- 60 minutes
Although they may need to wait before driving the real things, preschool students will love engaging with boats, trains, and buses as they learn more about different ways to get around. Honk, honk, choo-choo, and off to learn they’ll go!
At the end of this lesson, students will be able to identify a variety of different forms of transportation and explain different ways people and objects travel.
Introduction (5 minutes)
- Call students together.
- Begin the lesson by singing a variety of transportation related songs, such as Wheels on the Bus, Hurry, Hurry Drive the Firetruck, Row, Row, Row Your Boat, and Down By The Station.
- Ask students to think about what all these songs have in common. Guide students to realize that all of these songs have to do with transportation and moving people/things.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (5 minutes)
- Explain to your students that they will be thinking about different ways people and things get around.
- Encourage your class to call out any forms of transportation they can think of, reminding them of the songs they just sang. It may be necessary to remind students to think of things that go in the water or fly in the sky, and not just those things that drive on roads.
- Once students run out of ideas, look through The Big Book of Things That Go by DK as a class.
- Explain to students that at today’s activity centers, they will be having the opportunity to explore different forms of transportation.
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (5 minutes)
Introduce your students to the various stations and materials. Before starting activity time, split your class into four small groups. They will have the opportunity to rotate through every center with their group.
- Block Center: Set out toy cars, trains, and blocks here. Cardboard boxes can be placed here as well, so kids can use their imaginations to turn them into rockets, trains, and much more!
- Arts and Crafts Center: Encourage students to practice their folding skills as they make paper airplanes. Instructions aren't necessary, unless you'd like them to follow explicit steps.
- Dress-Up Center: If possible, have different items like train engineer hats, space suits, and/or airplane wing pins available for students to use in their imaginative play.
- Water Table Center: In addition to water, make sure to include little boat toys at the water table for students to explore.
Independent Working Time (30 minutes)
- Assign each group to the activity center where they'll begin working.
- Set the timer for anywhere between 5 and 10 minutes. Explain that when the timer goes off, that's everyone's cue to move on to the next activity center. The time should be set based on your students' developmental levels.
- As students are engaging with the various centers, circle the room to enforce classroom rules and to ensure that centers don't become too crowded.
- Engage students in conversations about the choices they are making, the types of objects they are using, and ask questions to help students expand their knowledge about transportation. Great discussion questions include: What do you think that part of the train is called? Why did you add an extra tunnel going the opposite direction? What are other forms of transportation that have wheels?
- Enrichment: Encourage students who need more of a challenge to think about why different kinds of transportation are used in different circumstances. You could ask questions like: How do you get home from school? Why would you use that transportation? What would happen if you walked, instead of riding in a car?
- Support: For students who need a little extra assistance, going through the centers with a partner or adult to scaffold the activity can be useful. Students should be encouraged to engage with the centers at whatever level is possible for them, and center activities can be modified as needed to allow children to feel comfortable participating.
Related Books and/or Media
Assessment (5 minutes)
- Students can be assessed based on their involvement in center activities. Appropriate engagement with center materials as well as conversations with peers and adults should be considered.
Review and Closing (10 minutes)
- Call students together. Have students share about their experiences. Great discussion questions include: Which stations did you like best? What type of transportation is your favorite? Are there any other forms of transportation they would like to explore?
- Close by reading the story Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo by Kevin Lewis.