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Trucks at Work

How do juicy oranges arrive at a grocery store in winter? Cargo trucks are on the road year-round. Create your own business fleet!

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Invite students to watch short videos of various cargo trucks. What loads do they carry-furniture, animals, building materials, computers, food, mail, gasoline, or trash? Have students investigate the names of parts on a cargo truck such as the cab, trailer, side-view mirrors, mud flaps, and axles. Many trucks have bright, colorful signs on the trailer's sides. Ask students to share the reasons for these signs.
    2. Organize students into small groups. Inform them that they will run their own trucking business. The group will determine what loads their cargo trucks will carry, as well as why those particular products. Groups select a name for their business. Here are some ideas about how to make your own cargo truck. Use your imagination to make your own Trucks at Work. Design a whole fleet with recycled boxes to make your trailer and cab.
    3. Students groups will be designing their own Trucks at Work using recycled boxes for the trailer and cab. Begin by asking groups to cover their work area with recycled newspaper. Distribute boxes, scissors and glue. Students will use the sides of the boxes as patterns, cutting them to selected sizes using Crayola® Scissors. Then cut construction paper to cover the cardboard sides. Use Crayola School Glue to glue paper to the trailer and cab. Air dry.
    4. Students use Crayola Washable Markers and Crayola Gel Markers to design signs on both sides of the trailer and the cab. Bright colored letters outlined in another color will make signs stand out.
    5. Cut cab windows from white paper. Glue on to cab. Air dry.
    6. For a chrome effect, use Gel Markers to outline windows and doors, and draw windshield wipers, door handles, and hinges. To make mirrors, glue aluminum foil to construction paper. Glue onto a folded paper strip (to make it stand out) and then onto the truck. Encourage groups to add other details to make the truck unique. Glue the cab to the trailer. Air dry.
    7. Corrugated cardboard can be used for the wheels. If needed, adults can assist with cutting the wheels. Ask groups how many wheels will their trucks will need. Students use wheels as patterns to cut black construction paper tires. Glue tires to wheels. Air dry.
    8. Gel Markers can be used to draw fancy spokes on the wheels. Glue wheels to upside-down truck. Air dry.
    9. For axles, cut a thin, black strip of paper for each pair of wheels. Glue between wheels. Cut and glue mud flaps behind the last two pairs of wheels. Air dry.
    10. Provide time in the school day for student groups to explain to classmates what their trucks carry, the type of truck each is, and why their selected business is important to people.
  • Standards

    LA: Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal contrast, addition, and other logical relationships.

    MATH: Solve problems involving measurement and conversion of measurements from a larger unit to a smaller unit.

    SS: Identify examples of private and public goods and services.

    SS: Describe how we depend upon workers with specialized jobs and the ways in which they contribute to the productions and exchange of goods and services.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Trashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman & David Clemensha; Big Book of Things That Go by DK Publishing; The Truck Book by Harry McNaught

    Students work in small groups to focus on the types of products transported in trucks. Select a single product, a point of origin, and a destination. Draw a map illustrating the beginning of their truck adventure and the final stop. Highlight the route taken to deliver your selected product. How many miles did you trip cover?


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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