Teaching Economics with Children’s Literature: Little Blue Truck Leads the Way


 “Wooeee… went a siren.  Coming through!  Busy police car, things to do!”
“Up roared a taxi. Screech went the brakes.  Stop! yelled Blue. For goodness’ sakes!”.

Little Blue Truck Leads the Way is a children’s book written by Alice Schertle and illustrated by Jill McElmurry.  It’s pages are filled with rhymes and wonderful illustrations that describe Little Blue’s trip and depict occupations you would see in a city while teaching a lesson on manners.  As the Little Blue Truck, (who comes from the country), strolls through the city it encounters a police car, a double decker passenger bus, a grocery truck, a street sweeper, a limousine carrying the Mayor, and a taxi.  The Little Blue Truck also passes an art gallery, coffee and tea store, fast food restaurant, a bank, a hardware store, and a grocery stand.  In the city everyone is in a hurry, “beeping” and “screeching” to be the first to go.  Little Blue stops to give the Mayor a ride whose limousine breaks down in traffic.  The Little Blue Truck Leads the Way, and one at a time, everyone gets to where they want to go.

Curriculum Connections
Little Blue Truck Leads the Way could be used as a read aloud to compliment economics instruction when describing the work that people do and the names of their jobs (K.6).  As the Little Blue Truck makes it’s way through the city it encounters examples of many different occupations allowing for interesting class discussions.  The book also allows for discussion on the difference between some aspects of city life and country life and on manners.

Additional Resources

  • For additional resources on teaching economics to Kindergarten and a printable worksheet students try this website.
  • Here’s another great activity for kids about jobs in the community.
  • Want to add creative drama to your lesson?  Try these easy cut out and color hats to have students wear and pretend they have the profession of the hat.  Police officer  and  Fire fighter.  These can get the juices flowing, there are many more ideas teachers can use for creative drama and children’s literature.
  • Try this site for both building background knowledge and activity ideas.

Book:  Little Blue Truck Leads the Way
Alice Schertle
Jill McElmurry
Harcourt Children’s Books
Publication Date: 
40 pages
Grade Range: 

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