Beyond the Book: Freight Train

Freight Train by Donald Crews


Book Summary:

Does your little one love trains? If so, this book is sure to please. Freight Train features simple illustrations and text to describe how a train carries items from city to city. The bilingual text is shown in both English and Spanish, making this a great way to teach colors.



2 – 4 years


Pre-reading activity:

Discuss the cover of the book and whether your child has ever seen a train. Have your child imitate the sound a train makes.


During the story:

Have your little one predict what will happen next based on the pictures and comment on the illustrations. Provide definitions and connections for any of the target vocabulary words listed below that may be unfamiliar. Ask questions throughout the story to help your child comprehend what is being read. Have your child repeat the colors in both English and Spanish.


Example Questions:

If you could carry freight on a train, what would you take?

How can you tell the train is moving fast?

Why do we need trains?


Target Vocabulary:


items that are carried by ships, trains, trucks, or airplanes
a pair of metal bars a train, trolley, or subway rides along
the last part of the train; it is used by people who work on the train
cows or bulls kept on a farm or ranch
open-topped train that is used to transport loose materials
hot gas created by a machine to provide power
passage that goes under the ground or through a hill
structure that is used for supporting railroad tracks over a valley or river



Have your little one re-read the book in their own words using the pictures. 



Name Train

In order to increase name and color awareness, create a name train with your little one. On white construction paper, help your child draw a railroad track the width of the paper. Cut different colored squares out of construction paper and write one letter of your child’s name on each. Draw a steam engine (or print one) at the front of the track. Help your child glue his/her name on the railroad track using the letters in the right order. As you glue, identify the letters and the sounds they make. Next, using black construction paper, glue wheels onto the bottom of the train. Finally, name the colors of each square.



Construction paper in various colors


Glue stick


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