Travel through the community and enjoy a fun read-aloud with this book activity celebrating a variation of The Wheels on the Bus. This book and activity would work well with a theme or focus on school, transportation, neighborhoods and communities, or for beginning of the school year.
The Wheels on the Uh-Oh! Literacy Activity
The skills covered in this activity include:
- listening responsively to a book
- identifying and sequencing story details
- retelling a story
- recognizing environmental print
The Book: The Wheels on the Uh-Oh!
Gather the students together and show them the front of the book, The Wheels on the Uh-Oh! Read the title and ask the students what might happen if there was an “uh-oh” with the bus. Ideas may include running out of gas, the bus gets lost, or there is a flat tire. Encourage the preschoolers to think and list different types of “uh-ohs.”
Ask the students to listen for the “uh-oh” moment and to touch their ear when they know it. Begin to read the story to the children stopping and acknowledging the “uh-oh” moment. Then continue to read for pure enjoyment. Throughout the week, you can reread the book several times to work on different literacy skills such as sequencing, alliteration, and cause and effect.
On one repeated reading, you can emphasize sequencing and let the students tell you the order of events in the story.
During another reading of the book, focus on alliteration in the story. Take a few phrases from the story such as “click, clack, click” and “grumble, grumble, groan” emphasizing the beginning sound of each word. Invite the students to name other words with the same beginning sounds.
Around the Town Community Activity
- The Wheels on the Uh-Oh! book by Sue Tarsky
- Poster board, white sheet, or plastic shower curtain liner
- Permanent markers
- Toy cars, trucks, and buses
The kids will enjoy playing this activity with a partner or small group. Add the activity to the block area or dramatic play area.
Setting Up the Activity
Create your town map for the activity on a piece of poster board, white sheet, or a shower curtain liner. Add landmarks from your community to the map and lots of roads.
Gather a variety of toy cars, a bus, construction vehicles, and any loose tires from broken vehicles. Add our environmental print road signs to bump up the literacy value of the activity.
Starting the Activity
Gather the kids and describe the resources you have for the students to explore.
Invite the students to retell the Wheels on the Uh-Oh! using the props. Also, invite the students to describe their travels as they play and move the vehicles through the town.
Variations and Modifications
1. Add a dot sticker labeled with a letter to each vehicle to add a little alphabet practice into the play.
2. Tape pictures of local restaurants or other business signs onto blocks or boxes and include those in the play to work on strengthening environmental print. Preschoolers can use these signs as billboards or buildings.
4. Visit the area where the students are working and describe their play using descriptive language to build their vocabulary. For example, “I see you are driving your car north on Park St.”
BIO: Jodie is the creator of Growing Book by Book. She believes that we can meet the needs of all our growing readers. She guides you through developmentally appropriate book lists, reading activities, circle time ideas and literacy-building tips for young children. Check out her Book Activities for your favorite pre-k titles. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.
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