Basic English, Intermediate English, Zero English

Literacy on the tube

A huge haul of free tube-related language and literacy this week!

A huge haul of free tube-related language and literacy this week!

The London Underground is 150 years old this year! You don’t have to be London-based to take advantage of all the learning opportunities a tube topic has to offer. Overseas students will be able to experience a little bit of life in London, and students anywhere will be able to compare London transportation with modes of transportation in their home town. As always, click the thumbnails or the title to download each resource.

Tube activity plan

Ideas and instructions for using the following resources for tube-themed literacy learning.

Tube role play pack

Everything you need to turn your classroom into a tube station!* Signs, tickets, employee badges, ticket machines, timetables and more.

Adverts on the tube

Advertising accounts for a large proportion of the environmental print on the tube. Display these full-page ads for London attractions in your tube role play area, or use them to get students talking about places they know in London.

Blank tube stop signs

For use in your tube station role play, table signs, group name signs, name badges, or anything else you can think of! Color and black and white versions.

‘I can read on the tube’

A printable book for emergent readers. Features photos of signs, labels and symbols on the tube. Ideal for supporting concepts about print.

Tube vocabulary cards

Vocabulary for (almost) everything you will encounter on the tube. Use this set of photo cards to support students’ speaking and writing.

Make your own tube stop

Students can use upper or lower case letters to make their own tube stop named after themselves, their favorite sports team, their pet dog, or anything else they choose!

What do you see on the tube?

You can use this checklist to encourage observation as students visit a tube station, watch videos or look at pictures of the tube.

‘My tube journey’ writing frames

Support emergent writers to write about a journey on the tube. There are two versions of the writing frame, one with more support and one with less.

‘People who help us’ writing frames

If you are combining your tube topic with a ‘people who help us’ topic, use these writing frames to write about the Transport for London employees who help us travel around the city.

Tube stop labels by zone:

Useful for decoration, alphabetizing, word recognition, counting and sorting.

Zone 1

Zone 1

Zone 2

Zone 2

Zone 3

Zone 3

Zone 4

Zone 4

Can’t get to a tube station? Take your students on a virtual journey!

If you can’t get to a tube station, (or are understandably unwilling to take 30 5-year olds on the tube!) you can take your class on a virtual tube ride with this excellent youtube video. Through the eyes of a passenger, students will arrive at the station, go through the ticket gates, get on a train, ride a few stops and exit the station. There is no dialogue, so there is plenty of oppounity to narrate the video, look for environmental print, and reinforce vocabulary.

Looking to learn a little more about the tube?

While the numbers and facts given by the narration are probably too difficult for young learners, there are lots of good images of stations, driver’s view shots, and shots of drivers. Plus, it’s only 3 minutes long!

Know of any more good tube resources? contact me or leave a comment.

Where do you teach? Would you like customized resources for your city? Fill in the reader survey or email requests to earlyyearsenglish at gmail dot com.The city with the most votes gets it!

*Except the trains and the rats, you can provide them yourself 😉

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