As a former Pre-Kindergarten teacher and now stay-at-home mommy of 2 boys and a sweet baby girl, many people ask me how they can be implementing educational concepts in the lives of their young children at home before they enter school. Instead of trying to come up with a quick list of ideas off the top of my head to answer these questions, I have decided to put all of my lessons into this blog. I, along with so many other parents, want to be purposeful at home with my children and make the most of the time I have with them.
I hope that this blog can help, encourage, and inspire you to work with your kiddos and
get involved in the learning process! The benefits will be endless,
and the moments you share together will be priceless! As Dr. Seuss once said,
"The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn, the more places you'll go!"

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Thinking Theme: Community Helpers

Letter of the Week: Hh

Number of the Week: 6

Bible Verse of the Week: "My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth." Psalm 121:2


So many fun songs here at Preschool Education!
Lesson 1: Community Helpers Matching Game
* To understand the term community
* To understand what a community helper is and recognize different ones
* To match each community helper with the tools they use

* Community Helpers printout
* scissors

1. Cut out each community helper picture, as well as the items they use. (My cards look a little different because I had these during my teaching years.  The printout I created for you above looks very similar.)

2. Talk about each community helper and what they do. Review the matches first so your child knows what goes together.

3. Have your child match each set together. This game can be played throughout the week!  You can also glue the matching items next to each other on some paper.

Lesson 2: License Plate Game/Speed Limit Game (Police Officer)
* To understand who a police officer is and his/her role in the community
* To recognize what a license plate is
* To discuss the importance of driving rules and going the speed limit
* To recognize letters and numbers and say their names

* letters and numbers (they can be magnetic, cookie cutters, felt, or just written and cut out)
* a pretend vehicle (we used Sawyer's jeep, you can even make one out of a cardboard box!)
* something to hold and display the letters (we used a pan because our letters were magnetic)

1. Talk about who a police officer is and what he/she does in our community.  Discuss the jobs of helping people, making sure drivers go the speed limit on the road, and catching bad guys! :)

2. Explain what a license plate is and talk about how police officers look at license plates when cars are pulled over if they are going too fast.  You can look at the actual license plate on your real car to show your child.  Ask them to say the letters and numbers on the plate.

3. Tell your child you are going to play a game in which one of you will pretend to be a police officer and the other will be a speeding driver.  The police officer will pull the car over and have to check the license plate.

4. Place letters and numbers on the pan (or whatever you use) in any random order and place it on the car.  Have the child drive first and you be the officer.  As you pull the car over, show your child how to check the license plate by saying the letters and numbers aloud.  Then switch roles so your child can do the letter and number recognition.

5. Have fun with this game!  The kids will love it!  We even got out a bubble gun to pretend it was the police officer's radar!

Lesson 3: Mailbox Match (Mail Carrier)
* To understand who a mail carrier is and his/her role in the community
* To recognize that mail carriers place letters in a specific mailbox for each person
* To match envelopes to the correct mailbox according to letters, numbers, and shapes

* envelopes
* 3-4 boxes that can represent mailboxes
* a bag that your child can put the envelopes in like a mail carrier
* letters, numbers, and shapes (these can be magnetic, blocks, or printout
* markers

1. Explain who a mail carrier is and how he/she delivers mail to everyone in the city.  Talk about how they have to look at the envelopes to see which mailbox they need to go in.

2. Set out 3-4 boxes and pretend they are mailboxes.  Start with matching shapes.  Place a shape in front of each mailbox.  Then draw the shapes on the envelopes.  Place the envelopes in the bag, and have your child deliver the mail to the correct box.

3. Do the same for letters and numbers.  Remember with letters to do uppercase and lowercase!

4. Again, have fun with this.  I let Sawyer where my hat to look like a real mailman!

Lesson 4: Fire Safety (Firefighter)
* To understand who a firefighter is and his/her role in the community
* To recognize the danger of fire
* To learn how to use fire safety rules and practice them

1. Talk about what a firefighter does and how they protect us from fires.  Discuss how dangerous fire can be and the importance of fire safety.

2. Watch both of the you tube videos and ask your child questions about them.  Talk about what the children in the videos did to be safe.

3.  Talk about what to do if your clothes catch on fire.  Teach your child how to "stop, drop, and roll."  Demonstrate it for them and then have them do it to practice.

4. Teach your child about getting down low and crawling if there is smoke in the room.

5. Talk about what to do if the door is closed to the room.  Teach them to use their sense of touch to feel if the door is hot.  If it is hot, then do not open it.  It is feels normal, it's ok to open it.

6.  Go around your house to look for smoke detectors.  Discuss the importance of these alarms and what to do if you hear one.  Check to see if they are all working properly.

* Some of these discussions can be scary for kids, but they are very important.  If you have an older child, now is a good time to develop an escape plan and practice it with them.  Help your child to remember to stay calm and use these rules so that they will be safe and not get hurt!

Lesson 5: Community Book
* To review the community helpers you have learned about this week
* To understand that these helpers have specific work places in the community
* To drive by or visit these places around your city and take pictures of them
* To create a picture book to help your child remember who the community helpers are, what they do, and where they work
* To use the fine motor skills involved with cutting, gluing, pasting, and writing

* construction paper
* scissors
* glue
* pencil
* hole punch
* string or ribbon
* printed pictures of places where community helpers work

1.  Drive around your community and take pictures of special places where community helpers work.  We went to the fire station, the doctor's office and hospital, the post office, the grocery store, the police station, and Sawyer's school.

2. When you get back home, load the pictures to your computer and print them. (or you can have them printed somewhere)

3.  Create a community helper book using the pictures.  I printed the pictures with words as you can see below, but you don't have to do it this way.  You can just write out the sentences if you like.  We glued the pictures to construction paper to make the book a little sturdier.  I left a space for Sawyer to write the name of the community helper that works at each place.  Of course I had to guide his hand as he did this, but if your child can write on their own, that's fantastic, too!  Punch holes in the side of the pages and tie them together with a ribbon or string to complete the book!

Extra Thinking
* Letter Hh - place Happy stickers on the letter Hh

* Pretend Play - Your child can pretend to be different kinds of community helpers: teacher - draw on chalk board or read books aloud, doctor - create a doctor's kit with band-aids, gauze, tweezers, etc, plumber - play with safe tools and pretend to fix the sink or bathtub

* Community Helper Puppets found here at First Palette

* Lots of Community Helper Lessons here at Perpetual Preschool

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