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Social Studies Lesson Plan Links: Community Helpers, Grades K-1

Social Studies Lesson Plan Links: Community Helpers, Grades K-1


Research: Have students research a particular firefighting tool or piece of equipment to learn more about it. They may also research to learn more about different types of communities portrayed in the book: cities, country towns, forests, and waterfronts. Discuss your community and the various types of helpers who work there.

Science: Discuss the mechanics of some of the firefighting equipment, pointing to the images and explaining how each part works, e.g., engines, levers, pumps, water pressure, suction, propellers, parachutes, etc.

Vocabulary: Have students group vocabulary words into categories (see vocabulary lists): fire-related/descriptive words; firefighter/action/equipment words; community words; image labels; etc. Discuss how the words are connected. Create word clouds and add to them. Do a study together of unfamiliar words. Have students practice inferring meaning from context, as they did in their close reading for the word alerts.

Writing: Have students write a short report about something they have learned about communities and helpers and/or fires and firefighters from the text(s) and/or from their research. Have younger students draw a labeled picture and/or dictate sentences. Students may also respond to writing prompts such as the following:

  • Which type of community would you like to live in, and why?
  • How can you be a helper in your community? Do you think you would like to be a firefighter, police officer, paramedic, or other type of community helper? Why or why not?
  • Describe what happens when someone calls the emergency number to report a fire.

Poetry: Select a poem about community helpers and/or firefighters to read. Examples include “Ten Tall Firefighters” and “When I Grow Up” by Grace Andreacchi. Have students write their own short poems. https://sites.google.com/site/graceandreacchi/for-children/little-poems-for-children.

Art: Have students draw firefighters responding to and fighting a fire. Encourage them to include labels like the book. Students may also draw instructional images for how to prevent a fire, and what to do in case of a fire. Students may choose to draw a floor plan of their classroom, school, and/or home with marked escape routes.

Music: Show children a video about firefighters. Here is a short video and song about fire trucks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lzb9v2iQH4o. Sing a song together about fire safety, such as this: http://www.dltk-kids.com/crafts/miscellaneous/fire_safety_song.htm. More songs can be found here: http://www.kidsfirefighter.com/2011/06/firefighting-songs-to-play-for-your.html

Drama: Have students act out how to prevent fires and respond during a fire. Have them act out different types of firefighters in various settings. Have the class guess what scenario each student is acting out.