Transportation Lesson Plan on Boats and Trains

By lhunsicker

This is a lesson plan with stories and songs about boats and trains as well as fun activities centered on the theme of boats and trains. There is also a water play activity for the kids.

Boats and Trains

Circle Time:

Questions for discussion:

  1. Have you ever been on a boat?
  2. Have you ever been on a train?

These are questions to get the class started and to find out what they know about boats and trains.

Music and Movement:


1. Down by the Station

Down by the station, Early in the morning, See the little pufferbellies All in a row

See the station master Turn the little handle Puff, puff, toot, toot Off we go!

2. Little Red Caboose

Little red caboose, Chug! Chug! Chug!

Little red caboose, Chug! Chug! Chug!

Little red caboose, Behind the train, Train, Train, Train,

Smokestack's on his back, Back, Back, Back.

Comin' around the track, Track, Track, Track.

Little red caboose, Behind the train.

Woooooo! Woooooo!

3. Train Is A-Comin'

Train is a-comin', oh, yes

Train is a-comin', oh, yes

Train is a-comin', train is a-comin'

Train is a-comin', oh, yes

Better get your ticket, oh, yes

Better get your ticket, oh, yes

Better get your ticket, better get your ticket,

Better get your ticket, oh, yes

Room for many more, oh, yes

Room for many more, oh, yes

Room for many more, room for many more

Room for many more, oh, yes

Train is a-leavin', oh, yes

Train is a-leavin', oh, yes

Train is a-leavin', train is a-leavin'

Train is a-leavin', oh, yes.

4. Tugboat

Chug, chug, chug,

I'm a little tug.

I pull a big boat,

Chug, chug, chug.

5. Row Row Row Your boat

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Row, row, row your boat,

gently down the stream,

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,

Life is but a dream.


  1. The Story of Trains by Jane Bingham and Colin King
  2. Train Sticker Stories by Edward Miller
  3. Stop Train Stop by Rev. W. Awdry
  4. Boats, Boats, Boats by Joanna Ryone and Patti Boyd
  5. The Story of Ships by Jane Bingham and Colin King
  6. The Yellow Boat by Margaret Hillert and Ed Young


Using small toy boats and trains, give some to each child. Then have the children count the trains and boats separately and all together. Then have the children sort them according to size and color. Then the teacher will make patterns for the children to copy.

This activity helps the children with problem solving and critical thinking skills as well as basic math skills.


Read: The Magic Train Ride by Sally Crabtree and Sonia Esplugas.

Discuss the story with the children. Then have then children pick something from the story and write a sentence about it for the children. Finally have the children draw and color a picture to go with the sentence.

This helps in making literacy connections; text to self, text to text, and text to world.


Make boats from pretzels, cheese, and apple slices.

Make trains from Cheerios, graham crackers, square shaped pretzels, or cheese crackers.


Have a small train set setup on a table for the children to watch and play with. Ask the children if the train long or short? Then ask how you can make it longer or shorter? Does the train move better on the tracks or off?

Then on another table have water play tubs setup and boats to put in them. Have a few other items in a container (example: paper clips, thread spools, string, magnets, toy cars, shells, blocks, feathers) and choose things randomly from the container and ask the children if it will sink or float? Then place the items in the water to see if they sink or float. Sink/float experiements are fun for the children to do, plus having them predict if it sink or float and then watching their reactions if they are right is fun for the teacher. The teacher can also ask if they know why it sank or why it floated.


Create a transportation mural. Color/paint printable coloring pages of boats and trains and then cut them out and create a wall mural on a large sheet of construction paper.

Materials for art project:

  • Magazine pictures (children can cut out of trains and boats)
  • scissors
  • glue
  • printable coloring pictures of trains and boats
  • crayons
  • markers
  • poster board or extra large roll construction paper


Stock the library area with posters, movies, and books about boats and trains.

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