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.
- 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
- 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.
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.
Puff-puff, puff-puff, puff
Toot-toot, toot, toot, toot
(try to do this rhythmically)
Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; enhances abilities to recognize, duplicate, and extend simple patterns using a variety of materials.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.