses, hat… Explain Scientists make observations about the environment around them, they record things carefully over time so they can recognise changes and explain what is happening.
  • Return to the Classroom and Watch and Discuss ‘Living in cold or hot areas’
      • Why were the boys wearing different clothes?
      • What if it was raining in both places?
      • Would the weather still feel different in each place?
      • Why do you think this?
      • How does the weather affect what you do?
  • Recap on Water cycle poster (brief recap of concept following energy unit) (See Resources)
  • Conduct the Evaporation Investigation (See Resources)


Where to from here?

  • Add culturally significant dates to the calendar children have been working on in literacy ((ACMMG041) using calendars to locate specific information, such as finding a given date on a calendar and saying what day it is, and identifying personally or culturally specific days).
  • Children colour code the seasons on the calendar they are working on with the lap tops, eg Summer: yellow, Spring: green, Autumn: Orange, Winter: blue.
  • Read Poem (trad.)
    • “Thirty days has September, April, June and November;
    • All the rest have thirty-one,
    • Except February, with twenty-eight days,
    • And twenty-nine each leap year.” 
  • Big Rain Coming word search for early finishers (See Resources)


  • Anecdotal notes
  • Collect Investigations and assess for students’ ability to identify changes.





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