Community helper activities for kindergarten introduce students to a wide variety of occupations, such as baker, astronaut, fisherman, firefighter, postman, librarian, doctor, nurse, pilot, police officer, teacher and zookeeper. While students may be fast to recognise community helpers, they may not be aware of the many ways in which these professionals help communities. Use arts and crafts, games, songs and field trips to expand a student's understanding and appreciation of community helpers.
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People and Places
Introduce students to a baker, who often plays a central role in the community. Discuss how bakers provide baked foods, such as cakes, pastries and other desserts, for a community's special events, which include holidays, weddings, funerals, religious events and other celebrations. Create a tray filled with sample baked goods from various cultures. Differentiate samples by inserting miniature flags revealing their nations of origin. Challenge the children to identify the country and the baked good. Plan a field trip to a speciality bakery that provides baked goods for a particular culture, such as French, German, Jewish, Hispanic, Greek or Italian. Point out the different baked goods in the bakery and ask the children which goods belong to which holiday or event. Have the students consider how the bakery's goods differ from the baked goods they see in the grocery store.
Select six types of community helpers, such as policeman, firefighter, doctor, dentist, teacher and postman. Create a game board for each community helper. Divide each board into four equal squares. Find pictures of four tools per community helper. For example, a firefighter's tools may encompass a fire hose, a fire truck, a fireman's helmet, and a walkie-talkie. Create a card for each tool that fits into a single square on a game board. Place the 24 tool cards into a lucky dip. Hand the game boards out to the students. Have them take turns drawing a tool card. Ask them to place the card on their boards if the tool matches their community helper and, if not, to pass the card to the student with the correct community helper.
Arts and Crafts
Have the children create a police uniform to honour the ways in which police officers protect the community. Find an image of a policeman's badge on the Internet, print and copy. Hand the copies out to your students, so they can cut out and laminate the badges. Have students cut out a circle from the bottom of a paper grocery bag for their heads as well as circles on each side of the bag for their arms. Ask them to flatten their bags on long craft tables. Hand out blue tempera paint and sponges and have your students paint their bags. Allow the bags to dry. Ask your students to cut a long narrow strip of black construction paper, and then glue the strip on the fronts of their bags to form belts. Have them attach their police badges to their uniforms before they put them on.
Gather the students into a circle on the floor. Turn a familiar song, such as "Skip to My Lou," into a community helpers song with the following lyrics: "I'll be a police officer keeping you safe (twice repeat), Driving in my police car," "I'll be a paramedic saving you (twice repeat), Driving in my ambulance," or "I'll be a firefighter putting out fire (twice repeat), Driving in my fire truck." Use the tune "I'm a Little Teapot" to conduct a singalong about a baker as follows: "I could be a baker who bakes cakes, Here is my spoon and my bowl, When I serve you hear me say, Taste my delicious cake today!"
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