Community helpers include police officers, postal employees, doctors, shopkeepers, and many others workers who help make the community a better place to live. Check out the community helper Web sites below for games, information, and printable worksheets you can use in your preK and primary classrooms. Included: Teacher resources and lesson plan ideas.
The social studies program for most children in the primary grades focuses on their own community. A study of community helpers frequently provides an accessible, "user-friendly" way of introducing students to the concepts they're expected to learn. Why not introduce your students to their community by visiting one of the Web sites below for age appropriate games, information, and other resources?
Scholastic's Community Club Web page is a fantastic and easy-to-navigate resource for the K-2 emerging reader. Students click one of eight community helpers -- including a police officer, mayor, veterinarian, and pizza maker -- to see photos and hear audio of that worker describing his or her job. Each page also includes two or three simple text sentences, each with a clickable audio clip. Emerging readers can read the sentences alone or while listening to the corresponding audio. Each community helper's section ends with a brief interactive comprehension quiz designed to help students who might have struggled with some of the text. The printable badge at the end of the quiz is a great motivator. Finally, a teacher's guide provides standard correlations, extension activities, as well as extra resources and links.
Ben's Guide to the U.S. Government for Kids: Our Neighborhood
Just one section of a fairly extensive Federal Government Web site, Our Neighborhood is presented in the form of an interactive map. Students click a building on the map -- such as the library, for example -- to find out about a community helper who works in that building. The activity includes six helpers, with only about five sentences about each, but the information is written at a level appropriate for 3rd grade or below, making it one of the few research-based sites on this topic accessible for this age group. Easy navigation buttons help students return to the map or direct teachers to other sections of the Ben's Guide site.
What's My Job?
This easy-to-navigate game by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development matches job descriptions to pictures of community helpers. Students read a sentence, such as, "I deliver mail to your house." They then must click one of six pictures of community helpers. If they correctly match the helper to the job description, a voice chimes, "You're right" and students click a happy face to continue. If they mismatch the items, students are told to click the sad face and try again. With basic sentence structure, easy-to-understand directions, and appropriate vocabulary and icons, this is an excellent activity for any K-2 emerging readers.
Community Helpers Theme: Preschool Activities and Crafts
This site for teachers only contains many printable worksheets, lesson ideas, coloring pages and more for use in a community helper unit. Although a number of other Web sites offer similar information, none have as colorful and education-oriented printable sheets as this one. For example, click the nurse to go to a printable page with a lower and upper case N, directions for writing that letter, and a colorful image of a nurse. Each helper section includes a list of links to additional online resources.
Community Helpers at Enchanted Learning
Enchanted Learning provides a wealth of worksheets, information, and activities for young children on any number of topics; the section on community helpers is no exception. Preschoolers will love the online truck game, at which they can build their own ambulance, fire truck, and more. Other activities include directions for making edible fire trucks from graham crackers, locations of printable calendars, steps for building a cityscape from boxes, and much more!
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Article by Lorrie Jackson
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