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This unit study includes lessons and activities based on the book Choo Choo the Runaway Engine by Virginia Lee Burton.

Thanks to Melissa Crabtree for preparing this Choo Choo the Runaway Engine Unit Study.

Choo Choo the Runaway Engine Unit Study Lessons

Here is a sample of the lessons found in this Choo Choo the Runaway Engine unit study:

Social Studies: Compare and Contrast Urban Life to Rural Life
Look at the differences in the pictures. The small town is mostly houses and a few small businesses. The city is made up of big buildings (businesses and apartment buildings) and skyscrapers. What is your city/town like? If you live in the city, have you ever visited a small town, or vice versa? How do we get between the two? How are businesses connected between the two? Choo Choo played a big role in mail/freight delivery and personal transportation. When this book was written, many people did not own their own cars, so they were dependent upon trains for transportation. Going to the city was a major outing for a family.

Language Arts: Train Vocabulary
Explore the following words this week: couple, cowcatcher, boiler, steam, gauge (in relation to trains, the distance between the rails), tender, pilot, connecting rods, locomotive, conductor, engineer, fireman, rail, tracks, and caboose.

Science: Steam
Discuss how steam is made. Explain how a heat source is required to heat the water and cause it to boil, thus creating steam. Putting a lid on it allows it to build up pressure and create the whistle as the pressure releases. Get a teapot or pressure cooker and allow your child to hear the whistle it makes as the steam comes out of a small hole because of the pressure created within. If you use a pressure cooker, you can take this a step further. After the pressure is built up and you hear the whistling, quickly (an adult with a potholder/glove on – IT WILL BE HOT) remove the cap and hear the ssssssSSSSSwish of the steam quickly releasing.

You can grab a copy of the entire Choo Choo the Runaway Engine unit study in an easy-to-print file at the end of this post.

How to Get Started with the Choo Choo the Runaway Engine Unit Study

Follow these simple instructions to get started with the Choo Choo the Runaway Engine unit study:

  1. Buy a copy of the book, Choo Choo the Runaway Engine, or grab one from your local library.
  2. Print the Choo Choo the Runaway Engine unit study.
  3. Choose the lessons you want to use with your student (a highlighter works great for this).
  4. Enjoy a week of book-based learning with your student.

Download Your Choo Choo the Runaway Engine Unit Study

Simply click on the image below to grab your free Choo Choo the Runaway Engine unit study.

Choo Choo the Runaway Engine Unit Study

Other Resources Based on Virginia Lee Burton Books

We love Virginia Lee Burton! Explore these other unit studies and lapbooks based on her fun books:

Katy and the Big Snow Printables
The Little House Unit Study & Lapbook