At the end of the summer and beginning of the school/homeschool year, it’s nice to focus on activities that are educational yet fit with your child’s passions. If you have a vehicle-obsessed child (like my son was), this could be a perfect time to introduce a transportation unit. It can make review lessons enjoyable and add to the excitement of a new school year.
Montessori-Inspired Ideas for a Transportation Unit
Counting Coconuts has a mini unit on transportation with lots of activities (photo at top of post).
A good place to start might be to introduce land, air, and water from a transportation perspective. Counting Coconuts has that as one of the activities in the mini unit.
You can take a transportation unit in many directions – for example, study types and parts of vehicles, how people in other nations travel, or focus on transportation as one of the fundamental needs of people (particularly as part of a history study at the elementary level). Note: Moteaco has more information on how to introduce the fundamental needs of people. The Homeschool Den also has a printable chart of the fundamental needs of people.
Geography Activity: Land, Air, and Water at Mommy Moment (by Jessie from The Education of Ours) has lots of ideas for introducing the land, air, water activity that just need to be adapted to focus on transportation.
Montessori Print Shop has Air, Water, and Marine Transportation Cards (a great extension of the land, air, water activity), Car Nomenclature Cards, Airplane Nomenclature Cards, and Airliner Nomenclature Cards that can be purchased.
Montessori Materials has some free transportation cards that can be used for various matching games (with cards or objects).
Many of the printables from Homeschool Creations Transportation Preschool Pack can be used to make Montessori-inspired activity trays with hands-on activities. There’s even a Spanish transportation pack for preparing transportation activities in Spanish.
2 Teaching Mommies also has free printables, such as transportation word puzzles and beginning sound clip cards, which could easily be made into Montessori-inspired activity trays.
The Adventures of Bear has a cars and colors activity.
Two Little Seeds has Montessori inspired transportation activities.
Using Interest-Based Unit Studies
Interest–based unit studies, such as a transportation unit for vehicle lovers, can be used to add motivation to any subject that’s difficult for your child. Interest-based unit studies work well whether your child is struggling with learning phonetic sounds (use miniature vehicles and sandpaper letters), beginning reading (find phonetic-based readers with a transportation theme), or learning math facts (use Micro Machines to add, subtract, multiply, or divide miniature vehicles or (later on) use online vehicle games at a site like Fun Brain or Academic Skill Builders to reinforce math facts).
There’s an interesting discussion at Circle of Moms that relates well to an interest-based unit such as transportation for a vehicle lover:
What’s a good way to motivate and support children who are struggling to learn a certain school subject? There are many interesting answers from bloggers (I have an answer there, too).
More Ideas for a Transportation Unit Study on Pinterest
On Pinterest, I have more resources for a transportation unit for preschoolers through elementary-aged children. The resources aren’t all Montessori resources, but there are many wonderful ideas to choose from to fit into a transportation unit.