The children shared their memories of riding a school bus last month for our field trips to the Children’s Theater and Lincoln Park Zoo. A few told stories of riding the white city buses to a friend’s home. They also expressed questions, such as “How many passengers can fit on a bus?” and “How do the doors open? Maybe there is a special button?” We decided to embark on an investigation of buses, researching with non-fiction books as well as first hand accounts from everyday bus transit riders: Ms. Fitzgerald and Ms. Wadington.
Both teachers have been documenting their morning commutes, taking video and photographs of the interior/exterior of buses, bus stop signs, and even asking bus drivers our students’ budding questions. Each morning at Morning Meeting, we share more information and insight on buses. For example, through photographs inside the bus, students observed how passengers signal to the driver that they would like to get off, as well as what is available for standing passengers to hold on to so they do not lose their balance. With all of these features in mind, it was time to turn the wardrobe into a bus.
We began by covering the exterior of the bus with yellow butcher paper. The children worked in pairs in the TinkerLab to tape the large paper around the bus. This portion of the project was done with very little teacher assistance, allowing the children to problem solve together the needed lengths of paper and tape. Our SK friends stopped by for a visit and to offer some advice and assistance. The next step was to add the polka dots and stars. Using large stencils, each student had an opportunity to paint shapes around the bus. View the time lapse video below to see just how the painting of the PK bus came to be!