I was teaching transportation to my students recently and I thought to myself: “Wouldn’t it be cool if I could incorporate some sort of craft into my regular, everyday lessons?” Through some consultation with my coworkers and by adapting a few other crafts I’ve seen done, I was able to come up with the following idea: students use their hands and stamp pads to create different methods of transportation.
Before trying this lesson though, there are a few things you, as the teacher, need to make sure of. The first is whether or not your students are familiar with a handful of methods of transportation (like bike, bus, and rocket). If you need an idea as to how to teach them this, feel free to have a look at this lesson plan idea I made a while ago. Second, you need to have some craft supplies hanging around. You’ll need: blank papers students can use for their craft, newspaper to cover/protect tables (if you’re using tables), stamp pads of different colors, markers/crayons (usually the students have these, but it never hurts to have extras), aprons or garbage bags students can use to protect their clothes, and wet cloths or water stations where students can wash their hands. Third, there will be some preparation necessary to pull this off; it’s not a last-minute lesson plan. So ensure you have the materials and time necessary for it all.
OK. Now that we have gone through the necessary preamble, let’s dive into this activity! Here are the steps you should follow:
- If you’ve already taught transportation, do a short review with flashcards. Ask students to make sentence patterns, such as “I ride on/in a____” or “I go by____.”
- Play a game to reinforce the vocabulary. You can choose any of the games I’ve posted to do this. I particularly enjoy the hula hoop game with transportation, as it allows for kinesthetic learning. (You can skip this step if you only have a short lesson, as the craft will take a while to do.)
- Now, have students sit down at their desks (or on the floor if you prefer). It’s time to demonstrate what they will be doing. Show them a blank paper, then hold up the stamp pads you’ve brought along. Go through the colors as a review. Then go through these 3 methods of transportation: bike, bus, and rocket. Once this is done, follow these steps.
- Put on your apron.
- Name a color, and put that stamp color on your index finger. Place it on the paper once horizontally and once vertically to make a bike shape. Then, place your 2 fingertips on the stamp pad and add wheel shapes to make a bike on the paper. Name the method of transportation and have students repeat it.
- Wipe off your hands with the damp cloth. Then select a different stamp pad color. Put the palm of your hand on it and place it on the paper. It should make a square-ish shape. Then, place your 2 fingertips on the stamp pad and add wheel shapes to make a bus on the paper. Name the method of transportation and have students repeat it.
- Wipe off your hands again and select a new stamp pad. Put the side of your hand on it and stick it to the paper. It should make a vertical line of sorts. This will be your rocket. Name the method of transportation and have students repeat it.
- Quickly add some details to your image (with crayons/markers) and say: “Now we color.” Students will get the idea. ***For a picture of what the finished product could look like, see the pictures below.***
- Now that you have demonstrated the activity, have the students put on their aprons and distribute stamp pads, crayons/markers, and papers. Help them make their stamp shapes and remind them to wipe their hands (or wash them) in between stamp sets. Once they finish, encourage them to draw on their papers. They can even write their names (and/or the methods of transportation) if they’re capable of doing so. Basically, monitor the activity to make sure students are doing well. Get them to speak English too by asking questions, such as: “What’s this?” (while pointing to a method of transportation), “What color do you want?” and “What do you ride?” They’ll surprise you with what they know.
- MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO CLEAN UP!!! I can not emphasize this enough. I’ve learned this from experience: clean up time should be factored into the lesson or else you get stuck with it all. Or worse, the homeroom teacher has to do it, which is very unfair to them. To cut down on clean up time, have the students help with this step. They can wash their own hands, put lids on stamp pads (then give them to you), clean up markers/crayons, put dirty newspaper from the tables in a garbage bag, take each others’ aprons off and hand them to you, and wipe tables if necessary.
Once the clean up is finished, your lesson time should be up. If not, throw in a fun song or a review game to finish the lesson on a positive note. Also, allow your kids to take their papers home so that their parents can see what they made in English class!