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Riding the Bus

Context for this Lesson

Teaching Strategies: 
School District: 
School or Organization: 

GENERAL TOPIC:  Vocational Skills- Learning to Use the Bus   

GRADE: 10th Grade; Life Skills

FOCUS QUESTIONS: When might we choose to ride the bus? What are general guidelines for riding the bus? How can learning how to ride the bus assist us in our future?


  • Map
  • Chalk
  • Copies of Learning to Use the Bus or the electronic version, depending on classroom resources and student needs.
  • Chart paper
  • Markers


Life Skills- Modified/Aligned TEKS:

English Language Arts and Reading:

  • Reading/comprehension. The student comprehends selections using a variety of strategies.

The student is expected to:

B. Establish and adjust purposes for reading such as reading to

reading to find out, to understand, to interpret, to enjoy, and to

solve problems


117.64- Theatre I

(1)  Perception. The student develops concepts about self, human relationships, and the environment, using elements of drama and conventions of theatre. The student is expected to:

 (C)  employ stage movement and pantomime consistently to express thoughts, feelings, and actions;

Vocational Skills:

  • Using public transportation
  • Interacting appropriately with other members of the community




"If you would all please come and make a circle in the center of the room. Let’s all sit down, so that we can be comfortable and talk together. Today we are going to continue our conversation on different methods of transportation that we might use. Before we do that, I want to share with you something that I found outside of school today. I’m very puzzled by it, and I need your help to figure out what it is!" Teacher brings small folded and slightly crumpled paper out of her pocket. Teacher places artifact under doc camera, so that the image can be projected on the screen for all students to see the detail on the artifact more closely.

  • Describe: What do you all think this is? Describe for me what this looks like…
    • You all are noticing some great things about this object. Hmm…it looks like there might be something on the other side of it…let’s unfold the paper and see what is on the other side. Maybe that will give us more clues as to what this object might be.
    • What else do you see now that it is unfolded?
  • Analyze: Why do you think there are lines on it? Street names? What might all of these pictures mean? What do we think this object is? Allow for student responses. I think that you all are right, this looks to me like a bus route map.
  •  Relate:
    • Why might the owner need this map? What could it be used for? What type of map might this be? Why would someone need to ride the bus?

Transition:  "Great job helping me to identify that artifact. I hope that the owner will be okay without it! I am going to put it over here on the teacher’s desk, just in case the owner comes looking for it." Teacher puts map on the desk, visible for students to see. "Now that we have found this bus route map, lets talk about buses as a method of transportation for a moment. Please join me in front of the chalkboard and lets do some brainstorming.

SHARE INFORMATION: Read: Learning to Use the Bus


Teacher writes "Bus" clearly on the board. "What does a bus look like? Okay, if a bus is big, does it have the ability to carry only one person? Two people? Where might we see a bus? Who might ride the bus? Why would someone choose to ride the bus? Where might they be going? Allow for student responses. There are many reasons why someone might use the bus…they might be going to school, to work, to the doctor’s office, or even the grocery store. Why might it be important for you to know how to use the bus?" Allow for student responses. "Well, now we are going to read a story all about how to ride the bus! Please bring your chairs around me in a circle, and I will read aloud to you. I may be asking questions throughout the reading, so be sure to pay attention to the story."

Share the story of Learning to Ride the Bus

Transition: "Now that we have read our story and learned what steps need to be taken in order to successfully ride the bus, why don’t we do some practice! Everyone please stand up and find your own space in the room."


  1. Procedure: Snapshots

"In our story, we learned seven different steps that we need to know in order to ride the bus. Now we are going to work through just a couple of those steps. First, I am going to pair you up with a classmate." Teacher has pre-made groups for this class of students, and arranges the students so that there are six groups of two. "Now that you have your partner, I am going to begin by reading aloud the first step to riding the bus that we are going to focus on and when I say, “Go,” I want you and your partner to show me how you make an image of that step using your body, and then I would like you to freeze in that position. I am going to take a picture of your frozen positions, and then make posters of them to display in our classroom! When you are trying to come up with your image, imagine that the poster of that step is for the rest of the school to see…what might you need to show with your body, so that other students can look at your poster and know exactly what that step is?"

Side coaching- Should students need a concrete example before they begin to make the images themselves: "For example, I might say, “One important step in riding the bus is to wait calmly and quietly for your bus.” Then you would show me with your body what it looks like to be waiting calmly and quietly for the bus. Once you have decided on how to show me with your body, you will freeze in that position and I will take a picture of your frozen image. Any questions? Okay, lets do the first one together. Step 1: Carry your bus pass or money in your pocket. Before we create this image with our partners, why might we need to carry a bus pass or money in our pocket?" Allow for student responses. "Excellent. Okay, now I am going to give you a minute to speak with your partner and decide on an image to create with your body that would represent you carrying your bus pass or money in your wallet." Teacher allows students to work for one minute then counts down the last 10 seconds. "Okay students, ten more seconds until we are showing our frozen images. 10..9..8..7..6..5..4..3..2..1..GO!" Students show frozen images. Teacher walks around and gets a picture of each of the images that students have created. Then she picks one group to stay frozen, while the rest of the students relax. "Okay, I would like for this group to stay frozen for just a moment and the rest of the groups to relax. What do you all notice about this group’s frozen image? Describe what you see? Why might their hands be in their pockets? Why might they be stretching their arm forward?" Teacher then asks students about the frozen image before moving on to the next step. "Great job, frozen groups you may also relax. Everyone take a quick couple of seconds to shake out your body before we move on to the next step!" After students have shaken out, the teacher continues the same sequence for the next three steps for riding the bus: 2. Show the bus driver your bus pass or put your money in the meter, 3. Sit near the front of the bus, and 4. Pull the cord when your bus stop is next. Each time the teacher will choose a different group (or two groups) to stay frozen, while the rest of the students relax and do D.A.R while examining the frozen image(s).

Transition: "Great job, class! You all really seemed to get the hang of the steps to ride the bus! I can’t help but still wonder about the owner of the bus route map that we found earlier. I would imagine that she probably needs our help, especially since she lost her map! In a moment, when I put on this jacket and headphones, I will become the owner of the lost map. Her name is Nancy and she is having a really bad day today, so lets be the helpful and respectful students that I know you are. Any questions?"  Teacher puts on jacket and headphones and becomes Nancy.

  1. Procedure: Teacher in Role

"Oh my goodness! My map! Oh, students, where did you find this? I have been looking all over for my map! Today has just been the WORST day! First, I woke up to go to the grocery store and when I tried to leave, my car wouldn’t start! I called my friend Sally for a ride but she was busy, and suggested that I take the bus. I have never taken the bus before! I don’t know the first thing about riding a bus! Do you think you all can help me? I printed off this route map that you found, and I know where my bus stop is…but what should I do first when the bus comes?" Allow for students to explain the first step in riding the bus: always using polite and quiet language. "What does that mean? My parents always told me that I am a very loud person…I also really like to talk to everyone that I meet. Can someone give me an example of how loud I should talk while on the bus?" Students demonstrate talking in a soft voice and being polite to the bus driver and to others. "Oh, okay, is this correct? (yelling) HI, HOW ARE YOU TODAY?" Students respond by telling her that although she was polite, she was too loud. "Okay, let me try that one again…Hi, how are you today? Like that?" Students respond. Teacher in role continues to play Nancy, while having the students explain step-by-step, showing her, the correct way to ride the bus. After the students help her, Nancy checks her watch and says, "Oh, look at the time! My bus is supposed to come in 15 minutes, so I should probably make my way down the street so that I don’t miss it! Thank you all so much for helping me. I feel very confident that I can ride the bus! It was so nice meeting you all! Have a great day (waving)!"

Transition: Teacher removes jacket and headphones and steps out of role. "You all did an excellent job in helping Nancy learn how to ride the bus. Lets talk a little bit about what you all just did."


Describe: What did we explore today? What problem did our friend Nancy experience?

Analyze: What did you do in order to help her solve the problem of being unfamiliar with riding the bus? What were the important steps did you teach her?

Relate: When is a situation in which you might use the bus as transportation? What information might you need to know in order to ride the bus? How might knowing how to ride the bus be helpful for you in the future?

Extensions/Applications : 
  • Once students have learned how to use the bus in the initial lesson, they could create a video PSA to teach others how to ride the bus.