rain goes down a drain

Rain Goes Down a Drain

Rain Goes Down a Drain
Target text


Read and write words with the two long a spellings -ain and -ane.

See Standards

Lesson Plan

Target Words:

  • rain
  • drain
  • stain
  • plane
  • plain
  • grain
  • strain


  • Scraps of plain cloth 
  • Spray bottle 
  • Sink strainer or cup with holes in the bottom 
  • Strainer
  • Water
  • Marker
  • Word-building cards*
  • Picture of a plane*
  • Look, a Stain! target text*
  • Rain on a Plane and in a Drain target text*
  • A few grains of oats, wheat, or barley, etc.
  • Picture cards of -ain and -ane words*  (optional)

*Items included below.

State and Model the Objective
The children will make a stain, make it rain, and let water go down a drain while reading words that end with -ain and -ane, such as rain and plane.

Literacy Activities
Turn a plain cloth into a not plain cloth

  • Give a plain cloth to the children in groups.
  • Let the children make a quick design with a marker to make it not plain.

Make it rain on a stain

  • Show the children a plain cloth and tell them that a plain cloth is a cloth with nothing on it.
  • Make a stain on the plain cloth using a washable marker.
  • Show the children the cloth with the marker stain.
  • Make rain by spraying or sprinkling water on the stain.
  • Comment that the rain doesn’t wash out the stain. 
  • Have the children write “The rain didn’t get rid of the stain."

Make it rain on a plane

  • Contrast the meaning and spelling of the words plain and plane.
  • Give the children a plain cloth and a picture of a plane (found below).
  • Have the children write plain and plane
  • Make it rain on the plane by spraying or sprinkling water on it.
  • Let the children  draw pictures of things that end with -ain or -ane (e.g., drain, chain, train, plane, cane) or use the -ain and -ane picture cards (found below).
  • Have the children label their pictures.
  • Make it rain on each picture and say, “It rains on a ____.”

Drain water through a strainer

  • Make it rain in a strainer (or cup with holes in the bottom) and watch the rain drain out of the bottom.
  • Strain the water out of the soaked grains. 
  • Have the children write words to dictation (e.g., strain, drain, grain, rain).

Strain grains in a strainer

  • Give the children a grain of wheat, barley, or oats.
  • Ask the children to write the word grain to gain another grain.
  • Explain that grain is often rinsed in a strainer.
  • Let the children place their grain in water and drain out the water with a strainer.
  • Have the children write, “What a pain to strain grain,” or “It is a pain to strain grain.”

More Practice
Identify, blend, and manipulate sounds

  • With word-building cards (found below), have the children make new words by changing the vowel or either of the consonants or adding a new consonant:
    • Change the beginning consonant(s): grain→ train, rain→ drain, lane→ plane, pain→ plain, stain→ strain
    • Change the vowels: plain→ plane, main→ mane
    • Change the ending consonant(s): rain→ raid, pain→ paid, brain→ braid

Read target words

  • Read the target text Look, a Stain! (found below) together as a group.
  • Read the text again, fading support.
  • Repeat with Rain on a Plane and in a Drain (found below).

Write about the activity using target words 

  • Have the children write -ai words from dictation (e.g., plain, stain, rain, gain, grain, strain, drain). 
  • Have the children write -ane words from dictation (e.g.,  plane, lane, cane).
  • Let the children write words that would fit into sentence frames:  
    • We made a ____ (stain) on a cloth that was ____ (plain).
    • We made it ____ (rain) on the ____ (stain).
    • We made it ____ (rain) down a ____ (drain).
    • We made it ____ (rain) on a ____ (train) and ____ (plane).
    • We used a strainer to ____ (strain) some ____ (grain).
  • Ask the children to write about how they played with rain, drains, and strainers:
    • “We got to . . .” (e.g., get a stain out with rain, make it rain on a plane,  make it rain in a strainer, stain a plain cloth, make rain go down a drain, strain grains).
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SEEL Target Texts

Look, a Stain!

Look, a stain on my shirt!  
I don’t want my shirt to have a stain.
How will I get it off?
Look, rain!
Will the rain wash out the stain?
I don’t think the rain will get rid of the stain.  

Rain on a Plane and in a Drain

We saw it rain and rain and rain.
We saw it rain on a plane and in a drain.
We saw rain drip down a window pane.
We saw rain drain down a drain.
We saw it rain on a plane.
Then we saw the rain go down the drain.
Read More



SEEL lessons align with Common Core Standards. Please see the standards page for the code(s) associated with this lesson.