Thursday, April 10, 2014

Theme Thursday: Transportation

Finally, getting to post about one of my favorite themes, transportation!
I run this theme 2 weeks long, and we do LOTS. 
We could probably stretch it out to 3 weeks, if we had the time to.
Chart What We Know
We start by making a (3 column) chart of modes of transportation. I let the kids know we will be separating the modes of transportation in to 3 groups, Land, Air, and Sea. We don't necessarily get a lot on this chart on the first day, just basics like car, plane, boat. However, I keep this chart up in my room throughout the theme and whenever we find a new vehicle we can put in one of those categories, I add it in.
Not that cute, just basic, but it works. In the past I have added images to each column to help kids remember the different types. This year I was in a pinch and we just delineated with color and my drawing.
Books we read...
Next we move on to literature. There are LOTS of books out there by transportation. These are the ones I use in my room because they are the ones I can get my hands on via our library. As you can see we LOVE Donald Crews.

Here are a few others I make time to read...
Love these two because the kids can use their decoding skills to read most of the book on their own.

These next too are a hoot! One also doubles as an alphabet book and the other doubles as a numbers book.
Byron Barton also has a great series worth checking out.
Learning Crafts
With each type of transportation I like to have some kind of craft, or work that goes with the learning. I switch these up every year depending on what my kids need. However, this year was by far the best ever. 
This year after a craft disaster we tried again and made a Fact and Opinion train to match the one in our book. I had the sentences preprinted and the students had to decide if it was a Fact or Opinion then glue it on.
This was super easy to make. I am not one for cutting out a bunch for my kids. They mostly have to do it on their own, but for this craft I just used the paper cutter to cut large and small rectangles, and two sizes of small squares. Then I used my corner rounder to make the illusion of wheels. Do you all know how hard it is to cut tons of circles? Forget that! The students then followed directions to construct their truck. Then we talked about what kinds of things trucks haul. 
This was by far both the kids and my favorite activity. It was Pinterest find, and there are many variations, this one was just the easiest for my students to make.
We started with a clothes pin, 2 tongue depressors, and a cut in half popsicle stick. we glued on the wings, then the tail. It was that easy.
You can find the source and many others on my Transportation Pinterest board.
Because the kids LOVED these so much I let them take them home. I still wanted something to put up outside so I found this cutie writing sheet and printed up half sheets.
I didn't want to leave the boats out so we whipped this one out when we read Sail Away. Again I just quickly cut up some triangles and rectangles. The kids cut the bottom corner off and glued to the popsicle stick and then to the half sheet. Then we wrote where we wanted to sail away to.
 Finished display.
We had no room for the boats, boo, so we sent them home.
Workstations/ Centers
At this station we trace the letters with our cars, then with a dry erase marker.
 This next station is a read the room station. They find the words, wearing their 3D glasses (they help you find the mystery words), read them and write them.
I have several other stations I didn't get pictures of. However you can find them in the next section, resources.
This next section is all about where yo find some of those pre-made transportation goodies.
Monster Truck ABC's pack by Mr. Greg
This pack includes:
*Uppercase and lowercase letter matching
*Upper and lowercase letter pokey cards
*Introductory ABC order activity for students who have mastered their letters
*Upper and lowercase letter writing practice cards
*Differentiated Write The Room activity (two levels) with upper and lowercase letters

Homeschool Connection also has a great preschool pack that I pick apart. Something are too easy for my kids, but others are just right. It is worth a look.

TPT Freebies

Here are some "pay for" goodies...

Direct Drawing
One of my favorite things to do during this unit is some Direct Drawing of the vehicles. Unfortunately my library lost its copy of Quick Draw: Transportation.
There is a series of these books, but this is the only one I've ever had the chance to get my hands on. It is a favorite of mine and I was sad when I couldn't get it this year. The drawings are easy to follow and the kids feel so great when they see their creation come together.

No doubt I am forgetting tons, so ask questions if you have them.
Next Theme Thursday should be in a couple of weeks when we finish up our Farm Unit.

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