|Book Cover of "Freight Train" by Donald Crews|
|Book Cover of "Shortcut" by Donald Crews|
Happy summer everyone! I'm continuing my Donald Crews author study because I think it was a very valuable unit. Today, I'm going to talk about my students' two favorite train books: Shortcut and Freight Train.
Shortcut is a book in which Donald Crews talks about himself as a young child visiting Bigmama's. A dangerous situation occurs in the book when the students are walking on the railroad tracks and there's a train coming. My ESOL students were really able to describe how the children felt when the train was coming, and how they felt when they jumped off the tracks. We also discussed, after reading the book, how it is unsafe to walk on a railroad track. In fact, my children were telling me, when we read the book for the first time, that you don't do that because it's so dangerous!
I used this paper to talk about what happened before the train came, while the train was going by, and after the train passed the kids:
Freight Train was also written by Donald Crews, and it mostly describes colors of different train cars. There's a song by Dr. Jean Feldman called "Color Train" that really works well with this book. I use laminated pieces of construction paper with the color word printed on each car. This is a great way to get kindergarten kids spelling their color words.
The students really enjoyed talking about trains from long ago and today. I was surprised by the great detail my students could give me about the similarities and differences between different kinds of trains. We talked about speeds of long-ago trains being a lot slower than they are today. The kids told me that you had to shovel coal into a furnace. I was pretty impressed with that! They also told me that cowboys used to jump onto the trains and rob them (they must be watching old movies). And one boy told me that trains now don't pollute the environment as much as they used to. I nearly fell off my exercise ball when he said that!
Just to let you all know, I don't sit on a classroom chair. I sit on a large exercise/yoga ball. That was the best money I've ever spent for my classroom! My back feels SO much better, and the kids really don't touch it.
Here's one more paper I made for what we've learned about trains:
Have a great time reading!