Beacon Lesson Plan Library
How Do You Get to School?
Bay District Schools
How do your students get to school? Through this literature-based lesson, students learn that different things move at different speeds as they explore basic modes of transportation.
The student understands the concept of words and constructs meaning from shared text, illustrations, graphics, and charts.
The student identifies frequently used words.
The student creates and acts out number stories using objects.
The student understands that different things move at different speeds (bicycle/motorcycle, car/plane, tortoise/hare)
The student understands basic modes of transportation (for example, walking, riding animals, various kinds of animal-drawn wagons, boats, trains, bicycles, cars, airplanes, space shuttles).
- Baer, Edith. [This Is the Way We Go to School]. New York. Scholastic. 1990.
- Vocabulary and matching picture cards (from associated files)
- How I Get to School sample graph (from associated files)
- A low bulletin board that enables students to manipulate information on the bulletin board
- A sample of the bulletin board (from associated files)
- Students’ names written on sticky notes, one name per sticky note
- Centers (round one information and materials available from the unit’s associated files)
- Teacher made chart of the song, “The Wheels on the Bus” (words available in associated files)
- Formative Assessment Checklist for each student (from unit’s associated files)
- Copies of the parent letter (available from the unit’s associated files.)
1. Locate and preview the book [This Is the Way We Go to School]. This book will be used daily throughout the unit and is a core teaching tool.
2. Download, print, and cut apart one set of the vocabulary and matching picture cards from the associated files.
3. Download and print one copy of the sample graph How I Get to School from the associated files.
4. Locate and clear off a low bulletin board that is accessible to students.
5. Download and print one copy of the sample bulletin board from the associated files.
6. Write the students’ names on sticky notes, one name per sticky note.
7. Make a large wall chart of the words to the song, “Wheels on the Bus.” Words are available from the associated files.
8. Download, print, and duplicate for each student the Formative Assessment Checklists from the unit’s associated files.
9. Download and print the center information and materials available from the unit’s associated files.
10. Download, print, and duplicate the parent letter for each student. The letter is one of the unit’s associated files.
11. Set up centers for round one as described in the center information.
Note: This is lesson one of seven for the Beacon Learning Center unit, Going to Grandma’s. A link to the unit is available in the top right corner of this online lesson.
Session 1 - Language Arts:
1. Gain students’ attention by singing the song, “The Wheels on the Bus.” Invite students to sing along. Point to the words on the chart as you sing. This chart will be used in various ways as the unit progresses, but today, just point and sing. This song can also be sung anytime during the day that songs are normally included such as transitions between areas, during outside play, etc.
Session 2 - Language Arts:
2. Show the book [This Is the Way We Go to School]. This book should be used as a read-aloud (shared reading) experience. For more read-aloud and fluency information, see the Weblinks section of this lesson plan.
3. Begin by exploring the title and cover pictures. Ask students if they can guess what the book is about. Affirm that the book is about how children get to school.
4. Begin to read the book. As each page is turned, ask students what they think is happening. If necessary, remind students that the book is about going to school. Read the entire book to the students in this way.
5. Be certain that all students can see the illustrations in order to use the illustrations to make meaning of the words. Explain, using the word cards when possible, any word the students do not know or understand such as: Staten Island Ferry, cable car, trackless trolley, vaporetto (a motorboat serving as a canal bus in Venice, Italy), bundled up, vale, dripping sky, in stride, prefers, Metro line, and all proper nouns.
6. As the activity progresses, formatively assess students as to their ability to understand the concept of words and to construct meaning of words from shared text and illustrations. Things to look for are: uses illustrations to read a word (Student knows what a Metro line is because it looks like a subway in the illustrations.), uses teacher read text to help make meaning of a word (Teacher reads the word vaporetto, and the student understands the meaning of this word because of the text the teacher read and illustration that accompanies the word).
7. Give both affirmative and corrective feedback. The purpose of formative feedback is to tell the students why they are right (affirmative) or to guide them towards the correct answer (corrective). An example of affirmative feedback is: Right, the Metro line in the picture looks like the subway. There is more than one name for the same thing. An example of corrective feedback is: No, a Metro line is not a bus. Look at the picture. What other mode of transportation looks a lot like the Metro line?
8. Mark the Formative Assessment Checklist.
Session 3 - Social Studies, Science, Language Arts:
9. Define transportation as movement of people, things, or ideas from one place to another. Display the vocabulary word, Transportation, as a heading on the student accessible bulletin board.
10. Tell students that you are going to read the book [This Is the Way We Go to School] again. This time the students are to look for modes of transportation. Look for what is being used to move people, things, or ideas from one place to another.
11. Tell students that each page has a kind of transportation. After you read the first page, point to the child walking and tell the students that the transportation on this page is walking.
12. Display the word walk and matching picture. Show the students the word and read it to them. Attach the word and picture to the bulletin board.
13. Repeat this modeling of identifying the transportation, reading the word, and matching it to a picture after reading the next page of the book.
14. Continue reading the book, but call on a student to tell the kind of transportation present on the page.
15. As the activity progresses, formatively assess students as to their ability to understand basic modes of transportation. Give affirmative and corrective feedback. Mark the Formative Assessment Checklist.
16. As students tell a mode of transportation, display the vocabulary word and picture that matches the identified mode. Have the students read the word. Give any phonemic clues to aid in remembering the word. Place the word and matching picture on the bulletin board.
17. Page six of the story states that the fastest by far is a bus or a car. This page introduces the concept of speed.
18. Using the words and pictures already on the bulletin board, demonstrate aligning the words in order of speed with the slowest on the left moving to the fastest on the right. Leave as much space as possible between words so new words can be added to the correct place in order of speed without having to move each word every time a new word is introduced. With each word, discuss the speed of the transportation and move the words and pictures. See the associated files for a sample of what the bulletin board may look like.
19. From page six on, with each identified mode of transportation, ask if it is faster or slower than a car. Then ask if it is faster or slower than the other forms of transportation on the bulletin board. Guide students to understand the comparison of speed. Arrange the vocabulary cards and pictures in a logical order of speed. Note that the fastest at this time will be the radio as the sound waves from the radio moves faster than any of the other modes of transportation. A short explanation of sound being transported by sound waves is appropriate and addresses the misconception of the radio itself being the transportation. The radio is the receiver of sound, not the transportation of sound.
20. As the activity progresses, formatively assess students as to their ability to understand that different things move at different speeds. Give affirmative and corrective feedback. Mark the Formative Assessment Checklist.
21. As you use the Formative Assessment Checklist, check to make sure that all students are receiving equal opportunity to contribute to discussions and answer questions. Don’t allow a few students to dominate.
Session 4 - Mathematics:
22. Build a class graph called How I Get To School. This will be a horizontal bar graph. If a marker board (chalk board) is available in the classroom, it is the preferred media as it allows for manipulation; however, chart paper can also be used. See the sample in the associated files. This graph should be left in place for several days, so don’t construct it in a place that will cause it to be dismantled early.
23. Write the title of the graph.
24. Along the left side of the graph, write the vocabulary words from the story. Use this as another opportunity to teach/review the words. As you write the word, ask for a student to read it. If reading the word is not successful, remind students of the bulletin board with the words and pictures. If reading is still not successful, tell students the word and point out phonemic clues as to the word’s pronunciation.
25. As the activity progresses, formatively assess students as to their ability to identify words. Give affirmative and corrective feedback. Mark the Formative Assessment Checklist. Because you are already writing words on the board and conversing with students, you may need to make mental notes of the formative assessment until you can actually mark the checklist.
26. Now that the graph frame has been constructed, begin building the graph. Using the students’ sticky note names for your calling order, ask the students how they usually get to school, then have the students place their names in the appropriate line. Additional lines to the graph may be added to accomodate the students' needs. For instrance, a truck may need to be added to the graph. Note: If you find that your students mostly come to school using the same modes of transportation, such as all students come on a bus or car, attempt to divide those characterists into additional columns for the graph. An example may be that car can be divided into SUV, van, truck, mom's car, neighbor's car, etc. These divisions will enable students to create number stories with more variety.
27. When all students have placed their sticky note names in the appropriate line, follow the procedure stated below to erase all unused words except one. This makes the graph more manageable and less distracting with irrelevant information but also leaves one zero possible for the math stories.
28. Use the erasing procedure as a reading review, have students read the words that need to be erased. Call on a student to read a word and then allow the student to erase the word read. Voicing phonemic awareness as the word is erased will promote transfer to memory. For example, as the word radio is erased, slowly say the word emphasizing and pointing to each syllable.
29. Use the completed graph to demonstrate how to tell math stories. For example, give the car picture from the bulletin board to one person whose name is on the car bar of the graph. Tell this story, “When the cars drive up to school in the morning, I count the number of children from our class who get out of cars.” Then ask students who ride in a car to get in line behind the person holding the picture of the car. As the students line up, count them. Then end the story by saying, “(appropriate number) of students from our class come to school in cars.”
30. Continue modeling number stories from the graph using the students as the objects acting out the story. See sample stories from the associated files.
31. After you have modeled using the graph to tell math stories and how students can be the objects acting out the stories, begin giving students more involvement by telling a story and then asking how the students can be used to act out the story. Give several examples of you telling the story and students figuring out how to act out the story using their peers.
32. Finally, ask for a volunteer to tell a math story. After the story is told, select students to act out the story.
33. As the activity progresses, formatively assess students as to their ability to create and act out number stories using objects. Give affirmative and corrective feedback. Mark the Formative Assessment Checklist.
Session 5 - Centers - Round 1, Day 1 of 5:
Group the students into five groups. Each group participates in one center per day for five days. Explanations of the various centers are available from the unit’s associated files.
Session 6 - Outdoor Activity:
During outdoor play, review that different objects move at different speeds. Have a race to see who can sit down the slowest, raise their hand the fastest, run faster than their teacher, etc. to reinforce the concept of different speeds. Give formative feedback to reinforce the concept of speed of objects.
Formative assessments of the identified standards will be conducted as described in the procedures. Results of the formative assessment are recorded on the Formative Assessment Checklist from the unit’s associated files. For a link to the unit see the top right corner of this lesson plan or the extensions section for the URL.
Assess students as to their ability to understand that different things move at different speeds. Can they tell which objects are slower and faster?
Assess students as to their ability to understand basic modes of transportation. Can they identify which objects are modes of transportation?
Assess students as to their ability to understand the concept of words and to construct meaning of words from shared text and illustrations. Do they use the text to make meaning of words? Do they use the illustrations to make meaning of words? Do the context of the words and the illustrations aid in comprehension?
Assess students as to their ability to identify frequently used words. Can the students read words after they have been presented? Can the students locate the word in a passage or from the bulletin board?
Assess students as to their ability to create and act out number stories using objects. Can they tell a number story? Do they use the objects to act out the story?
1. The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page or by using the following URL: http://www.beaconlearningcenter.com/search/details.asp?item=3852. Once you select the unit’s link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, “Associated Files.” This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files, (if any).
2. The graphing activity can easily be extended to include: The student interprets data exhibited in concrete or pictorial graphs. While the graph is on display, model how to interpret the data, and then call on individuals to interpret the data. Phrases such as: how many, how many more, most, least, and how many less can be used to aid in interpreting data.
3. Any of these activities can be modified to accommodate whole groups or small groups.
4. ESOL students may need a peer tutor to assist in translations.
5. The list of vocabulary may be sent home for parental assistance in learning the words.
6. The book [The Big Yellow School Bus] by Bernard Wiseman and Ed Rodriquez (Disney Press, 1992) can be used. This is an early reading book and may be appropriate for student selected reading.
7. All sessions of this lesson can be adapted to whole group or small group to meet the needs of individual classes.
8. See the Effective Reading Instructions document from the unit plan's associated files for a correlation between strategies from this lesson and effective reading instruction.
Students interact with rhyming words as they use this poem to explore various modes of transportation children use to visit their grandmas. Audio is available for this online book. A Visit With Grandma
This is a teacher reference for read-aloud information. BETTER KID CARE: READING ALOUD
This teacher reference is an Effective Reading Instruction Chart. Just Read Now, Just Read Florida