The Subway Mouse Lesson Plan
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2
About this book
I like to use The Subway Mouse for a unit on transportation. It opens the door to interesting conversations on why a person might choose public transportation or on why some places may not provide public transportation. Children are drawn to the unusual Plasticine illustrations.
Students will "give examples of the choices people have to make about the goods and services they buy (e.g. a new coat, a tie, or a pair of shoes) and why they have to make choices (e.g., because they have a limited amount of money)." —Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Framework
- The Subway Mouse by Barbara Reid
- 2 refrigerator boxes
- Utility knife
- Small play chairs
Set Up and Prepare
While it's nice for the boxes to provide a likeness to real subway cars, be certain you have cut out enough windows that you may monitor the activities of students.
Step 1: Ask students if they have used public transportation before. Encourage a discussion about different kinds of public transportation and reasons why people use them.
Step 2: As you read aloud The Subway Mouse, point out the subway system, concentrating on the subway cars.
Step 3: Begin the project by placing the refrigerator boxes on their sides, end to end. They will be your subway cars.
Step 4: Use the utility knife to cut out windows down the length of the refrigerator boxes. Don't forget to include doors.
Step 5: Have students line up rows of chairs inside the boxes, to function as seating. Give students some dramatic play time in the subway cars.
- Students can use Plasticine to create their favorite scene from the book.
- Compare pictures of a subway to the subway cars in class.
- For more information about the author and illustrator, visit Barbara Reid's website.
- Learn about the history of the New York City subway system.
- Discover the first subway constructed in the United States in this Boston Globe slideshow based on Beneath The Streets Of Boston: Building America's First Subway by Joe McKendry.