Talking About Cars and Trucks

Use a School Readiness Activity to provide early literacy thinking experiences for preschool children that will prepare them to do well in the early grades.
Teaching Strategies:
Updated on: October 14, 2004

Talking About Cars and Trucks


  • To listen to and understand information; to retell facts
  • To compare and contrast
  • To build vocabulary

Toy cars and trucks


Literature Suggestion
Read Construction Trucks by Jennifer Dussling, Road Builders by B. G. Hennessy, or any appealing book with lots of cars and trucks.

Ask children how they got to school. Discuss the idea that people often get places by bus, car, and truck. If your windows look out on a road, count how many cars and trucks pass by in a minute or two. Talk about the differences between a car and a truck. Help English Language Learners by holding up pictures of a car and a few different types of trucks. Have children make the sounds of car horns (beep, beep!) and engines (vroom-vroom!).


  • Read the book and talk about the vehicles in the illustrations. Make sure children understand any new vocabulary. Ask children to repeat new words and use them. Ask children to talk about how cars and trucks are alike and different. Gently encourage quiet children to participate by asking them inviting questions, such as: What car or truck do you like best?
  • Pass out the toy vehicles. Talk about the toys — what their names are, what they do, and what colors they are. Then ask partners to tell each other about their toys.
  • Encourage children to engage in imaginative play with the toys. Listen to how they talk to themselves and others about the toy cars and trucks.
Place groups of cars and trucks on a table for counting. Help children to see categories by asking questions. Examples: How many trucks are there? How many red trucks are on the table? How many pickup trucks? If I take away this red truck, how many are left?

Observation Assessment

  • Proficient - Child listens attentively to what the teacher and other children say, and can retell facts using new vocabulary.
  • In Process - Child has difficulty keeping attention focused on what the teacher and other children are saying, but may be able to repeat some facts.
  • Not Yet Ready - Child is inattentive and does not yet participate in discussion.

Excerpted from

School Readiness Activity Cards
Pearson Early Childhood
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.
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