The concepts is the idea of roads, and what they are used for. We make a classroom map. First the students make wheel prints on their own individual paper, talk about how that looks like a road. Introduce what a map is. Then with a big sheet of butcher paper each child has a car, and proceeds to make roads on our map. The following day we make houses, with stamps. We label the house as who’s it is, and who lives in it. Next, we use water colors to add water to our map. Then, green markers/crayons, to add trees and grass. Lastly, when going over the cardinal signals add N S E W. Now the students can use it for dramatic car play, and it is also great to display and show parents.
In our writing center, we made transportation books. We got magazines and had the children cut out pictures of different vehicles and glued them in their very own transportation books. This was great for improving their cutting skills.
For our school bulletin board, I covered the bb with pages from a map. Then I made license plates out of construction paper for each of the teacher’s names…abbreviating their names phonetically. The heading on the bb was “Climb on board…We’re headed for success!!” (Boy I wish I had spell check!!)
We draw a large school bus and let the children paint it yellow. Then we make windows; 1 for each child. We give them a mirror and have them look in the mirror and draw themselves in the window of the bus.
During circle time, I showed the kids a map and we talked about what a map is used for and the different things that could be found on a map (rivers, roads, etc.) I then placed a map on a table along with small rubber vehicles (the kind used for sorting and color recognition). The kids had an opportunity to “drive” their vehicles around on the map and further familiarize themselves with the map. Another unexpected lesson was on map folding!
Put your state map on a table and highlight 2 major cities. Let the children find all the different ways to get from one point to another by tracing roads with a marker. This opens great conversation. about all the different way to get to the same location! This works well with 4 year olds.