When my two boys were little, I would pack a lunch and drive to a construction site where we would sit on the hood of our car and watch the big rigs in action. They were memorized.
DK's "Things That Go" was their favorite book and before they turned 4, my sweet boys were experts on all types of excavators, front loaders, and diggers. Honestly. They just couldn't get enough.
Last week I was searching for a one-time lesson for my kindergarten class. Another rotation was about to start and I really wanted the kids to finish up a project in one class session. I looked to the big rig bible, "Things That Go" and decided to combine a lesson using shapes with most kid's love of machinery.
I photocopied pages from the book to hand out to the kids for inspiration, but mostly they were riveted on the white board. I drew four types of trucks and tractors, focusing on the wheels first, then the underbelly, cab and engine. I traced around the shapes with my finger so they could see how combining a bunch of circles, squares and rectangles can turn into a big rig of their choice.
Tip: Place a variety of round plastic lids or cups on the tables so if the kids want to trace a circle, they can. Many kids need a starting point: a place where they feel safe. Tracing the lids is really helpful in this manner.
This was a fun lesson for them. Many drew backgrounds and created all types of scenarios to place their big rig into. We used simple materials: white paper and crayons. That's it. Simplicity at it's best.