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.