a) Title: Freight Train
Awards: Caldecott Honor Book
b) About the book:
This book begins with an empty train track. Throughout the pages, colorful carts appear that are identified in text and image by its color until an entire freight train has appeared. Once each cart has been described, the train begins motion and the colors blur as the train travels through multiple different landscapes until it is gone!
Colors: In the beginning of this book, seven different colors are presented to name each cart of the train. These colors are spelled out and the print is in the color it spells.
Trains: This book talks about the different landscapes that trains can go through, and with the illustration of the blurred colors, it shows the train in motion throughout the pages.
d) Getting Ready:
During this Donald Crews Unit of Study, I would go over the transportation type books together as a group over a period of a few days. We would have already read other transportation type books by Donald Crews such as: Truck, Flying, Sail Away, Harbor, and School bus. I would ask the class before reading this book what another way of transportation is that we have not covered yet in our Donald Crews read alouds. Once a student has responded with train, I will introduce the book Freight Train.
e) Questions for discussion:
- · “Can anybody tell me what color this cart is?” (This question can be asked for each cart during a picture walk)
- · “Where have you seen a train before?”
f) Questions for written response:
- · “What types of things could this freight train be transporting?”
- · “Describe a new train with new colors!”
g) Extension activities:
- ·Once this book was read aloud to the class, give each student a sheet of paper that has a blank freight train in the center of the page. Have the students color in each cart the same as it was shown in the story. Once the students have colored in their freight trains, have them add onto the story! Students will write a phrase at the top of the page that describes another place that the train is traveling through. Students will draw the landscape of what their addition of the story is. Once all of the students have finished doing this, the teacher will reread the book and read each of the students’ additions to the class.
- Give each of the students a worksheet that has the colorful freight train from the book on it with blanks under each of the carts. Have the students write on each of the lines what color each cart is.