Child-Lead Creative Curriculum Transportation Study

In a 3’s and 4’s classroom made up of 6 ECSE enrolled students and 9 typically developing peers we observed a large interest in transportation vehicles during special projects, outside play and classroom interactions.

To begin the study children were read a story about what the word “transportation” meant and were asked what they already knew about it.    The answers were recorded on a large piece of paper during a large group time and displayed in the classroom.


The following day, children were given a variety of non-fiction transportation books and asked what questions they had about the topic.  The books helped to spark ideas relevant to the topic and the questions developed were used to drive our entire transportation study.  Children were encouraged throughout the study to add new questions to the list if they came up.


Each day the lesson plan would include one or more activities directly related to the questions children had asked.transportation lesson plan

Each center in the room eventually became a targeted focus area that related to the transportation study.  Learning objectives, assessments and IEP goals were  integrated into the lesson plan with a transportation focus.  One example of this was the assessment of numeral identification. Children helped create a parking lot for cars to park at.  Teachers and paraprofessionals could easily interact with the children during playtime and through observations assess the children’s knowledge without needing to call children away from their play.


Using parent volunteers,  our dramatic play area became an airport and travel agent’s office.  Our SMARTboard became an interactive flight simulator and children choose if they wanted to practice landing or taking off.  Children were encouraged to use a variety of social skills such as turn-taking, keeping your body in the group, using a timer to wait, sharing space and including others into their play.



We also created a child drawn mural of different kinds of transportation as we learned about each one.IMG_0311

As questions were answered we reviewed the answer and marked what we had learned.  Eventually, we had answered all our questions and the children were asked to brainstorm ideas for a new study topic.  Once a short list was established they had the opportunity to vote on a new area of study.