Fast trains have lights, they move and move!
The children love playing with trains. It was such a popular activity one year that I decided to rearrange the room and devote an entire area to the trains.
The project started off slowly. First we read books about trains and learned about the different parts of freight trains:
We drew pictures of our trains as a whole and pictures of individual cars with Sharpe markers:
The children told me about trains as they drew:
J: It's a flying train. It goes into outer space in a rocket!
I: I want to draw the caboose. [Points to the engine] This one is gonna be a hard one. I'm gonna hafta do a tough one...I did it! They are all connected
T.L.: I drew a train stop where everyone gets on the train. I'm blowing the whistle (woo woo wooowoooo)! Everyone all aboard!
We formed trains with our bodies, and negotiated who went were.
J: I'm going to be the engine
D: I want to be the back.
B: The freight car
E: I want to be the coal car
A: Hopper car
B.R: The blue one.
H.L. Tracks and tracks and tracks!
Then we decided where our train would go:
J: the office, by Ms. Maria, the studio, Ms. Karol's class and then back to our room.
Next I set a photo, rulers, thin strips of paper and charcoal on the table and invited the children to draw train tracks.
We then used wire and wire cutters to make three dimensional tracks. Alas, I don't have a photo of that, but here are some words documenting the challenge:
T.L: I give up
I: You can't give up, you have to keep trying!
A: Practice makes perfect!
Finally, two children created a collaborative train drawing:
I hope their interest in trains never ends!