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This thematic unit for Kindergarten is on Transportation


Social Studies  



Title – Kindergarten Transportation Unit
By – Tricia Bardillo
Subject – Social Studies
Grade Level – Kindergarten

Kindergarten Transportation Unit

To start:  Have lots of pictures of transportation around the room.

I think Mrs. Duwe is supposed to pull books for us and put them on a cart so we can share easily.  I have quite a few transportation books if you need one.

Here are some extra activities to plug in wherever you can:

Journals:  “I like to ride” page – it could be the cover for a transportation  journal or done separately. They can draw their favorite type of transportation to travel in and write the word or dictate to you.

Teach each child to write simple sentences with the easier transportation words (i.e. car, bus, van)

For example:  A car is red.

A bus is blue., etc.

Also, there is a book for the kids to read and color called “Stop and Go” that is very appropriate for their age.

Block center:  Have vehicles, road signs accessible.  Put pictures of roads, highways, vehicles in the center.

Writing Center: They can make safety and traffic signs and hang around the room.

Home center: They can pretend they are going on a trip and decide if they want to travel by car, bus, van, plane, etc.  They’ll need to pack their bags to match their destination!

Day 1

Start off by singing the following song:

“Car, Bus, Van” song

(Tune: Jingle Bells)

C-A-R, C-A-R that’s how you spell car

B-U-S, B-U-S that’s how you spell bus

V-A-N, V-A-N that’s how you spell van

Transportation helps us, I hope you understand!

Sing the song several times so they feel successful and can spell the words.

Discuss definition of transportation:  Anything that helps us move

Let the kids brainstorm different types of transportation.  Have each child cut out pictures of transportation from magazines.  Bring all the pictures together and discuss how to classify by land, air, and water.  Then sort the pictures as a class and put up on the wall or a poster somewhere.

Day 2


Transportation song – practice spelling “bus” until it’s mastered

Read Donald Crew’s “School Bus”

Discuss book and uses of buses.

Have each child trace the school bus pattern onto yellow paper.  Then have each child cut out a picture of everyone in class and glue them on like they are riding on the bus.  Then, if time permits, they can write each of their friends name under the picture.  (They can work on part of this activity  during centers if necessary.)

(If I have not given you a bus pattern, come ask me, please!)

Day 3


Sing the “Car, Bus, Van” song

Write one sentence as a class using the word car.

Listen to and learn the song ” I want to drive my electric car”

Review uses of cars and read an appropriate car book.

Talk about and show pictures of a variety of cars.ÂÂ

Using just construction paper, scissors, and glue, have each child make their own car. Stress creativity and have each child make their car different from anyone else.

Day 4


Sing transportation songs.

Read a book about bikes/safety.  I think there is a Donald Crews book…

Discuss bike safety.  If possible have a bike helmet to show the children.  Teach them about bike safety – including hand signs for turning and stopping.

Sort pictures of transportation by how many wheels they have.

M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction Early Childhood Education


Day 5


Sing transportation songs and any new train songs.

Read “Freight Train” by Donald Crews.

Read the book several times so the children can really learn the sequence of colors in the book and they can read it with you.  Using either pattern blocks or unifix cubes or cut up squares of colored paper, model the sequence of colors from the book.  Then have each child also do the same.  If you use paper, they can glue the sequence to their own paper.ÂÂ

Have each child glue a black steam engine to a large sheet of white construction paper, draw the train tracks behind the engine, and write the words “Freight Train” on the top.

Then  at that time or later (center time would be great probably), have each child tell you the colored sequence of the book and while they tell you put a small dot of that color paint behind the steam engine like this…

Then when they have told you all the colors, they use their four fingers and starting at the first wipe their hand along and say “freight train is going fast!” and it will look like the illustrations in the book when the train is going fast.  I am going to make an example for you to see – it looks so cool when it’s done!  This would be a great art activity for all of our classes to display  in the hallway together!

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