Transportation Lesson Ideas

  • Ask children to explain why they think that traffic signs are important, and discuss their responses. Explain to students that it is important to learn certain basic traffic signs so that they can stay safe. Point to the traffic signs one by one and explain the function of each. Ask the class to repeat the description of each sign after you, and quiz them chorally after each sign is introduced. Do the same with the traffic light.
  • Give each child a piece of paper and ask them to draw four of the signs that they learned about on the paper. Give them small scraps of paper to use as Bingo markers. Then call out one of the signs and support the children in covering up that sign with a scrap, if the sign exists on their board. Encourage the children to call out “Bingo!” when they complete the entire board.
  • Give children colored paper, safety scissors, popsicle sticks, and glue. Encourage children to create models of the street signs that they learned about. Provide a stencil for the stop sign, if possible, and assist children only if asked. When they finish, give them toy cars and suggest that they use their signs to tell the cars where to go.
  • Play Red Light, Green Light.
  • Listen to stories and watch videos about modes of transportation on land.
  • Sing songs and recite poems.
  • Meet a school bus driver and explore the exterior and the interior of the bus (e.g., windshield wipers, horn, lights, seats, tires, mirrors).
  • Examine the teacher's car in the parking lot. The students can name and show different parts of the car (e.g., hood, trunk, tires, doors, seatbelts). The students can go in one or two at a time to see the interior (e.g., steering wheel, mirrors, seats, safety belts).
  • Wash a car (teacher's or principal's?), then return to classroom and sing "This is the way we wash the tires," etc. to the tune of "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush". ("Here We Go Round the Principal's Car"). Part of the song could be written on an experience chart ahead of time and children could add appropriate words for parts of the car as they recall them.
  • Brainstorm--"We travel in ..." (use objects or pictures).
  • Name and describe modes of transportation.
  • Discuss the difference between a passenger train and a merchandise train (with pictures or little trains).
  • Discuss the use of traffic lights and traffic signs.
  • Review safety rules.
  • Go for a walk and listen to the sounds of the modes of transportation.
  • Go for a walk and watch for signs. Observe, describe and discuss their functions.
  • Ask each child to bring a toy vehicle to school so the students can compare and discuss the characteristics.
  • Graph or chart--"How do you come to school?" (walk, bus, car, etc.)
  • Runway: In the block area build a runway with long planks or unit blocks. Have wooden or unbreakable model airplanes available for takeoffs and landings.
  • Airport: A plank laid across a wooden box could make an airplane. Add a steering wheel or dial panel. Propellers can be cut out of cardboard and taped to the edge of the plank. A step can be pushed up to the plane for passengers to get on or off the plane. A wagon or rolling platform can be used to take passengers' luggage to and from the plane.
  • Airplane: Set up 2 rows of chairs with an aisle between. Section off a galley with a three-way play screen or other room divider. Provide tv dinner trays with play food and cups for the flight attendants to serve to the passengers.
  • Tongue Depressor Airplanes: Staple two craft sticks together to form a "t". Have children use craft scraps to decorate the tongue depressor airplanes.
  • Wheels On A Road: Give each child a long strip of white paper with a small paper schoolbus glued on the left-hand side. Have the children lay the long strip of paper on the floor. Tell the children that this is the road the bus drives on, and ask them to draw all the things that are on each side of the road.
  • Car Wheel Painting: Provide large sheets of paper and low flat pans of tempera paint (pie tins). Encourage the children to place the small cars and trucks in the paint. They can then make car and truck tracks onto their construction paper.
  • Traffic LightsProvide red, yellow, and green construction paper circles, glue, and construction paper for the children to create a traffic light.
  • Transportation CollageUsing magazines have children cut out pictures of cars and trucks. Children then glue their pictures onto construction paper
  • Cars on the go - Transportation Mural :  Allow children to dab car stamps in paint and press onto paper mural. (Stamps need to be made up at home.) . Child can also draw trees with texta/crayons and other surroundings, to finish off the mural.(If done outside there will be less mess to clean up at the end.)
  • Bus: Set up a bus by lining up chairs in one or two long rows. Provide a steering wheel for the driver. A money bucket and play money. Can use anything round as the steering wheel. A pizza cardboard works great.
  • Taxi: Set up two rows of chairs side by side to represent a taxi. Provide a steering and hat for the driver. Provide dress-up clothes for the passengers. Make and place a "Taxi" sign on the chairs.
  • Sand Table: Add play cars and trucks to the sand table. Wet down the sand. Add gravel and small toy cars and trucks.
  • Gears: Collect a variety of gears and place on the science table.
  • Tire Rubber: Cut off several pieces of rubber from old tires. Place the tire rubber pieces on the science table with magnifying glasses.
  • Car Mechanic: If you have any broken riding toys or vehicle parts(such as wheels, tires) place them outside with tools. The children can experiment with the tools.
  • Wheel Sequence: Cut out various sized circles from posterboard to represent wheels. Have the children sequence the wheels from largest to smallest.
  • The Snack Bus: Need: graham crackers, yellow food coloring, cream cheese, cheeze-it crackers, ritz-bits crackers, cinnamon red- hot candies. Place 3 Cheeze-It crackers near the top for the windows. Add 2 Ritz-Bits crackers for wheels. Add cinnamon red-hot candies (1 near top right and 1 near bottom left) for the lights. A fun snack for children to make!
  • Twinkie Bus: Take a Twinkie and cut out a small rectangle from one end to make it look like the hood and windshield (so that it is shaped like a bus). Frost the entire cake yellow, can also frost the front with blue frosting for a windshield. Add Oreos for wheels and you have a bus cake. Perfect activity to do with the "Wheels On The Bus" song.
  • Cheese Wheels: Cut cheese slices using a cookie cutter into circle shapes to represent wheels. Top each round cheese slice with raisins or serve with crackers.
Jessi Lalonde,
Aug 5, 2010, 1:09 PM