Subject Area: Math, Language Arts
Young children will love this interactive counting book about a long train with 101 flaps that reveal the train's cargo. Humorous rhyming text and bold illustrations will be a huge hit with the train-loving preschool set.
Children will identify and count numbers from 1 to 101. They will also read familiar, repetitive, and rhyming words that appear in the text and use picture cues to identify words.
Show the children the book Long Train by Sam Williams. Tell them that this train has 101 cars full of all kinds of freight. Ask them if they know what freight is. Do they know the difference between a freight train and a passenger train? Now ask them to guess what types of freight the train is carrying. Record their ideas on chart paper. Now read this entertaining story and compare their answers with the book.
Many Ways to Read!
Here a few ways to read and enjoy this book with your class:
- Begin by reading the large-print text on each page without lifting the flaps. Reread the book and point to the large print so that the children will become familiar with the words and join in.
- Now invite the class to read the story another way. Read the text across each page spread. Encourage the children to notice that the story can be read either way.
- Invite the children to identify all of the rhyming words. Create a rhyming-word list on a sheet of chart paper. Can they think of other words that rhyme with the words listed?
- Now invite the class to read the numbers on each car. Count together from 1 to 101. Which number will follow 101?
- Time to lift the flaps and read the book another way. Invite each child to lift a flap to reveal the text and freight in each car. After they have become familiar with the text, encourage the group to join in by using picture cues and reading repetitive words. Reread the book during small-group time to focus on specific reading and counting skills.
Long Train Memory Game
- Chart paper and marker
- Explain to the children that they will play a memory game. Tell them that you will reread the story and they will try to recall the different freight items carried on the train.
- Begin by having them recall items on each page spread. Make a list of all of the things that they have recalled. How many things did they remember?
- Now make the game more challenging. Lift and read all 101 flaps. Then invite the class to recall the different items. Count the total amount of things that they remembered.
Counting to 101
- Construction paper or oak tag
- Resealable plastic bags or small basket
- Tape measure
Pre-cut 101 small rectangle shapes from construction paper or oak tag paper to resemble freight train cars. Number each car from 1 to 101 with a black marker. Place in a small basket or resealable plastic bag. You may want to make more than one set so several children can participate in the activity.
- Give each child a few of the rectangle shapes and markers. Invite them to decorate the numbered side of each train car. Then ask them to draw "freight" on the other side of the paper. Place all of their train cars in a basket or plastic bag.
- Invite several children to work together to do this counting activity on the rug area. Give them the book and precut numbered "train cars." Ask them to match their cars with the cars in the book.
- Now invite them to organize the cars from 1 to 101 in one long line. Use a tape measure to see how long their train is. How many wooden blocks will equal the length of the train? Invite them to use different-sized blocks to compare length.
- Ask them to place ten cars in consecutive order in a row. Before they begin, ask them to predict how many rows they will have. Compare the number of rows with their predictions.
- Then ask them to make rows of five cars. Again, encourage them to predict the number of rows they will make and compare their answers.
- What other ways can they organize their train? Keep the book and the paper train cars in the math area so the children can continue to practice counting and identify numbers from 1 to 101.
Other Counting Books About Trains
Ten on a Train: A Countdown Book
by John O'Leary
A badger and nine friends set out on a journey, but with each new mode of travel someone gets left behind.
Thomas the Tank Engine Counts to Ten
by Wilbert Vere Audry
The favorite Thomas introduces young readers to the concept of counting from 1 to 10.
Other Books by Sam Williams
Teddy Bears Trick-or-Treat
Spots and Slots: A Slide the Spot Book of Colors
Wakey Wakey, Nighty Night
Teaching plan written by Risa Young