"Let's Go!"

You and your own blue suitcase are going on a trip! You will need to decide where you are going to go, how you will get there, and what you will need to take with you. Who are you going to see? How long will you stay? How will you return? You will need to gather some information about transportation to help you make good decisions. "Let's go!"

The Task:
  • You will need to learn about each mode of transportation: Land, Air, Sea and Space.
  • Which one do you use for which purpose?
  • Do you take an airplane or a boat to school?
  • Could you drive to Europe or Hawaii?
  • What way to travel is the fastest?
  • What way is the slowest?
  • Have you ever been on a car, plane, or boat trip?
  • What will you need to pack in your blue suitcase for your journey?

The Process:

We will begin by reading and re-reading
"My Blue Suitcase" by Sharon Katz.
(This book is already on the SCORE site.)

"My Blue Suitcase" uses all the basic forms
of transportation and "Then comes back to
me." It will form the outline that we will use
to learn about the various forms of transportation.
(See Teacher Notes)

During our study we will want to find out
what we need to know in order to go
on an imaginary trip.

  • What do we already know?
  • What do we need to find out?
  • Where can we find this information?
  • Who can help us?
  • How can we do all this?
We will gather:
books, magazines, artifacts, toys, maps,
brochures, audio-visual materials.
We will explore:
Internet resources, books, CD-ROMS,
videos, laser discs, guest speakers, and field trips.
We will discuss:
Each kind of transportation, the length of
our stay, the distance from where we live,
the climate at our destination, the money we
will need, and where we will get food.
We will list:
Vehicle words, location words,
travel words, and map words.
We will collect:
Vehicle pictures, travel brochures,
maps, vehicle toys, and suitcases.
We will try:
Remote control driving, packing real
suitcases, sailing boats in the water table,
building roads in the sandbox.
We will create:
A mural, several collages, do choral
"readings," sing songs, bake vehicle
shaped cookies for our "Bon Voyage Party,"
and we will make our own suitcases and
"pack" them with all the special things we
will need to take on our special journey.

Resource: "Let's Go!" to the Resource page, to find out about the different kinds of transportation you can use. Includes pictures and links to sites about some of the different kinds of transportation you can use on your trip. Or you can click on one of these pictures to jump to one of these three types of transportation, land, sea or air.
Learning Advice:
Check out each kind of transportation, even those you don't plan on using. Short trips can cost less than long trips, but a trip to Disneyland nearby can be very expensive. Think about what you will need when you are away from home. Don't forget your toothbrush and your Teddy Bear. Will everything fit in your suitcase?


You will "pack" (cut and paste) your own "blue suitcase" (construction paper) with all the special items you will need for your journey. Your "suitcase" should answer the following questions:

  • What is your destination?
  • How long will you stay?
  • What will you wear?
  • Will you need a space suit, a swimsuit or a snowsuit?
  • Do you need seasickness pills?
  • Did you bring some toys?
  • Do you have enough?
  • Do you have too much?
  • Do you have your passport?

We should be able to answer these questions by looking at the pictures you have included in your "suitcase" and what you say during your "share and tell" presentation. You will "share" your "suitcase" with the class and we will talk about your plans. We will then have our "Bon Voyage Party."

We hope you have a great trip!

  • What did you learn about transportation? (Cars, trucks, ships, planes or rockets.)
  • What surprised you?
  • Is it easy to plan a trip?
  • Did you have enough of everything you need?
  • Where would you like to go next time?

  • Where did you get your best information?
  • What was the hardest part of planning your trip?
  • Who helped you the most?
  • Would you really want to go on your imaginary trip?

Teacher Notes:

Prior to beginning this unit the teacher should assemble many of the wide variety of resources that are available, including books and magazines. The teacher should also check the Websites to see if they can be used in the classroom or in a Lab. The alternative would be to print them out for the student to see.

The actual "packing the suitcase" would be an excellent culminating activity to a traditional unit on Transportation. It will probably be a Kindergarten child's first experience with Problem Based Learning. Obviously they will need a lot of help to work through the process. This would be explained to the Parent in a detailed "Homework Assignment" note.

The Internet sites selected were chosen because they had excellent, informative pictures. In some cases the text is not actually inappropriate, but it is written for another purpose. The pictures are why you are retrieving the site. They will take a fairly long time to "load." For that reason it is recommended that you bring the sites up before you plan to use them. That will make it easier to retrieve them when you have children waiting. It is always good to go over the content of a Website before using it with your class.

After all the "research" is done, the children will, as a homework assignment, "pack" a little blue suitcase. It should answer all the questions in the "Evaluation" section in some graphic way. Each child will then do a short oral presentation to explain why they have made the choices they have.

Lesson Purpose:

  • To culminate our study of transportation.
  • To introduce the class to Problem Based Learning
  • To involve parents in the Kindergarten Social Science program.


  • To plan a trip
  • To pack a "suitcase" for that trip
  • To make and support decisions

H/SS Content Standards:

K.3 Students match simple descriptions of work that people do and the names of those jobs with examples....

K.4 Students compare and contrast the locations of people, places, and environments and describe the human and physical characteristics by constructing maps and models of ...transportation lines.

1.4 Students compare and contrast everyday life in different times and places around the world and recognize that some aspects of people, places and things change over time and other stay the same in terms of ...transportation methods of earlier days.

H/SS Analysis Skills:

Chronological and Spatial Thinking

4. Students use map and globe skills to determine the absolute locations of places and interpret information available through maps...

5. Students judge the significance of the relative location of a place...

Information Literacy Skills:

  • Learn that information comes from many different sources.
  • Make decisions and choices based on information gathered.
  • Prepare and present a presentation.
  • Decide whether information is real or pretend.
  • Accept that often there isn't just one right answer.
Length of Lesson: 2 to 4 weeks.

Teacher's Resources:


  • Baker, This is the Way We Go to School
  • Bauman, Guess Where You're Going, Guess What You'll Do
  • Baur, My Mom Travels A Lot
  • Baynes, How Maps Are Made
  • Bell, The Book of Where
  • Bunting, How Many Days to America
  • Burton, Choo Choo
  • Burton, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
  • Cobb, Wheels
  • Field, Taxis
  • Fuchs, Journey to the Moon
  • Grammatky, Little Toot
  • Hill, What the Moon Astronauts Do
  • Hollingsworth, Paddle-to-the-Sea
  • Horenstein, Sam Goes Trucking
  • Jonas, Round Trip
  • Lambert, Transportation in the Future
  • Levinson, I Go With My Family to Grandma's
  • Levinson, Our Home is the Sea
  • Macaulay, Underground
  • Maestro, Taxi
  • Matheau, Busy City
  • Maynard, I Wonder Why Planes Have Wings and Other Questions About Transportation
  • Miller, Trucks
  • Misumasa, Anno's Journey
  • Ong, The Little Engine That Could Rides Again
  • Parker, What If...Space
  • Piper, The Little Engine That Could
  • Precek, Penny in the Road
  • Random House, Richard Scarry's Busiest People Ever
  • Rylant, The Relatives Came
  • Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go
  • Shaw, Sheep in a Jeep
  • Thompson, The Are So Many Ways of Going Places
  • Tippett, Tugs
  • Weiss, Maps, - Getting From Here to There


* See your County or District's Audio-Visual Guide.

Guest Speakers:

Bus Driver, Truck Driver, Airline Pilot, Fishing Boat Captain, Mountain Bike Champion, Motorcycle Rider etc.

Field Trips:

An airport, the truck stop, a rail yard or depot, a harbor, the motorcycle park, or the mountain bike trails etc.


  • From "Mockingbird Flight" The Economy Company, 1977
  • "The Aeroplane"
  • "The Bold Fisherman"
  • "The Bus"
  • "Fire Song"
  • "Goin' for a Ride"
  • "The Jolly Sailor"
  • "Let's Go Walking"
  • "Little Red Wagon"
  • "Now Let Me Fly"
  • "Old Brass Wagon"
  • "Over the River and Through the Woods"
  • "Pirate Crew"
  • "The Railroad Song"
  • "Taking Off"

Questions, comments, and suggestions may be addressed to:
Last Updated: 03.28.06