The Rainy Season

story by Sue Gibbison , illustrated by Anna Bron

Worksheet: Write an opening for an article


EN2-11D | ACELT1596

Read the story and label the following sentences as true or false:

  • Malia’s grandmother is from Samoa
  • Malia’s grandmother loves the dry season
  • Aunt Sina is happy that she doesn’t live in Samoa anymore
  • Malia’s grandmother doesn’t want to return to Samoa during the rainy season
  • Malia has never been to Samoa before

View the website Samoa Meteorology Division to find out about the seasons in Samoa

View the website Bureau of Meteorology to find out about the seasons in Australia

Write a list of similarities and differences between the seasons in Australia and the seasons in Samoa. You may like to draw up two columns, one for the similarities and one for differences.

View the website Bureau of Meteorology to find out about Indigenous Weather Knowledge for the D’harawal (Sydney) region.

Complete a PMI chart using the templates from the Digital Learning Selector to investigate the Indigenous Season chart you have viewed.

Write a letter to the Bureau of Meteorology to convince them that we should stop using the 4 seasons in Australia, and instead use the Indigenous seasonal calendars for the various regions. Consider how large the continent of Australia is and how different the climates are across the country.

Engaging Personally

EN2-11D | ACELT1603

In the story Malia’s grandmother has memories of rainy season that are positive. Underline some of the positive images of the rainy season that she tells Malia.

Aunty Sina does not feel the same way about the rainy season. In a different colour, underline the negative images of the rainy season that she remembers.

Complete these sentences:

Malia’s grandmother likes the rainy season because _______________________________.

Malia’s Aunty Sina does not like the rainy season because _________________________.


Why do you think the author decided to have Aunty Sina have a different perspective about the rainy season. What does this add to the story?

How would the story be different if Aunty Sina agreed with everything grandmother said about the rainy season?

Do you think that grandmother has forgotten about some of the negative experiences of mosquitos and floods because she has been away for so long?

What is your favourite season? Write a description of your favourite season, include the sights, smells and sounds. Without saying that it is your favourite season, show why it is such a wonderful time of year.

Extension task: What is your least favourite time of year? Write a description of that time of year, without saying you don’t like it, show why is is not a good time of year.

Engaging Critically

EN2-8B | ACELT1599

This story uses sensory writing to help readers who have never experienced the rainy season in Samoa to understand what it is like.

Discuss the following passage:

‘It smells of earth and plants and flowers,’ said Nana at last. ‘It smells of soil and black lava rocks, of taro and breadfruit, of teuila and frangipani flowers. It smells of home.’

  • Why is it helpful to compare the smell of the rainy season with other scents?
  • If you were to write a sentence describing ‘the smell of home’ what kinds of scents would you describe?

Suggestions include: cooking smells – curry or bake goods, freshly cut grass, animals (pets or livestock), laundry powder, smoke from the slow combustion heater)

  • Look at the illustration on page 12. How does the image capture Malia’s grandmother’s memories of the rainy season in Samoa? Think about the images and colours used.

Discuss the following passage:

‘The smell of flowers, the people and the warm rain wrapped themselves around Malia. It was as if she were being held in a gigantic embrace.’

  • What feeling about Samoa does Malia have when she arrives there for the first time?
  • How is this feeling created?

Suggestions include: Malia feels like she has arrived home too – she feels very welcome there. Personification and similes are used to help show the way that Samoa’s environment and people have welcomed Malia and ‘embraced’ her.

  • Does this description make you feel like you want to go to Samoa too?
  • Look at the illustration on page 14. How do the colours, the layout and composition work together to show how Malia feels when she arrives in Samoa with her grandmother?

Discuss the following passage:

She saw a jungly green island fringed by a turquoise lagoon. Around it, a necklace of white marked the reef and beyond that, the deep blue Pacific stretched all the way back to where they’d come from.

  • What is the reef compared to? Do you think this is a good way to describe a coral reef?
  • Draw an illustration of Samoa from the air using this description from the story.


EN2-2A | ACELY1682

Create an advertising brochure, advertising Samoa as a wonderful place for people to visit on a holiday. Complete the following steps:

  • Conduct research on Samoa and its attractions for holiday makers. You might like to start with the Samoa tourism website: Samoa Travel.
  • Find and/or draw some pictures of Samoa for your brochure
  • Write an advertising blurb using persuasive language and sensory writing
  • Design a brochure that has a heading, images and text that convince readers they should visit Samoa on their next international holiday

Imagine you are Malia in Samoa with you grandmother.  Write a travel journal entry about one day in Samoa. Include:

  • Date and time of journal entry
  • Location of journal entry
  • Activities you did that day
  • Descriptions of the places, people, food, weather
  • Thoughts and feelings about your experiences

Find an editing partner, share your travel advertisement and travel journal with them. Read your partner’s work and suggest ways that the work could be improved. When you receive comments back from your partner, you should then make changes and improvements in order to produce your final version.