This unit can be used
almost any time during the school year. The suggestions for the dramatic
play area are related to a fire station, but the other center ideas and
activities cover many types of transportation. One year after touring
the neighborhood fire house, two students said to me, "Thank you for teaching
us about trucks!" Based on that comment, one can guess how popular this
unit is with the children!
- Fire hats and coats
- Refrigerator box painted red
Props to Encourage
- Telephone book
- Map of area
- Paper and pencils
- Clipboards for fire reports
- Books about firefighters
- Pegboard with clipboard reading: Please write your fire report.
- Water, water pumps
- Plastic boats
- Catalogs from local
- Vehicle templates
- Toothpicks, paper
circles for creating vehicles
- Geometric paper
cassette tape and book: Who Sank the Boat?
- Assortment of unit
- Toy cars, trucks
Children can create
inclines and experiment with degrees of speed.
- Pencils with plastic
cars glued to their tops
- Blank books with
vehicles on the covers
- Sentence strip
reading: I like to ride in a
- Labeled picture
cards of vehicles
- Examples of street
signs: stop sign, traffic light, etc.
- Two grids drawn
on card stock (divide each paper into 12 squares)
- Basket of plastic
- Spinner or die
Children can invent
their own games using these items.
- Variety of vehicles
- Wooden traffic
- Books about traffic
signs: I Can Read Symbols
- Blank cards, pencils,
tape for creating traffic signs
GROUP TIME ACTIVITIES
involve the whole class.
Flannel Board Story
Create felt pieces to retell Who Sank the Boat?
Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!
Create three sets
of matching word cards for the blank spaces. Suggestions include: drive
the firetruck, climb the ladder, squirt the water.
The Railroad Track
was on a railroad track
Its heart was all a-flutter.
Along came a choo-choo train
Create word card pairs
of food items that change form, such as: peanut/peanut butter, cracker/crumbs,
tomato/catsup. Children fill in the blank spaces in the chart with the
correct pairs in the correct order.
If I Had
If I had a
Zoom, zoom, zoom.
I would go to Mexico
Wave my hands and off I'd go.
If I had a
Zoom, zoom, zoom.
Children select vehicle
names for blank spaces.
Here Is the Choo
Here is the choo choo
on the track.
Now it choo choos forward,
Now it choo choos back.
Now the bell is ringing,
Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding.
Hurry up and take a seat
The train is about to go!
Motions can be added
to dramatize the poem. Speed up the tempo with each repetition to simulate
- Enclose a fireman's
hat, gloves, and the book Fire, Fire in a box. Encourage the
children to guess the contents by asking "Yes" or "No" questions.
- Encourage children
to dramatize each vehicle in the book To Town.
- After reading To
Town, cover the vehicle names. Encourage the children to contribute
the initial, middle, and ending sounds of the covered word.
- After reading I
Can Read Symbols, children can create signs for the classroom and
- Read The Bus
Ride. Write the initial consonant of a character on a sentence strip.
Allow the children to guess the character based on the initial letter.
Use these characters to dramatize the story.
- Compare and contrast
The Bus Ride and The Bus Stop. Record the similarities
- With the children,
create word cards for the poem, "If I Had" in this theme unit.
- Write a thank-you
letter to the fire station (see Field Trips).
These activities can
be used as individual assignments.
- Allow the children
to dip the wheels of a toy car in paint and "drive" it on a dark colored
piece of paper to create a design.
- Reproduce and give
each child the repetitive sentence from The Bus Ride: The
got on the bus. Encourage children to add a person's name in the blank
space and illustrate the sentence. Gather all illustrated sentences
and create a class book.
- Children create
collages by cutting pictures of vehicles from magazines.
- Read Changes,
Changes. Children can work in pairs and create vehicles using blocks.
Provide paper shapes so that children can recreate their block vehicles.
- Graph the different
ways the children get to school: bus, walk, car, etc.
- Visit the local fire station.
- Visit a local car dealership.
The Bus Ride
by William Miller (Scott Foresman, 1976)
The Bus Stop
by Nancy Hellen (Orchard Books, 1988)
by Pat Hutchins (MacMillan, 1971)
Dan the Flying
Man by Joy Cowley (The Wright Group, 1983)
by Anne Rockwell (The Trumpet Club, 1986)
by Gail Gibbons (Crowell, 1984)
I Read Signs
by Tana Hoban (Greenwillow, 1971)
This Is the Way
We Go to School by Edith Baer (Scholastic, 1990)
To Town by
Joy Cowley (The Wright Group, 1983)
Wheels by Venice
Shone (Scholastic, 1990)
The Wheels on the
Bus by Raffi Songs to Read (Crown, 1988)
Who Sank the Boat?
By Pamela Allen (Coward-McCann, 1982)