250 word reply with references
At the beginning of each year, I teach a transportation unit that combines both English Language Arts and social studies. Creating an anchor chart as a whole group activity is always a great way to begin a unit of study. I typically prepare a chart that has three areas clearly labeled “air, water, and land”. Since I teach kindergarten, I include pictures of transportation methods in my anchor chart along with words. Students take turns sorting pictures of trains, airplanes, helicopters, boats, submarines, bicycles, and cars according to where they can be found. Through the creation of this anchor chart, a discussion typically develops about our experiences with different modes of transportation. Students share their favorite ways to travel, and we discuss the benefits of each. The integration of literature is especially important in a transportation unit for building background for students that might not have experiences using certain types of transportation. Early childhood teachers should always gather picture books and other types of literature that correlate with the themed unit to enrich the students’ understanding. The teacher could take time to read one or two of these books each day of the unit. The teacher might also utilize YouTube or other online videos to show students types of transportation that are unfamiliar, like submarines or subways. A family/home project could be assigned that would have each student choose one mode of transportation to research more in depth. With the help of an adult, the student could write facts about their favorite way to travel or create a model of the transportation type of their choice. Presentations by students on their research would be a fun way to give students the opportunity to share information learned with their classmates. Teachers with 1:1 technology might use the SeeSaw app to create activities for their students based on transportation. The teacher could add photos of items typically transported to a SeeSaw assignment and have students organize those items based on how they would best be moved (by air, on a boat, in a truck). Finally, focus should be given to the many careers that are involved in the transportation field. An anchor chart or sorting activity might be a great way for students to brainstorm possible careers in transportation. Hands-on activities involving actual people and modes of transportation can offer students experiences in transportation. I always try to teach transportation around the time when fire safety week occurs and have a local firefighter bring a firetruck for students to tour. If it’s not possible to bring in guest speakers, it might be helpful to show videos of people who work in transportation.
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