In Front Of or Behind


  • To understand the concepts of in front of and behind
  • To compare positions in space
  • To be able to talk about positions of in front of or behind

Train books or pictures of trains; cards with simple drawings of train car shapes and the words engine, passenger car, and caboose written on them; strip with outlines of train cars

Literature Suggestion
Read The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper, or another train book. Help children identify different train cars such as engine, flatcar, and caboose.

in front of

Ask children to talk about some things they know about trains. Gently prompt with questions such as, "What is the name of the car that is in the front that pulls the train? What cars come behind the engine?"


  • Tell children that they are going to play the "Train Game." Invite three children to be the engine, the passenger car, and the caboose, and have them hold the signs up. Read each sign aloud.
  • As you position children, explain the concepts of in front of and behind.
  • Have the train move around the room. When the children return to the circle, have them hand their signs to three other children. Help children tell where the engine stands, where the passenger car stands, and where the caboose stands. Continue the activity until everyone has had a turn being part of the train.
  • When children line up in the course of daily activities, ask them questions about their positions. Who are you standing in front of? Who are you standing behind? Who is in front of Bob?
  • At a center, place small versions of the engine, passenger car, caboose, and a strip with the outlines of the railroad cars on it. Children match the cars to their outline shapes.
  • Demonstrate the activity using the positional words. "The engine goes in front of the passenger car."
  • For children who are ready, you may also wish to use train cars to teach the ordinal words of first, second, and third.

Observation Assessment

  • Proficient - Child easily demonstrates the meanings of in front of and behind.
  • In Process - Child participates but needs help when asked to demonstrate the meaning of in front of or behind.
  • Not Yet Ready - Child does not yet demonstrate the meanings of in front of and behind.

Excerpted from School Readiness Activity Cards. The Preschool Activity Cards provide engaging and purposeful experiences that develop language, literacy, and math skills for preschool children.

If you need to teach it, we have it covered.

Start your free trial to gain instant access to thousands of expertly curated worksheets, activities, and lessons created by educational publishers and teachers.

Start Your Free Trial

Follow us on:

Follow TeacherVision on Facebook
Follow TeacherVision on Google Plus


Happy Halloween! Students love this fall holiday; take advantage of it! You'll find everything from costume patterns and printable Halloween masks to counting activities and vocabulary lessons.

2016 Presidential Elections
Election season is here! Help your students understand the process of our national elections (held on Tuesday, November 8), from the President down to local representatives, with our election activities. Read short biographies of presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton (D) and Donald Trump (R), explore mock election ideas, create presidential trading cards, learn election vocabulary, play election bingo and more!

October Calendar of Events
October is full of events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum! Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: Chemistry Week (10/16-22), Make a Difference Day (10/22), Black Tuesday (10/29/1929), and Halloween (10/31). Plus, celebrate Bullying Prevention Month, Computer Learning Month, Diversity Awareness Month, Family History Month, Fire Prevention Month, International Dinosaur Month, Learning Disabilities Month, and School Safety Month all October long!