Bus Driver

Children will explore bus drivers as community helpers and connect movement to literature.

Lesson Objective

Children will learn about bus drivers as community helpers and use the text in a book to discover new ways to move their bodies.


What You'll Need

  • Large space – enough for children to move safely without touching each other
  • Rubber spots or carpet squares – 1 per child
  • Music – any movement music (see Lesson Tips for suggestions)
  • Audio device – for playing music
  • Book – The Little School Bus by Margery Cuyler
  • Paper plates – 1 per child

What To Do

  1. Ask children to tell the different ways they get to school.
  2. Discuss reasons for riding on a bus (see Did You Know?).
  3. Ask the children what they think bus drivers do.
  4. Read the story, The Little School Bus.
  5. Discuss the different duties of the bus driver (see Did You Know?).
  6. Tell the children that they will be using creative movement to act out the story, The Little School Bus.
  7. Before reading, review the Important Rules of Dance (see Lesson Tips), and perform the steps of the warm-up:
    • Breathing – Take several deep breaths in and out slowly.
    • Touch – Using gentle energy, tap/tickle your skin all over the body (arms, shoulders, belly, legs, etc.). Then, using stronger energy, squeeze all over your body to wake up your skin and senses.
    • Get Moving – Do several movements that will get the blood flowing. Some examples might be jumping, running in place with high knees, swinging arms or kicking legs, and jumping with legs crossed and then open.
  8. Have the children stand on their spots to act out the story.
  9. As you reread the story, have the children suggest movements to match the text on each page (rumbling, shifting, clunking, bouncing, turning, thumping, going round the bend, and so on).
  10. Distribute the paper plates to use as steering wheels.
  11. Read the story again and play some music as the children use their paper plates to drive their buses using some of the movements they suggested during the second reading of the story.
  12. Wrap up the session with some cool-down movements. These can be any kind of slow, calming movements.

Guiding Student Inquiry

  • Describe what a community helper does.
  • Explain how a bus driver is a community helper.
  • Describe how you travel to get to places you need to go.
  • Tell me where buses take people.
  • Describe the duties of a bus driver.
  • Describe some movements you used that are like the movement of a bus.

Explore, Extend & Integrate

  • Discuss other ways of getting to school. Create a graph showing the different ways that the children get to school.
  • Partner the children, and give each partnership one hoop. Partner A will sit inside the hoop while the Partner B drives the bus around the hoops in the classroom. Partner A has arms outstretched, as in reaching out the bus window. When the music starts, Partner B gives the directions, “No hands out the windows!” Partner A brings arms down to their lap. Have the children trade places, and repeat.
  • Make a “bus” in your classroom using boxes or child-sized chairs. Decorate the boxes or paint a length of butcher paper to look like a school bus. Line up the boxes/chairs to make “seats” on the bus. Tape lengths of crepe paper to the chairs to use as “seat belts.” Make a driver’s seat in the front of the bus with a windshield (you can draw it), wipers, horn, and a steering wheel so children can take turns being the bus driver. The children can pretend to be traveling to school, the library, the zoo, the park, and so forth.

Check for Children’s Understanding

  • Could children describe a community helper as someone who helps the people in the community?
  • Could children explain that a bus driver is a community helper because they help people travel to where they need to go?
  • Could children name some places where a bus might take people?
  • Could children describe the duties of a bus driver?


Did You Know?

Community helpers are people in the community who help other people by providing a service. Bus drivers are individuals who drive buses to help people travel to where they need to go. Cars, taxis, and trains are other ways people travel to where they want to go. Public buses take people to work, home, or on errands such as to the bank, post office, or laundromat. School bus drivers take children to and from school.

Bus drivers have many responsibilities. Not only are they responsible for transporting people where they need to go, but they also need to make sure that the bus is clean and in proper working order. Bus drivers need to keep to their schedule, announce stops, help people on and off the bus, and deal with problems on the bus. Public bus drivers also collect fares. School bus drivers enforce rules to keep the children safe as they travel to school.

Vocabulary: Child-Friendly Definitions

  • community helper – a person who does a task or performs a service in a particular area where people live.
  • duties – things that a person must do for a particular job.
  • driver – the person whose job it is to operate the car, truck, bus, or other vehicle.
  • steering wheel – the round thing that turns in circles; you use it to control the direction of a vehicle.
  • rumbling – a low, heavy, rolling movement.
  • clunking – movement with a dull, heavy sound.

Lesson Tips

  • Important rules of dance:
    • Listen to the teacher; wait to move, and stop moving when the teacher tells you.
    • Keep your body safe while moving.
    • Stay in your own self-space.
  • A drum or tambourine can be used in place of music, if desired.


  • The Little School Bus by Margery Cuyler
  • School Bus by Donald Crews
  • Molly Rides the School Bus by Julie Brillhart
  • The Wheels on the Bus by Paul O. Zelinsky
  • Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems

Home School Resources

Home educators: use these printable lesson PDFs to teach this lesson to your home schoolers. They're available in English and Spanish.

Home/School Connections

Las Conexiones a la Casa

While we believe that the books and resources recommended may be of value to you, keep in mind that these are suggestions only and you must do your own due diligence to determine whether the materials are appropriate and suitable for your use. PNC has no sponsorship or endorsement agreement with the authors or publishers of the materials listed.

Content Provided By

Common Core State Standards Initiative – These lessons are aligned with the Common Core State Standards ("CCSS"). The CCSS provide a consistent, clear understanding of the concepts and skills children are expected to learn and guide teachers to provide their students with opportunities to gain these important skills and foundational knowledge [1]. Visit the CCSS