Trucks and more trucks!

There was an event a few weeks ago, put on by the Arden Parks and Rec called “Meet a Truck.” We went and had a blast. It inspired this lesson.

Sitting in a real excavator and getting to see what all the controls are supposed to do, and how it works, was a great experience for Nicholas.

First of all, we love to color. There are some great coloring pages for all kinds of trucks here. As an added bonus, you can color them online to give your child some practice with a mouse and computer.

We are learning how to sound out words. It is something that is an ongoing project. Every time Nicholas wants to know what a word is, we identify the first sound and then the first letter. This is a great driving time game for us. Every time we pass a truck when we are driving I ask him what the name of the truck is, and then what the first letter of the truck is. I am sure, at some point, we will get past the first letter to other letters. But for now we are just doing first letters. This is a link to a worksheet about first letters of transportation trucks. It helps him learn to identify sounds with letters, and what those letters look like as well.

We did the worksheet and he then got to color the trucks on the worksheet too.

As an extension of this activity, we linked the names of the vehicles to their pictures. He was really good at this. Since we had just done the worksheet based on the first letters, he was able to identify words based on their first letters.

We then went to Kikki’s Workshop and clicked around. This website is dedicated to all things construction trucks. He really liked being able to click on the truck and have me read about the truck to him. On their game page, he was able to play all kind of game with the construction trucks. One of the games was “Catch

While we were looking at all the trucks, we got to compare the size of the tires to each other and to how big we are. It was a blast.

them with the dump.” This translated, after finishing on the Internet, to a game he and I play. We took all the soft balls we had in the house and tossed them into the dump truck. And then Nicholas took them all out and I got to throw them around and he zoomed the truck around to catch them. This was quite the intense session of catch for him and he really worked up a sweat. I was glad to see that he took something he had learned and made it into a game we could play.

After that, we took a break and watched some videos of trucks that we found here. We then spent time reading The Little Blue Truck, Help I’m Stuck, Emergency Vehicles, and, How They Work: Construction Trucks.

Lastly, we played a game. I had the letters A-G written on index cards and we flipped them over so you couldn’t see the letters. Then he had to flip one over, say the letter, and say a truck that began with that letter. He got extra credit (a sticker) if he made the same noise as the truck and could tell me something the truck did. He ended up covered in stickers.

It was a fun lesson and had enough activities that we took the whole morning to do it. Even my daughter liked it – she really liked the books and the dump truck game (she crawled around, chasing the dump truck and helped empty it).

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Teaching letter sounds with construction trucks.

Letter sounds and construction trucks make for an enjoyable lesson.

Whenever I plan a lesson, I make sure my lessons are about 10 minutes long. Any longer, and a 3 year old boy will lose interest. I also make sure there are ways to continue the lesson in case he gets really involved and wants to learn more. But, for the most part, I stick to 10 minute lessons.

One of the reasons I love the idea of homeschooling is that I know my child best. Whereas in a preschool or regular school he might have to learn letter sounds using whatever they are using (animals, a book, strange words), at home I get to pick. For this lesson I picked construction trucks – he loves construction trucks.

So I had construction truck stickers (found in Target’s $1.00 value area, so I picked up a bunch), a piece of paper, and crayons. When he sat down with me I asked him what color I should use to write “Construction Site” on the top of the paper. He chose brown. I then had him tell me what letter “Construction” and “Site” began with. We sounded out the words and picked the opening letters. I was correct, so I wrote the words and showed him how they were spelled and we sounded them out. Then onto the fun part – the trucks.

 

I gave him the stickers and crayons and asked him to draw me a construction site with the crayons and put the stickers of the trucks on where they are supposed to work. He happily worked away for 10 minutes, telling me what he was doing as he was doing it. I asked questions of him if he stopped talking. “What kind of truck is that?” “What is that truck doing?” What are you coloring?” and more questions were the leading questions while he was making his construction site. When he was finished, he gave it to me and I told him what a good job he did.

Then we sounded out the words of the construction trucks. I had him discover what letter each truck began with and I helped him write those letters by the trucks.

So we worked on motor skills (coloring, pulling stickers off, writing), letters (sounds), and imagination. All while still doing it in a fun way so he would learn.

Teaching your child is about learning through fun, guiding their play, not simply sitting them down in front of books.

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