I always love to teach about community helpers to my students. The topic is an easy one that they can relate to and get excited about. It’s also an important one. Our kids need to be able to recognize the people in their community who are helping to serve and protect them. They need to learn to trust people like police officers, firefighters, doctors, and nurses. There are so many ways to teach community helpers in your classroom. Here are some of my favorite ways to have fun with community helpers.
Community Helpers Activities
Community helpers is an easy unit to have fun with. It can easily come alive in your classroom. There are tons of different interactive and engaging activities you can choose from to bring the topic to life. I like to use a variety of different activities and mix it up so we can explore community helpers in a few different ways.
Begin with a Book
One of my favorite ways to introduce a new topic or unit is with a story! Kids love stories and read alouds so it is a great way to engage them in the topic without them even knowing. At my school, our reading curriculum includes some great stories for community helpers. However, you don’t have use the Scott Foresman Reading Street curriculum to begin with a book.
Here are a few of my favorite books to read during our community helper unit:
- Miss Bindergarten Takes a Field Trip
- Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do
- The Berenstein Bears Jobs Around Town
- Pete the Cat Firefighter Pete
- Whose Hands are These
I incorporate these books and many others into my lessons and our day during out community helpers unit.
One of the first books I read is always Miss Bindergarten Takes a Field Trip. I love the story so much that I created an interactive notebook resource to go with it. It’s a great way to connect what we are learning in class to a great book.
These are just a few of the skills and concepts covered through this Miss Bindergarten resource:
- beginning sounds
- rhyming words
- community helpers
- classify and categorize
- making list
- compare and contrast
You can find this Miss Bindergarten book companion resource in my store at Teachers Pay Teachers.
Engage with Digital Activities
We all know that students love using technology. And . . . technology is their future. So we owe it to our students to get them using technology in different ways. I like to incorporate digital activities into my lessons. Not only are they great for increasing engagement, but they are also a great way to teach technology skills without ever going to the computer lab.
Two of my favorite digital activities include Boom Cards and Google Slides activities. Both are highly interactive and allow students to practice important skills.
Boom cards are all the rage and for good reason. They provide an interactive way for kids to master a skill while having fun doing it. Boom cards also offer instant feedback because they are self correcting. They are paper-less, easy to prep, and can be accessed on a website or an app! What’s not to love about them?
Similar to Boom Cards is using Google Slides as a platform for completing digital activities. Students will be able to drag and drop different items as they interact with the questions.
Both Boom Cards and Google Slides provides students with a game-like feel that they love. And . . . as busy teachers we love that these no prep activities are easy to incorporate into the classroom. If you are not at a 1:1 campus you can easily add these activities into your center rotations. Both Boom Cards and Google Slides can be used on a computer or tablet.
Of course I had to create a digital activity especially for community helpers! These digital sorting and categorizing activities are the perfect addition to your community helper unit. You and your kiddos will love it!
Both the Boom Card version and the Google Slides version includes 20 cards, each with a different community helper and their building. These community helpers are included:
- police officer
- construction worker
- and more!
Students will choose the 5 tools that go with the helper and place them in the building. It’s interactive learning at its best!
You can find these digital community helper activities on Teachers Pay Teachers. Just choose the version that matches the platform you want to use.
Have Fun With Community Helper Dress Up
As an elementary teacher, I love to incorporate dress up opportunities in my class! It is always so much fun to see the kiddos’ imaginations come to life. Community Helpers are the perfect dress up opportunity. All you have to do is decide how you want to celebrate.
One option is to have in class dress up opportunities. You can have a community helpers dramatic play center that includes costumes and props. This is a great way for students to connect with their social studies learning at a different level. You will love watching as your students start bringing to life all they learn about community helpers.
Another option is to have a special community helper dress up day. For this option, students will have the opportunity to come to school dressed up as a community helper. This always sparks some great discussion as to why each student chose the community helper that they did. I love to have students tell the class who they dressed up as and why. It’s a sneaky little way to get in some of those oral speaking standards. If you choose this option don’t forget to plan in advance and give parents a couple weeks of notice.
A Community Helper Field Trip
There’s nothing that helps students make real world connections with their learning than field trips. There are so many great community places the class can visit. In the past I’ve taken my students to the fire station, the police station, a local farm and the grocery store / bakery. Not all at one time though!
I’m sure with some asking, you can find a community helper that would love to host a field trip for your students. Make sure to start planning early! Many of these places will need a month or more of notice. You might also need that extra time to put in a bus request or get the field trip approved by your administration.
Host a Community Helper Day
If you can’t go to a community helper, why not bring one or more community helpers to you! Host a Community Helper Day and invite local community helpers to come and talk to your class. I love to make a morning of it and invite multiple community helpers from our area to come and talk to the class.
We set up different stations and divide up all the kindergarten students (by class or smaller groups) to rotate through all the community helpers. Some of the guests like to bring their equipment and vehicles too! The students LOVE meeting real life community helpers and hearing about their jobs.
You can start by asking parents who are community helpers to be part of the day. Then contact your local fire and police departments, your utility companies and even some local politicians. A call to your favorite doctor, dentist, and veterinarian is a great option too. With a variety of community helpers represented your students will have a day of learning ahead!
Fun with Community Helpers
Teaching about community helpers is one of my favorite units of the year and now you can see why! I hope you have found some ideas that you can use in your classroom too. Save these community helpers ideas on your favorite classroom Pinterest board so you can come back when you are ready to teach about community helpers.