Trucks and Tractors: Kindergarten Shape Lesson

When my two boys were little, I would pack a lunch and drive to a construction site where we would sit on the hood of our car and watch the big rigs in action. They were memorized.
DK’s “Things That Go”
was their favorite book and before they turned 4, my sweet boys were experts on all types of excavators, front loaders, and diggers. Honestly. They just couldn’t get enough.

Last week I was searching for a one-time lesson for my kindergarten class. Another rotation was about to start and I really wanted the kids to finish up a project in one class session. I looked to the big rig bible, “Things That Go” and decided to combine a lesson using shapes with most kid’s love of machinery.

I photocopied pages from the book to hand out to the kids for inspiration, but mostly they were riveted on the white board. I drew four types of trucks and tractors, focusing on the wheels first, then the underbelly, cab and engine. I traced around the shapes with my finger so they could see how combining a bunch of circles, squares and rectangles can turn into a big rig of their choice.

Tip: Place a variety of round plastic lids or cups on the tables so if the kids want to trace a circle, they can. Many kids need a starting point: a place where they feel safe. Tracing the lids is really helpful in this manner.

This was a fun lesson for them. Many drew backgrounds and created all types of scenarios to place their big rig into. We used simple materials: white paper and crayons. That’s it. Simplicity at it’s best.

Kindergarten Results…


  1. Hope Chella says:

    This is so cute! I might try it with my kindergarten artists too! THANKS FOR THIS BLOG! :)

  2. Lori Decoite says:

    SIMPLE and GREAT! love it! thanks :)

  3. Keri Smathers Pye says:

    great shape lesson!

  4. c.f. says:

    I am taking my son to a local construction site today! Thanks for the great idea to mix shapes with big trucks. I love lessons with hidden lessons in them.

  5. 6p011570196a4c970c says:

    Wow! I can't believe how talented your kindergarden artists have become! This looks like a super project!

  6. Kids Music says:

    Very informative arts..Every art in your blog is giving some new messages..Thanks for sharing.

  7. Hino Trucks says:

    I have pictures like that on my fridge, lol thats awesome!

  8. Auto1 says:

    So cute!

  9. Auto Professionals says:

    Great blog, fantastic images.

  10. Ben Cousins says:

    Very uplifting, should be more stuff like this out there, good job, and also to all the artists.

  11. Truck says:

    I have to agree with Ben on this.

  12. Patty P says:

    Thanks everyone! Have to admit it, but these little tractors are one of my favorite lessons.

  13. Nissan4x4 says:

    Awwwwwwww, nice pictures, little tractors.

  14. Mercedes-Benz says:

    Children s art is so much more honest, just look at it, no pretension.

  15. Automotive Recruitment says:

    Maybe they had a great teacher :)

  16. Hino says:

    I hope you post more of the same, great blog!

  17. Mike D says:

    Wow! Great pictures. I wish I had been that talented in kindergarten. Although as one commenter said, a good teacher can make a huge difference.

    Good job!

  18. Rina says:

    Thanks so much for posting this lesson. It was perfect for kinders, and only took a single 40 minute class (with zero clean up). I This year I developed a powerpoint of cars and trucks to go with the lesson. It is on my new blog I did give you credit and link back to your posting.

  19. [...] much in the way of fancy supplies, but are dynamic and fun: Kinder-Second Grade Drawing/Painting: Trucks and Tractors, Turtles, Pig, Cow ,Joan Miro ,Flowers Collage: City at Night, [...]

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About Patty

I teach art to 400 school children in Goleta, California. My art library contains hundreds of free art lesson ideas. My shop has art lesson plans, videos and resources to help you teach art to kids. It's a whole lot easier with Deep Space Sparkle.

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