Friday, May 13, 2011

e is for engine

The final letter "e" word that we talked about was engine. My little boy just loves "choo choo trains". He really, really enjoys Thomas the Tank Engine. He got a train set for Christmas along with several Thomas engines and he plays with them every day. So, it was a fun way to talk about the short letter "e" and he got pretty engaged in the activities. 


We read all the Thomas the Train books we own and checked a couple out of others from the library. These books are pretty simple stories about the adventures of the different trains on the island of Sodor. Each of the trains has its own personality. The original stories were written by a Reverend for his son and emphasized friendship, honesty, and hard work. These are good character traits for children and I want to find the original Thomas the Tank Engine series for Jonathan. 

The Little Engine That Could by Wally Piper

This is a classic story about a train of toys that breaks down and needs another engine to help them reach their destination. Several bigger or more important engines come by but are too busy to help. Finally a small engine comes by and although she's uncertain if she can help she says "I think I can, I think I can" and is able to climb the mountain to help them deliver the toys to the waiting children. Jonathan loved this story-- I guess there's a reason it's a classic! He's asked to read it several times. I think we'll be adding it to our home library soon!


We printed out numbers and shapes printables from Carisa's Tot Pack over at 1+1+1=1. Jonathan identified the shapes easily and we sat and practiced counting the number of trains on each card. As I learned with our elves unit, Jonathan does better counting when he can actually manipulate the objects he's counting. So we pulled out some of our trains and counted how many we had. 

The major Thomas engines have numbers attached to them. We don't have very many of them, but if he continues to enjoy these trains I could see purchasing the trains numbered 1-10 and having him practice putting the trains in numerical order. 

There's a great article about how these wooden train sets help children build early math skills at Sensible Math Education. 

Web Resources 

The Little Engine That Could Story Lesson @ Mother Hubbard's Cupboard

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