This article is full of fun and engaging activities based on Freight Train by Donald Crews– a classic children’s story book that packs a lot of learning opportunities for readers!
The story Freight Train may already be considered a classic children’s book. It is highly recommended for children because of the simplicity of the story yet it packs a lot of learning opportunities. These include but are not limited to: learning about colors, trains, directional positions, and counting.
Illustrations in this book are definitely eye-catching. Simple lines and colors blended well together.
What I specifically like about the pictures is that it can easily be copied by children. Which gives them a better opportunity to try out drawing on their own.
Story read-aloud is always a part of my classroom routine. And the learning doesn’t stop there. Usually, I have other activities connected to the story to further engage my students.
This time I tried it with my nephew at home.
Let me share with you the “lesson plan” that I created and followed for my nephew. The plan is pretty straight-forward, as it was used for home learning.
I didn’t submit this to the principal so don’t expect detailed objectives, evaluations and assessment. 😛
The plan looks fantastic! And I found it easy to write, too. But as always, the execution is always a different story.
Here is how the lesson turned out in our home.
Important: Please put in mind that my nephew is 1 year and 11 months old. He doesn’t talk yet. But he can clearly understand what we’re saying and can answer questions by pointing and gesturing.
Story Read Aloud/ Language Arts (Vocabulary)
Seb is already used to being read a story. He knows the drill. Either he would sit on my lap or we would lie down side by side as I read him the book.
Since the story doesn’t have any dialogues, plus he’s learning about colors, I emphasized on the color words instead.
S.T.E.A.M. (Build A Train Medicine Box)
Seb is still too young to come up with his own idea to make a train, we just focused on painting the medicine boxes instead. We made sure to mention the color words as appropriate.
After the paint has dried, I connected the boxes by using a yarn and scotch tape. I made sure that my nephew was watching and I also asked him to help put the tape in place.
I want him to save the experience in his “mind bank” so he can have the idea for future use. 🙂 For now, I just want him to be exposed to creating and building activities such as this one.
When we finished, Seb happily played with his new D.I.Y. train!
Note: Older children could be given the opportunity to work on this activity independently. Just provide them with the materials- and maybe a couple of hints to get them started.
Math (Patterns and Sequencing)
I made my own clip art for this activity. 😀 (Sorry, I just really want to mention that because I feel so super proud of myself!)
Out of the clip arts that I designed, I made three sets of printables which you can download for free! 🙂
The sets include:
For the copy and paste activity, I just let my nephew copy my train shapes art. As you can see, he tried his best. 😛 But I didn’t really expect him to copy it exactly. At his age, that would be a feat. I’m already happy that he pasted the shapes on the paper.
After the activity, I realized that I should give less pieces and bigger shapes. I always forget that he’s only a toddler not the same age as my kindergarten students. Ooops!
Using the printables, I printed the train set with color words and asked my nephew to paint them.
This is a great fine motor skill activity so I highly recommend this for toddlers and preschoolers!
Again, no pressure. Children need not to stay within the lines at this point.
So those are the things that we’ve been busy with this week!
I’m glad that we’re starting to become productive and purposeful with our activities again.
As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, we’ve been remiss with our activities with my nephew lately that we resorted to screen time.
Anchoring activities to a story book is a great way for children to develop the love for reading and learning.
Do you want to get your hands on the train set printables?
Just click on the links below.
Do you find the printables helpful? Please feel free to share the link to this site. I would really appreciate it if you spread the word around.
Check out these other free printable posts:
Or just visit my Free Printable Page for more!
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