Inside: Explore the beautiful Over the Rainbow book, based on the classic song and with illustrations by Eric Puybaret, with this trio of rainbow book activities.
Over the Rainbow is a classic lullaby that many children have grown to love, and many adults remember fondly from original The Wizard of Oz movie. In the book Over the Rainbow, children can enjoy and explore the magical lyrics in a whole new way, thanks to Eric Puybaret’s dreamy illustrations.
Following your read aloud time together, why not give one of the trio of book based activities below a try to continue the exploration. Each provides a fun, hands-on way to inspire imaginations and further literacy learning.
3 Over the Rainbow Book Activities
These activities can be adapted for kindergarten through to third grade students, with varying degrees of support, and a printable lesson plan with printable activity pages can be downloaded at the bottom of the post.
Over the Rainbow Book Activity #1: Pipe Cleaner Rainbow Craft
Make your own mini rainbow using an assortment of colorful pipe cleaners.
Before you begin: Teach your children to remember the order of colours in the rainbow with this mnemonic device: Introduce an imaginary friend, a boy named Roy G. Biv. Each letter of Roy’s name represents the first letter of the colours in rainbow order, R-red, O-orange, Y-yellow, G-green, B-blue, I – indigo, V-violet.
This fun video helps kids to remember this device.
1. Begin by straightening out the pipe cleaners so they lay flat.
2. Line the pipe cleaners up in rainbow order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.
3. Twist each end of the pipe cleaner collection together to form a colorful band.
4. Bend the collection of pipe cleaners into an arch shape. Arrange and flatten each end so the rainbow is free standing.
5. Enjoy your mini rainbow, talk about the colours, and compare it to the rainbow illustrations in the book.
RELATED: Check out our collection of 15 rainbow art project ideas.
Over the Rainbow Book Activity #2: Make Your Own Real Rainbow
In this activity, kids can have a go at creating their own real life rainbow, just like they see in the book.
- Glass of water
- White surface or white piece of paper
- Crayons or marker pens
- Optional: flashlight or torch
Directions DIY Rainbow #1: Glass of Water Rainbow
- Fill a plain drinking glass with water.
- Place the glass on a table by a window so that it is sitting in direct sunlight.
- Move the white paper around the base of the glass until you can see the rainbow.
- If you do not have direct sunlight, try creating a rainbow with a flashlight/torch. Shine the flashlight beam into the glass of water so the beam of light is on an angle and points through the side of the glass.
- Try tracing the shape of the rainbow you have made on the paper with crayons or marker pens.
Directions DIY Rainbow #2: CD Rainbows
- Look at the shiny side of the CD. What do you see? Does anything change as you move it back and forth?
- Stand to the side of a sunny window. Hold the CD in your hand, shiny side out, and move the CD until the sun reflects off it to make rainbow patterns on the wall beside the window. What do you see? Can you change the shape of the rainbow by moving the CD?
- Alternatively, go into a dark room and place the CD on the floor alongside a wall. Tape a piece of white paper to the wall and aim the torch/flashlight at the CD so that it reflects a rainbow back onto your paper. Try tracing the shape of the rainbow you have made on the paper with crayons or marker pens.
You can also try making a rainbow with a garden hose.
RELATED: Check out our fun, hands-on learning resource, Rainbows & Kaleidoscopes. It’s filled with hands-on STEAM activities exploring color (or colour!)
Over the Rainbow Book Activity #3: Over the Rainbow Writing Prompt
Legend tells us that happiness, riches, and many wonderful things are on the other side of a rainbow. What do you think is over the rainbow? A writing prompt to encourage children to share their own imaginative ideas.
- Whiteboard or large sheet of paper
- Whiteboard marker
- Copy of printable rainbow writing paper
- Writing pencil
1. Search the text to find what it shares about the other side of the rainbow. For example, skies are blue, bluebirds fly, etc.
2. Brainstorm other ideas of what might be over the rainbow. Is it flowers? Gold? A magic land? Record these ideas on a whiteboard or large piece of white paper. Invite children to then brainstorm words to describe each of the items on your list.
3. Invite children to use the included printable rainbow writing paper to write about what they think is on the other side of the rainbow. The prompt starts; ‘As I slid down the rainbow I suddenly saw…’ Younger children can draw their ideas onto blank paper.
4. When done, take the time to share each child’s creation. How are their ideas similar to the book? How are they different? Note the descriptive words used.
Printing Your Lesson Plans & Book Activity Pages
Click here to download:
Over the Rainbow Book Activities. Save the PDF to your computer. Open the PDF and print the pages you require. When printing, select “Fit to printable area” (or similar) to ensure the page fits with your printer type and local paper size.
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Please note: All Childhood 101 printables are for personal use only, you may not use any part of this content for commercial purposes-that includes selling the document, giving it away to promote your business or website, or printing the file to sell. You may not share, loan or redistribute these documents. Teachers may use multiple copies for students within their own classroom.