Two Little Trains, by Margaret Wise Brown

            This is the adventure of two trains headed west.  The left side of the page depicts a real train and the left a toy train. 

Materials

  • A toy train and track
  • Boxes  (from your food delivery)
  • A snack with many small piece (animal cookies, crackers, pretzels)
  • Pictures of real trains and not real trains
  • Train cars and engine

Vocabulary

  • Steel (a very strong metal)
  • West (the direction that the sun follows to turn into a sunset at night)
  • Pretend (not real)
  • Imagination (to pretend something is real or is happening)

Before Reading the Story

Ask if anyone has ever ridden on a train? Let the children share any train stories they might have. Look at some pictures of trains, both real and pretend. Do the children know where the track are? That the first car is called the engine? How is it like a car? (It has windows, doors, you get inside, it’s big). Can you remember where the two trains went?

Language Development/Speaking & Understanding; develops increasing abilities to understand and use language to communicate information, experiences, ideas, books, feelings, opinions, needs, questions; and for other varied purposes. AND Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops increasing abilities to classify, compare, and contrast objects, events, and experiences.

Reading the Story

            As you introduce the cover, ask the children if they can see the two trains? Explain that your story is about two trains, one is real and one is pretend. Hold up several pictures and ask the children if the can tell which is a picture of a real train and which is a pretend train? Introduce the story.

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops increasing abilities to classify, compare, and contrast objects, events, and experiences.

After Reading the Story

            Bring out a map of the United States and show where you are on it to the children.  Show them how the train rode west until it got to the ocean.  Is it a long ride or a short ride from where you reside?  If you live on the west coast, show them how the train could not go west anymore so has to go east.  With your map, talk about things that the children might be familiar with; Here in NC we could go west to the Blue Ridge Mountains or east to the Atlantic.  In Illinois you could go east or north to get to Lake Michigan and a long ride west to get to the mountains.

Social & Emotional Development/Knowledge of Families & Communities; begins to express and understand concepts and language of geography in the context of the classroom, home, and community.

Discovery

Put out the pictures of real and not real items. Can the children tell the difference and sort the pictures accordingly into piles of real/ not real?

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; begins to make comparisons between several objects based on a single attribute.

Music and Movement

            Sing the Wheels on the Bus but change it to the Wheels on the Train.

The wheels on the train go round and round, Round and round, round and round.

The wheels on the train go round and round, on their way out west/east.

The conductor on the train says come on board.

The whistle on the train goes toot, toot, toot.

The crossing gates go up and down.

The cars on the train go clickety-clack.

Creative Arts/Muisc; partipates with increasing interest and enjoyment in a variety of musical activities, including listening, singing, finger plays, games, and performances.

            Do the Train Chant.

All aboard!

Choo-choo, choo-choo-choo

Chug-chug, chug-chug-chug

Puff-puff, puff-puff, puff

Toot-toot, toot, toot, toot

Ding-ding, ding-ding-ding

Sh-sh, sh-sh-sh

S-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h!

(try to do this rhythmically)

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; enhances abilities to recognize, duplicate, and extend simple patterns using a variety of materials.

Blocks

            Add a train and train track to the center.  Encourage the children to make tunnels for the train.  If you do not have a train and track, encourage the children to make a train from the blocks or duplos.

Creative Arts/Dramatic Play; shows growing creativity and imagination in using materials and in assuming different roles in dramatic play situations.

Art

            Cut out many shapes in small, medium, and large.  Let the children collage the shapes to make train cars.

Creative Arts/Art; progresses in abilities to create drawings, paintings, models, and other art creations that are more detailed, creative, or realistic.

Library and Writing

            Use the train cars and engine page to teach a number order or alphabetical order.  Cut out the appropriate number of cars.  Color and laminate.  The children can then use to put into order.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to associate number concepts, vocabulary, quantities, and written numerals in meaningful ways.

Sand and water

Dramatic Play

            Make two lines of chairs to represent a train car.  Tape a piece of paper with a letter written on it to each chair.  Make a second set of pieces of paper with the same letters.  The second set is the ticket.  The child can board the train and find his seat by matching the letter on the ticket to the letter on the chair.  Take turns being the ticket collector.  The collector must look to see if all the letters on the tickets match with the correct seat.

Literacy/Alphabet Knowledge; shows progress in associating the names of letters with their shapes and sounds.

Math and Manipulatives

            At snack time give each child a piece of paper with a line drawn across it.  Tell the children that this is the train track and to line their snack up like train cars on the track.  How many train cars do you have?

Mathematics/Number & Operations; develops the ability to count to 10 and beyond. AND Language Development/Listening & Understanding; shows progress in understanding and following simple and multiple-step directions.

Outdoor Play

            Ask your cook to save you the boxes in which your food was delivered. Bring the boxes out into the playground to line up and pretend that it’s a train.  (Some grocery stores will donate milk crates and these work well and are a permanent playground piece of equipment).

Creative Arts/Dramatic Play; shows growing creativity and imagination in using materials and in assuming different roles in dramatic play situations. AND Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; develops increasing abilities to give and take in interactions; to take turns in games or using materials; and to interact without being overly submissive or directive.

Transitions

            Have the children line-up and put their hands on the person ahead of thems waist. Move slowly around the room as a train dropping children off in their centers of choice for free play.

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; shows progress in understanding and following simple and multiple-step directions.

Resources

train collages for art



Curious George rides a bike, by H.A.Rey

            When Curious George gets a bicycle he goes on quite an adventure around town.

Materials

  •             Newspapers or lots of scrap paper.
  • Paper for origami boats, directions in book
  •             Graph/no bicycle, 2 wheels, 3 wheels, 4 wheels
  •             Clean metal coffee can with lid
  •             Monkey drawing directions

Vocabulary

  •             Curious (to wonder about things)
  •             Celebrate (to honor someone for something special)
  •             Delighted (to be very happy about something)
  •             Fleet (a group of ships)
  •             Admiral (the person in charge of a fleet of ships)
  •             Responsible (to do the right thing, to do the safe thing)

Before Reading the Story

            Ask the children if any of them own bicycles.  What color is your bike?  Where do you ride it?  Make a graph of how many wheels are on the children’s bicycles and have the children help fill it in.  Talk to the children about bike safety rules (wear a helmet, do not ride in the street, make sure your shoes are tied, let a grown up know you are riding your bike, make sure your tires are blown up properly.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; demonstrates increasing interest and awareness if numbers and counting as a means for solving problems and determining quantity. AND Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; builds awareness and ability to follow basic health and safety rules such as fire safety, traffic and pedestrian safety, and responding appropriately to potentially harmful objects, substances, and activities.

Reading the Story

            Stop along the way and ask was George being responsible, was George being safe?

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; builds awareness and ability to follow basic health and safety rules such as fire safety, traffic and pedestrian safety, and responding appropriately to potentially harmful objects, substances, and activities.

After Reading the Story

            Go back over the story and list the things George did that were responsible/not responsible on a piece of paper. (Not responsible; riding with no helmet, riding with no hands, not finish delivering papers, going to the river, using the newspapers he was supposed to deliver for boats, going with strangers to be in the show, getting close to the ostrich,   /Responsible; helping deliver papers, staying on the bench when he was told to, using the bugle to call the men when the bear escaped, saving the bear, being in the show when he said he would).

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; demonstrates increasing ability to attend to and understand conversations, stories, songs, and poems.

Discovery

   Bring in a coffee can with the lid.  Let the children experiment putting different classroom toys inside to see and hear the effect they have on the cans ability to roll.       

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to participate in simple investigations to test observations, discuss and draw conclusions, and form generalizations.

Music and Movement

            Play Peddle Round the Village, to tune of In and Out the Windows. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LLGIeTuv8w  Have all the children hold hands and make a circle.  Hold their hands up while still holding hands.  Choose a child to be the first rider and have them go into the center of the circle.  As the children sing, the rider passes under the children’s arms.

Peddle round and round the village

Peddle round and round the village

Peddle round and round the village

Now go and pick a friend

(rider changes places with another child)

Language Development/Listening * Understanding; shows progress uin understanding and following simple and multiple-step directions.

            Play There Was A Funny Clown, sung to The Farmer in the Dell.  As you sing, let the children go in the center and do a funny trick (Children like to do somersaults to this song so make sure your circle is large enough that no one gets kicked in the face)

There was a funny clown

His/her name was Ting-a-ling

Watch him/her do a funny trick

In the circus ring.

Physical Health & Development/Health Status a & Practices; participates actively in games, outdoor play, and other forms of exercise that enhance physical fitness. AND Approches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops increasing ability to find more than one solution to a question, task, or problem.

            Take the children on a pretend bike ride.  Have everyone lay on their backs and then put their feet up in the air and pretend to peddle their bicycles.  Remember going up hill is hard so you have to peddle slower.  Going down hill you will be peddling very fast or putting your feet out and gliding. 

Creative Arts/ Dramatic PLay; particiapates in a variery of dramatic play acticvities that become more extened and complex.

Blocks

Put out cars and other vehicles with wheels. Add a ramp, or show the children how to make a ramp using blocks. As the children are playing, ask “Why are wheels important? WHy are wheels round? What would happen if that car had square wheels? Which vehicle goes farther/faster down the ramp, why do you think that?”. Encourage the children to find classroom objects that will roll down the ramp (masking tape roll, sphere shaped blocks, pencil, crayon, small ball, etc.).

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; develops increased ability to observe and discuss common properties, diffrences, anmd comparisons among objects and materials. AND Scienctific Knowledge; shows increased awareness and beginning understanding of changes in materials and cause-effect relationships.

 Art

       Tell the children that you want to make a book titles, On My Way to School. Ask the children to draw a picture of something that they saw on their way to school today.  Write their words at the bottom of the page. (On my way to school today I saw a big dog, a garbage truck, my friend Sam).

Social & Emotional Development/Knowledge of Families & Communities; begins to express and understand concepts and language of geography in the contexts of the classroom, home, and community. AND Literacy/Early Writing; begins to represent stories and experiences through pictures, dictation, anad in play.

Library and Writing

     Make several copies of the How to Draw Curious George’s head. Give the children markers or crayons and encourage them to “read” the directions.

Literacy/Early Writing; develops understanding that writing is a way of communicating for a variety of purposes. AND Mathematics/Geometry & Spatial Sense; progresses in ability to put together and take shapes apart.

Sand and Water

            Ahead of time, make several newspaper boats. As the children are playing you can also help them make paper boats (the instructions are in the story). Fill the table with water today.  Let the children float their paper boats. Also include a float and sink activity (try floating objects from the room and predicting if it will float or sink-block, pencil, crayon, counter, lego, baby doll, puzzle piece). As the children try floating different objects, have them put those that float in one pile and those that do not into another pile.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; develops growing abilities to collect, describe, and record information through a variety if means, including discussion, drawings, maps, and charts.

Dramatic Play

            Add monkey masks.  The children can pretend to be Curious George.  Add a big hat or sombrero.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates progress in abilities to retell and dictate stories from book sand experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in a story.

Math and Manipulatives

            Teach the children how to fold origami boats from paper.  See page 18 of the story.

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; shows progress in understanding and following simple and multiple-step directions. AND Approaches to Learning/Engagement & Persistence; grows in abilities to persist in and complete a variety of tasks, activities, projects, and experiences.

Outdoor Play

            Bring out cloth satchels and ride the bikes.  Fill the satchels with old newspapers or just rolled up paper and be delivery boys/girls. Or have the children write notes to one another and take turns delivering on the bike.

Social & Emotional Development/Knowledge of Families & Communities; develops growing awareness of jobs and what is required to perform them. AND Physical Health & Development/Gross Motor Skills; demonstrates increasing abilities to coordinate movements in throwing, catching, kicking, bouncing balls, and using the slide and swing.

Transitions

            As the children move to the next activity have them pretend to ride a bike.  They will have to pick their legs way up in a marching fashion but then sort of kick them out in front of them as they walk.  Practice as a group and then let the children ride off to the next activity.

Physical Health & Development/Gross Motor Skills; shows increasing levels of proficiency, control, and balance in walking, climbing, running, jumping, hopping, skipping, marching, and galloping.

Resources

Friends, by Helme Heine

            Three good friends share their adventures and their philosophy on what it means to be a friend.

Materials

  • Picture of each child in the class, full body
  • Pictures of children at play
  • Pig, rooster, mouse mask
  • Hi-ho cherry-o game boards

Vocabulary

  •  Conquered (to take control of something)
  •  Fair (always thinking about another person and to share equally)

Before Reading the Story

            Explain to the children that you are going to play a game called thumbs up.  You are going to say a short story and if it sounds like the good way to treat a friend, give a thumb up sign.  If not, give a thumb down sign.  Make your scenario/stories ones that you have seen happen within your classroom (one day Kerry and Roger were playing in the blocks and Kerry kicked Roger’s tower by accident.  Kerry said she was sorry and Roger said it was ok..  One day Kerry and Roger were playing in the blocks and Kerry wanted the block Roger had but Roger said “no” so  Kerry knocked down his block tower because she was mad).  Give examples using puppets and let the children decide if it was a thumb up or a thumb down.   Do friend and not friend actions, how does it make you feel? What could you have done instead?

Social & Emotional Development/Self-Control; develops an understanding of how their actions affect others adm begins to accept the consequences of their actions. AND Social & Emotional Development/Social Relationships; progresses in responding sympathetically to peers who are in need, upset, hurt, or angry; and in expressing empathy and caring for others.

Reading the Story

Looking at the cover, can the children predict what it might be about? Introduce the story.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; shows growing interest and involvement in listening to and discussing a variety of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.

After Reading the Story

            Talk about what the three friends liked to do together, recall the order of events.  What things did they share along the way?  Ask the children what kinds of things they like to do with their friends.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates growing abilities to retell and dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in a story. AND Social & Emotional Development/Social Relationships; shows progress in developing friendships with peers.

Discovery

            Bring in pictures of children interacting together. Ask the children to describe what they see happening.  Do you think these children are friends, why?  Do they look like they are having fun, being safe, etc?  Talk about the actions in the pictures.  Have the children use their observation skills to notice faces and body language.

Social & Emotional Development/Self-Control; develops an understanding of how their actions affect others adm begins to accept the consequences of their actions.

Music and Movement

            Have the children lay on their backs and put their feet up in the air.  Pretend to pedal a bicycle.  Can you peddle fast, slow, around a sharp corner? 

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; participates actively in games, outdoor play, and other forms of exercise that enhance physical fitness.

            Sing Row, Row, Row the Boat with the children.  The children can partner up with another and try to row together, side-side, holding hands back and forth, back to back, etc.

Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; develops increasing ability to give and take in interactions; to take turns in games and using materials; and to interact without being overly directive or submissive.

Blocks

            Contact pictures of the children in the class to the small rectangle blocks.  The children can then build a structure for their friends and act out play scenarios.

Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; approaches tasks and activities with increasing flexibility, imagination, and inventiveness.

Art

            Print out large letters of the alphabet from the computer.  Give the children a variety of art materials to decorate the letters (collage, paint, drawing supplies).  When the letters are dry you can cut them out and mount them onto your wall.  As the children decorate the letters, ask if they know the letter name, the letter sound, and words that might begin with that letter.

Literacy/Alphabet Knowledge;Identifies at least 10 letters of the alphabet, especially those in their name.

Sand and Water

            Put boats into the water table and small animals.  If you have no boats, plastic containers and lids will work.  Can you put three friends in and float?  How many friends can you get into your boat? 

Mathematics/Number & Operations; demonstrates increasing interest and awareness of numbers and counting as a means to solving problems and determining quantity. AND Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to participate in simple investigations to test observations, discuss and draw conclusions, and form generalizations.

Library and Writing

            Take a big piece of paper and write F is for Friends across the top.  Have the children think of words that begin with F.  Write these words on the paper down the left side.  After the children have thought of F words, they can all practice making their own F’s on the paper, or they may like to illustrate some of the F words. (Foot, flower, funny, freckle, finger, fingernail, flap, four, fish)

Literacy/Phonological Awareness; shows growing progress of beginning and ending sounds in words.

Dramatic play

            Use the animal heads to make masks.  Color and decorate.  Staple to a sentence strip and adjust to the child’s head size.  They can become the characters while they share and play in dramatics.

Creative Arts/ Dramatic Play; shows growing creativity and imagination in using materials and in assuming different roles in dramatic play situations.

Math and Manipulatives

            Home made Hi-ho Cherri-o game.  Make several copies of the cherry tree and cut out many small red circles.  Put the circles onto the trees.  The children use a dice to roll.  The number they roll is the number of cherries they can remove from their tree.  The object is to remove all the cherries from the tree.  Play until everyone’s tree is empty.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to use one-to-one correspondence in counting objects and matching groups of objects.

Outdoor play

            Give each other rides on the back of the tricycles. 

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; progresses in physical growth, strength, stamina, and flexibility.

Put a sheet on the ground and pretend that it is a boat.  Gather as many children as want to play and go for a sail.  Pretend to catch fish and swim from the side of the boat.

Creative Arts/ Dramatic Play; shows growing creativity and imagination in using materials and in assuming different roles in dramatic play situations. AND Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; develops increasing ability to give and take in interactions; to take turns in games and using materials; and to interact without being overly directive or submissive.

Transitions

            Ask the children to describe one thing they like to do with a friend. Write their responses on a piece of paper and hang on the wall.

Social & Emotional Development/Social Relationships; shows progress in developing friendships with peers.